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KLICKITAT WILDLIFE AREA, Wash. (AP) _ Around here, some guys are running themselves ragged looking for a date.

It seems male squirrels are eager to mate two-thirds of the year, while females get passionate for less than a day.

``It comes down to six hours ... probably,'' said John Koprowski, a University of Arizona biologist who has studied the western gray squirrel in Oregon.

Researchers have been studying gray squirrels in the Klickitat Wildlife Area to find out why their population is dwindling.

Biologist Mary Linders says males must cover a lot of ground in search of mates receptive to their advances.

``It gets pretty crazy out there,'' she said.

Now, the researchers are developing proposals to help the native squirrel population recover. Proposals include protecting large stands of oak and pine trees and reintroducing the squirrels to certain areas.