Letter to the Editor
I noticed that squirrels raiding my bird feeder were developing tumors. I have sent pictures to the NYS Depart ment of Fish and Wildlife and they sent them to their pathology department. Without a “carcass” they can’t make a deﬁnitive diagnosis, but felt it might be “squirrel pox” (squirrel ﬁbromatosis) or the result of infections from ﬁghting. The disorder progresses from hair loss to development of a nodule to open sores.
If anyone happens to have squirrels on their property and notices this phenomenon, they might want to contact NYS Wildlife at 845-256-3098. Their ofﬁce is located in New Paltz and they are extremely helpful and FAST! Any cluster of disease is of interest to them. Squirrel pox is viral and contagious; it can be spread to other squirrels and to rabbits, but not people. If you do see it, disinfect your bird feeder, as it might be the source of contagion.