Black Squirrel- The black squirrel is a melanistic subgroup of the eastern grey squirrel. All black individuals of wildlife species not normally black or dark in coloration are examples of melanism. Melanism is described as an increased amount of black or nearly black pigmentation of skin, fur, hair or feathers. The fox squirrel is native to East Texas and most commonly throws melanistic offspring.
Black squirrels represent 1 out of 10,000 squirrels in North America, making them a rare sight, by North American standards.
However, Jim Bradley who captured this image of a black squirrel in Crockett says, “almost every other one around here is black.”
East Texas has historically been the stronghold of squirrels in Texas. Early East Texas settlers emigrated from southeastern states where squirrels were hunted as a source of food. Today, descendants of early settlers continue the long running tradition of hunting squirrels in the Pineywoods.