We removed the cage tops on the pie today, releasing some squirrels onto the preserve to continue creating new burrows for owls that will hopefully be colonizing the area soon. As it turned out, simply releasing the squirrels was much more complicated than we had envisioned at first when creating this plan, and we had to account for the gap that their absence would cause in the environment from which we'd first rescued them. Our solution was to release some and remove some back to their environments if their populations there had sufficiently low rates of reproduction. There were very few squirrels that we had to take back, though, since squirrels' reproduction rates are so outlandishly high. Still other squirrels have been removed to await the opening of another preserve where we can transport them to create yet another owl colony. We'd only envisioned successfully creating one, but from the way things are going, it looks like we might be able to carry our project over to helping even more ecosystems! That means we'll get to help even more owls and squirrels, and even more regions of California recover!
We also conducted a final count of the amount of squirrels we have relocated on both preserves. The total is a little over 350 squirrels rescued! We were so busy having fun with squirrels and the environment we totally didn't notice just how many cages and squirrels we'd moved. We wish the released squirrels the best of luck in their new homes!