TUCSON, Arizona — Arizona wildlife managers say an annual survey shows the population of endangered Mount Graham red squirrels has risen dramatically.
The count found about 272 squirrels this year in the Pinaleno Mountains in southeastern Arizona. That's up 59 animals from 2012, the lowest ever recorded.
The count is made by surveying areas where squirrels hide their food.
The survey is conducted by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of a program aimed at conserving the squirrel.
Wildlife managers say the species' recent population trends have been most affected by habitat loss due to fire and insect infestations and poor cone crops caused by drought.