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Squirrel Behavior Relative To Human Contact Garrett Gabel 121400 Abstract As our population expands and cities grow and spread out into the country the line between wilderness and civilization becomes thinner and thinner The relationship between animals and humans becomes more and more strained and the understanding of animal behavior in the presence of man becomes increasingly important A great example of a species that has successfully adapted to life with humans is the gray squirrel My study tried to prove that squirrels learn to live with humans and become comfortable functioning in their presence It attempted to show that squirrels living in areas of high human traffic are braver in approaching humans than those that live in areas of low human traffic My hypothesis was that the gray squirrels that come in contact with humans more frequently have adapted to life with people and would more readily approach me than those that have not become accustomed to human interaction To test this hypothesis I tested a squirrels willingness to approach me at a location of high medium and low human traffic I measured their approach in three levels ten feet or less thirty feet or less and no interest I then performed a Chi squared test to see if the locations were different from the expected results The high traffic area and the low traffic area were significantly different Squirrels in the high traffic area were far more willing to approach a human than those in areas of low traffic This data supported my hypothesis that the squirrels living in areas of high human traffic would be more willing to approach me than squirrels living in areas of low human traffic More importantly this study also shows the squirrels ability to become accustomed to interaction with humans and adapt to that environment Introduction As our population expands and cities grow and spread out into the country the line between
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