IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 85% OF SQUIRRELS WORLD-WIDE ARE IN PERIL
One of my good friends on the forum loves to scavenge around for the true oddities of the World Wide Web as they relate to other members of the board, and he posted a link to a rather interesting website from a group called The International Organization for the Protection and Welfare of Squirrels. The IOPWS clearly states to us that Squirrels worldwide are in danger, and we need to help them immediately, if not sooner.
One warning if you do visit the IOPWS website…. make sure you click the pause button in their header unless you want to hear every 10 seconds an annoying sound that makes the squawking of squirrels mating sound palatable by comparison. It is a sign of the many frustrating things to come on this website, however, as you will find once you begin reading the content interspersed throughout the site that it is slightly easier to read “War and Peace” in Russian.
You can get a good taste of what’s to come just from the very first objective outlined on the IOPWS’s homepage:
To prezent the Squirrels to the World as what they really are: one of the most beautiful and intelligent species of wild animals and one of the most important species for our Planet.
You will notice the misspelling of “present”. Anyone can make a typo, and I’ve surely got my share just in this blog, but about every 20th word on the entire site is misspelled, and when coupled with the questionable grammar and sentence structure, it’s very hard to read anything on here with a straight face. And that’s sad, because there’s a really good message on here that’s unfortunately very hard to take seriously because it looks like it’s being prezented to us by a 7th grader preparing a report for his remedial Life Sciences class.
The random capitalization is another persistent theme to the IOPWS site. In particular, almost anytime the word Squirrel or Squirrels appears in print, it must be capitalized. I know of only one other Being who likes to have all references to Them capitalized, and I had no idea He was a Squirrel…
I spent about an hour and a half this morning combing over the IOPWS website, and I could do a wonderful, but long MBFFB interpretation of them. MBFFB stands for MyBigFatFabulousBrain, an alter-ego I created in the years prior to Evil Squirrel on my forum where I intended to poke fun at the know-it-alls who would scoff at how stupid the contestants were on a certain game show my forum is centered around. Over the course of time, and heavily influenced by the style of one of my all-time favorite humor websites, the MBFFB character developed into the king of sarcasm, ripping on anything and everything that was presented in whatever it was I was using the character on. The IOPWS site is chock-full of batting practice fastballs just waiting to be knocked into the back row of the bleachers. However, I don’t have the time nor do I want to waste the blog space doing that… and besides, despite what may appear to be my mocking of the IOPWS, I really do appreciate what they’re trying to do and don’t want to be unfairly mean them. Despite the many problems, whoever is behind their website put a lot more time into their corner of cyberspace than I am willing to put into mine. While they’re out trying to help the 85% of the Squirrels world wide who are in peril, here I am glorifying the many ways I have killed off a cartoon rodent. I should be ashamed of myself…
So I’ll spend the rest of my post on the IOPWS pointing out ten of the many interesting facts I learned while perusing the site. And I’ll try not to be too sarcastic….. oh hell, I’m just gonna let it rip! Some of these are just too hilarious not to have a little fun with!
Fact One: Squirrels live around the world, with very few exceptions: Australia, Madagascar and Antarctica.
As my Hawaiian source always likes to point out, there are no squirrels in Hawaii either. I’d say such a shame, but I really have no idea why humans find Hawaii to be so fascinating. So maybe the squirrels once again are the smart ones here.
Fact Two: Hoarding is a characteristic of very few species of animals, mostly rodents, to store the food in order to survive periods with scarce resources or to protect it from other animals. Unique for squirrels and of a major importance is that, among all the species that use hoarding, the tree squirrel is the only one that bury the nuts at the optimum depth (1-5.5 cm) so the nut can germinate.
The bolding is not mine, it was put in there by the IOPWS author. I half-read stuff on this site for over an hour, and I came across that factoid about 50 times. Seriously, they really want you to know that ONLY a Squirrel can bury a nut at the right depth for a tree to grow. Yeah, screw you P. Allen Smith. Show us your bushy tail, and maybe we’ll listen to your gardening advice. On second thought, please don’t…
Fact Three: The squirrels are known as being territorial animals. The degree in which this is happening varies again according to the species. The red squirrel is one of the most aggressive in defending her territory, while other species do not exhibit this behavior, excepting when it is a mother squirrel.
Well how about that! Not only are red squirrels the sluts of the animal kingdom, but they’ll kick your ass if you come around and they don’t want to mate with you. I think I’m in love with red squirrels….
Fact Four: Mating in itself consist in a series of wild chases that can be observed during these months ; when looking high at the tree canopy, it is noticeable an unusual behavior : most of the squirrels in a given area are busily engaged in chasing each other while emitting a variety of sounds. The ones running away from the chase are the young squirrels. A number of males are actively pursuing one female, while trying to establish dominance among themselves. During mating, the squirrels, mostly the males, are so absorbed in the process that they are in total disregard of any external threat, becoming an easy pray . The female at this time is in “estrus”. While it is believed that the smell attracts the males and that the one that succeeds in mating is the oldest male, it is little known what is the criteria of a female squirrel in choosing her mate. The mating lasts maximum 2 minutes , after which the male role ends.
Two minutes!?!? ES, you try to pass yourself off as a stud, and that’s all the better you can do? I guess if squirrels ever got hard for longer than four minutes, they’d have to seek immediate medical treatment….
Fact Five: Like most living species, squirrels are subjected to diseases and parasites. Together with the common organisms that affects a large number of mammals, like ticks, mites, fleas, lice, tapeworms, threadworms and protozoa, the squirrels are affected by parasites that can seriously harm or kill them. Two of most common such parasites are the “mange mite” and the “warble fly”. The first lays its eggs inside squirrel’s skin, while the larvae burrow into hair’s follicles. The squirrel looses fur on a large area of its body ; however, the look of a squirrel affected by mange can be misleading, as the same appearace can be the result of severe lack of nutrients (lack of food)
Ah, but that last line is interesting. Evil Squirrel is not mangy, he just needs to be fed a nutritious diet! I believe that is a diet high in scritches…
Fact Six: Together with a number of other natural and humane factors, the rate of mortality among squirrels is very high, with an estimated 15-25 per cent of young animals surviving their fist year.It is appreciated that , while the life-span to a squirrel can be 11 years, the animals living in wilderness rarely reach more than 7 years, while the city squirrels die within first 5 years.
Evil Squirrel is already four years old. I’m not sure if he’s considered to be a city squirrel or not, but those numbers don’t look too promising! At least I have already proven he has cheated death many times in the past. If only there weren’t so many out there wishing to do him harm…
Fact Seven: During migration, the squirrels have to cross large rivers and, also good swimmers, many of them drawn. Many others ( thousands ) were being mercilessly killed by the humans once they reached the other side of the river. It is recorded that during the 1749 migration in Pensylvania 640 000 squirrels were killed by humans (mostly beaten to death).
Wow, that’s a hard one to take. If that really happened, I have officially lost all faith in humankind, seriously. What kind of a heartless monster clubs a squirrel to death? More to the point, who counted the bodies? 640,000 bludgeoned squirrel carcasses lying on the banks of the river make the beaches of Normandy look like a playground in comparison. Forget Private Ryan, save Private Rodent!
Fact Eight: As Mr. Richard Mallery notes: ” Many of these migrations were probably caused by food shortages as well as habitat overcrowding. We solved that for them. We not only reduced their habitat, we reduced the whole species by about 90%. The least we can do now is share a little birdseed with them.”
Dr. Richard Mallery, with words of wisdom that everyone should heed. Take down your squirrel-proof feeders you snobby avian elitists! It’s not like they work anyway….
Fact Nine: They reached a place of some distinction within European aristocracy ; some prestigious families, such as Baldwin, Lee, Samuels have the symbol of Squirrel in their crests.
And now I think we know why Robert E. Lee was out to get the squirrel clubbing Yanks from Pennsylvania!
Fact Ten: The smallest squirrel lives in Africa, the pygmy squirrel (Myosciurus pumilio) with only 5 inches in length. while the largest (Eupetaurus cinereus) known as Wolly flying squirrel is two feet long with another two feet long tail and lives in Pakistan, high in the mountains. This squirrel was believed until recently to be extincted; it is said that its crystallized urine is used as aphrodisiac
The cure-all for your dying love life…. a squirrel golden shower. This website is so fucked up it is absolutely awesome! I can not believe that last line didn’t get bolded…
There is a whole page on this website dedicated to the research activities they encourage their members to participate in, and I could have loads of fun with that as well… but I don’t want to make this post too much longer, and I know you’re all just dying to find out how you can become a member of the IOPWS. Well, don’t worry, if you are unable to read a sidebar menu, I’m going to help you out here…
We need you!
Living on the Planet, we share many characteristics with the animals’ world. Unique to humans is our kindness and our capability to help other species. Individuals from many species of animals have the capacity to kill, but only a Humans can heal. This is our divine power.
We need you to Help the Squirrels, by becoming a member.
Our members are our most important , invaluable assets.
Everybody is welcome!
We have two types of membership: active and passive. You can be an active member, if you choose to participate in one or more of our activities or to donate to our Organization, or you can be a passive member, if your choice is only to subscribe.
OK, I want to Help the Squirrels! How much does it cost to become a passive member?
Membership fee is $10 per year.
NOTE: Please note that at this time, as we are not yet registered, we cannot accept monetary donations or charge fees from our members. If you wish to subscribe now, your first year membership is FREE.
And then there’s this!
NOTE: ONLY MEMBERS REGISTERED WITH US CAN PARTICIPATE IN PROJECTS.
IF YOU ARE A STUDENT FROM A COUNTRY IN WHICH $10 IS A LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY, AND YOU LOVE SQUIRRELS AND WANT TO PARTICIPATE AS MEMBER, YOUR MEMBERSHIP WILL BE $5 OR FREE .
This cracks me up because of a running joke we have at work. A few years ago, this one guy who worked with us wanted to sell his old house, and put a note up on the break room bulletin board that to that effect, and that he was asking “$19,00o or more” for it. Now, we all knew what he meant, but come on.
“You know, I love this house of yours, but 19 grand just isn’t enough. Would you mind if I paid you more than $19,000 for it?”
“Sure! It’s a good thing I mentioned I’d be willing to take more than $19,000 to sell it! You’ve got a deal!”
We still refer to this at work on occasion, because we’re bored, we miss the characters we once had, and no joke can possibly be beat into the ground too much.
And by the way, IOPWS, ten dollars is a large amount of money where I come from, which is the ghetto. Can my membership be either five dollars or free? Can I get a discount on my free membership since I gave you all a plug on my blog that only members of my forum and people looking for Spongebob porn ever bother to read?
Finally, in closing, I give you these words of wisdom listed on the IOPWS’s About Us page:
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“If the squirrels would not have been around for so long in such large numbers to accomplish the work of maintaining Planet’s forests, maybe we, the humans, would not be here today to fly in Space.”