Are There Squirrels In Hawaii? (2022 Update)

In most parts of the United States, squirrels are common animals. But what about on the island state of Hawaii? Do any squirrels call Hawaii home? 

Are there squirrels in Hawaii? Squirrels do not live in Hawaii! It’s the only state in the Us that doesn’t have them. Instead, Hawaii has a mongoose population. And mongoose are not actually native to Hawaii either. In fact, mongoose were released onto Hawaii to decrease the rat population on the island.

Today, Hawaiians will still spot mongoose hanging out around bushes, chilling on mountainsides, or even running across the roads. The only problem with this mongoose population is that since mongoose are not native to the island, they have had a negative impact on the native bird population in Hawaii. They are considered an invasive species because they often eat birds and bird eggs. 

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Do squirrels live in every other US State? 

Squirrels can be found in every state in the United States, except for Hawaii! There are over 200 different species of squirrels throughout the world, and five of those squirrels live in the United States. Here is a more in depth look at the squirrels of the United States and what parts of the country they can be found in. 

Flying Squirrel

Flying Squirrel
Flying Squirrel

The flying squirrel can be found in all of the eastern US states, from Maine to Florida, and then out west to Minnesota and down south to Texas. Some flying squirrels are also found along the west coast and into the states of Idaho and Montana. These squirrels can be found in forests and woodlands. Even though they are called “flying” squirrels, they do not actually fly. Instead, they glide. They have a special membrane between their front legs and back legs that allows them to glide from tree to tree. 

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Fox Squirrel

Fox Squirrel
Fox Squirrel

Fox squirrels are found in states throughout the east coast and into the central part of the country. They are also found in Mexico to the south and in Canada to the north. In these regions, they are found in deciduous and mixed forests. These squirrels have many adaptations that make them excellent climbers! They include sharp, curved claws, arm flexors, and strong stomach muscles. 

Gray Squirrel

Gray Squirrel
Gray Squirrel

Gray squirrels are native to eastern and Midwestern states, but in 1966, these squirrels were introduced in western parts of the country, where they are also thriving. Gray squirrels can be found in many different environments, such as in woodland habitats, parks, and even in urban areas.

You would think that because of their name, they would be gray, right? But actually, these squirrels are a mixture of black, white, and brown, with each individual hair being usually a combination of those colors. That is what gives the squirrel a grayish appearance. 

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Ground Squirrel

Ground Squirrel
Ground Squirrel

The California ground squirrel lives in the west coast states of California, Oregon, and Washington, as well as in parts of northwestern Nevada. Unlike tree squirrels, ground squirrels spend most of their time on the ground. They live in burrows and these squirrels will rarely go further than 160 feet away from their burrow.

An interesting fact about these squirrels is that only some hibernate- California ground squirrels that live in areas that receive snow will hibernate for several months, but those squirrels that live more to the south will be active year-round. 

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel
Red Squirrel

Red squirrels like to live in the mountains. On the east coast, they will be found in parts of the Appalachian Mountains (such as in Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia), and out west, they will be found in parts of the Rocky Mountains (like in Arizona and New Mexico).

These squirrels are not as common as gray squirrels and they are actually only about half the size of their more popular cousins. Red squirrels are also one of the most aggressive types of squirrels and they are highly territorial. 

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What animals are native to Hawaii? 

If there are no squirrels in Hawaii and mongoose were introduced, what are some of the animals that are native to the beautiful state of Hawaii? Hawaii is home to the Hawaiian monk seal and the northern elephant seal which are some of the rarest seals on earth. They can be found basking in the sun on Hawaii’s beaches.

The waters surrounding Hawaii are also great spots for seeing dolphins and whales- spinner dolphins, humpback whales, minke whales, Bryde’s blue whales, and North Pacific right whales all live in the seas by Hawaii.

Other animals native to Hawaii include the Hawaiian hoary bat, sea turtles, and various birds such as the nene, the apapane, the I’iwi, the elepaio, the amakihi, and the noddies.