Animal Profile: Red Squirrels
Scientific Name: Sciurus Vulgaris
Trophic Level: Omnivorous
Conservation Status: Least Concern (Population Decreasing)
Female Name: Doe
Male Name: Buck
Baby Name: Kits or Kittens
Group Name: Dray, Colony and Scurry
Lifestyle: Arboreal, Altricial
The Eurasian red squirrel is a species of tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus. Living to the age of 10 years old the red squirrel can be found in northern Europe and Siberia living in coniferous forests, mixed forests, deciduous woods, parks, gardens and small stands of conifers.
- Habitat Loss
- Squirrel pox (a virus carried by grey squirrels and fatal to red squirrels)
- Grey squirrel populations
- Food competition
Scientists consider red squirrels as omnivores even though they are mostly herbivorous their diet consists of:
- Pinecone seeds
- Beech nuts
- Leath growth
However, sometimes red squirrels will eat eggs and small mammals this behaviour is consistent with other members of the rodent family.
Do They Make Good Pets
The short answer is NO. Red squirrels have not been domesticated in any way, and even though you see videos of people who have rescued squirrels. They know what they are doing and always have a good reason to keep them like they don’t have the survival skills or have a spiralled tail like this squirrel.
Mating Behaviour: Polygyny
Reproduction Season: February-March, June-July
Pregnancy Duration: 36-40 Days
Independent Age: 7 Weeks
Female squirrels can produce two litters of offspring a year. The gestation period of a squirrel is just over a month-long the female will give birth to a litter of 3 – 4 kits.
The kits start searching for their own food when they are just 40 days old but don’t get fully weaned until they are 8 – 10 weeks old. Instead of reaching sexual maturity at a certain age females must reach a specific size and weight.
- Red Squirrels have two toes and four fingers on each foot.
- They aren’t always red.
- Red squirrels can swim.
- They can hang upside down.
- Reds do not hibernate in the winter. Instead, they rely on food that they buried before winter and can locate food supplies in over 1 foot of snow.