Kicker: Central Park squirrels

MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s one of the enduring mysteries of life in New York City: Just how many squirrels live in Central Park?

Well, we might soon learn the answer to that pressing question.

The first ever squirrel census is underway. It’ll be a big one. Central Park is 840 acres.

The counters will simply observe the squirrels’ activities, taking note of fur colors, sounds, and squirrel behaviors.

This isn’t just the result of a government program looking for a justification to spend.

In all seriousness, here’s an example of a practical benefit: A similar count in Atlanta’s Inman Park helped researchers understand how the West Nile virus spreads.

The squirrels involved in the Central Park census can be thankful they don’t have to fill out any paperwork.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

(Photo/Vincent Tullo, The New York Times)

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