A recent study has shown that squirrels eating a large item of food are more vigilant, keeping an sharper eye out for predators than squirrels nibbling on tiny bits. Now, before you say “what an appalling waste of American taxpayer money!,” please realize two things:
1) The study was done in Canada.
2) Understanding animal behavior is crucial to protecting the environment.
The researchers note that humans have a tendency to change habitats as we move into them. Some of those changes may make an animal feel threatened when it is not – or feel protected when it is actually vulnerable. Inappropriate behavior can lead to declining populations, upsetting the whole ecosystem.
So, be careful where you spread your birdseed. A squirrel’s life could depend on it.