Squirrels, belonging to the rodent order Squirrelidae, refers to a large group of rodents with long, fluffy hairs on their tails, of which there are about 58 genera and 285 species, distributed on all continents except Antarctica (with introduced species in Oceania).
Contrary to most people’s impression, the squirrels that live in trees, have big fluffy tails, and can hold and gnaw on pine cones are in fact only a small branch of the squirrel family. From snow-capped mountains at an altitude of more than 6,000 meters to topical islands in the Pacific Ocean, from the Western Hemisphere to the Eastern Hemisphere, except for areas near the poles or in the most arid deserts where the climate is extremely harsh and the vegetation is extremely simple or even non-existent, the species of the family Squirrelidae are active in a variety of terrestrial habitats, and some of them even play an extremely important role in the ecosystem.
Squirrel life span
The highest recorded number of squirrels kept by humans is 20 years old. Squirrels generally live 5-10 years. Existing species of squirrels generally have a squirrel life span of 4-10 years, but in some special cases it may be less than 4 years, and in nature most squirrels do not live more than 1 year due to lack of food or being eaten by predators. In general, the squirrel life span of the Devil’s Squirrel is about 3-6 years, the Eurasian Red Squirrel life span about 3 years, with some isolated examples lasting upwards of 7 years, but usually no more than 10 years.
Squirrel life span: What are the natural predators of squirrels
Although squirrels are one of the larger species of rodents, they are still threatened by natural predators because they are not at the top of the food chain. One is the meat-eating small animals and raptors, such as sable, ferret, weasel, weasel, yellow weasel and so on, and the golden eagle, owl, tiger sea eagle and so on. The other, mainly magpies and crows, prey on squirrel pups during the breeding season. The former type of natural enemy is in a sense beneficial to a healthy and reproducing squirrel population, as most of the natural enemies hunt old, weak and sick bodies, while the latter type is harmful.
Squirrel life span: What do squirrels like to eat?
Squirrels like to eat vegetarian and occasionally meat. Vegetarian food is mainly dried fruits and seeds of red pine, spruce, fir, larch, sphagnum, and hazelnut, acorns, etc. Meat is mainly insects, larvae, ants’ eggs, and other small animals, etc., and squirrels have other choices when there is a shortage of food. Spring to eat tree buds, summer to eat mushrooms, pallets and lingonberry lamp berries, to the fall food is very rich, eat and drink without worry, want to eat what you have, but the most palatable or red pine nuts.
Squirrel life span: Keeping and breeding of squirrels
Squirrels are very active, especially like to climb trees, the activity space is more three-dimensional, you should try to use a wide and high cage. Since squirrels are used to building nests in trees, the nest box should be installed high up in the cage. The nest box can be replaced by a small bird and the entrance and exit are at a high place. Squirrels move very quickly, so be careful when opening and closing the door to avoid taking advantage of the gap to escape. In case of escape, avoid being bitten by the squirrel if you suddenly grab it with force.
The house for keeping squirrels is generally required to choose the southeast direction, warm in winter and cool in summer, and there is a certain amount of light, which is conducive to the animal’s health. The animal’s house and cage should be in accordance with the animal’s living habits. The house for keeping squirrels can be made of wire or wooden boards, and the area should be appropriately large.
For single-cage rearing, the size of the outside activity cage can be 60x25x45 centimeters, or a double-decker cage with a size of 55x45x45 centimeters can be used, thus serving as a place for its feeding, drinking exercise and mating during breeding. The outer cage can be made of wire with a mesh size of about 3.5 centimeters around the sides and sides and the bottom of the cage can be made of thicker wire. The sides and back can also be replaced by glass or iron, equipped with small doors to facilitate the animals to enter and exit, or clean back to the sanitation, or put food and water.
In addition to the outer cage, there should be a nest box, as its habitat, rest and birth place. The nest box can be made of 1.5-2.0 cm thick wooden boards nailed together, with a length, width and height of 30X25X25 cm or 45X35X45 cm. The outer cage can be installed together with the nest box or placed separately to allow the squirrels free access.
Squirrels can also be bred on a large scale, in which case it is necessary to have a large petting house, divided into two parts: the sports field and the premises where the animals rest and sleep. In the exercise yard, trees should be planted or Î± wood should be placed for squirrels to climb and jump. Male and female adult squirrels should be kept separately during the non-breeding period. If they are kept for breeding, the squirrels should be given special care and can be kept separately. The rearing pets should be larger than other single cage rearing individuals to ensure that it has enough exercise, the size can be 90X30X45 cm, the bottom of the cage should have a fecal plate for cleaning and disinfection.
Food and water bowls should be placed inside each cage and fixed so that they will not be overturned and soiled or wet the environment. Food bowls can be made of porcelain or small pots.
Although squirrels live in cold temperate needles. Bar broad-leaved forest mixed zone, but because of its superior nesting technology, the temperature inside the nest is much higher than outside the nest, so in artificial rearing conditions, in order to ensure its safe overwintering, the temperature should generally be maintained at 5 – 23 degrees Celsius, cannot be too low, otherwise it will affect its fertility and reproduction ability.
Squirrel life span have a relatively long time, but it depends on the individual’s breeding methods.