Are you a wildlife lover with a newly found interest in Squirrel Species?
Did you notice a ground squirrel with its bushy tail run past you during your morning walk.
And now you’re wondering how long these little species live? Keep reading to find out!
Squirrels are small to medium-sized mammals belonging to the family Sciuridae, having large and bushy tails and a white belly.
Besides the squirrel’s long-lost love for nuts, like in the infamous Ice
According to the American Aging Association of the Wildlife World, the life expectancy of native squirrels varies widely between different species.
While the average lifespan of common squirrels in the wild is 5 to 10 years, squirrels in captivity can reach up to 20 years- with Eastern Gray Squirrels documented to live for over 23 years!
Table Of Contents
- 0.1 Do squirrels remember humans?
- 0.2 Do squirrels live for 900 years?
- 0.3 What Do Squirrels Hate The Most?
- 1 How Long Do Squirrels Live As Pets?
- 1.1 Do Squirrels Ever Fall From Trees?
- 1.2 Why Don’t We Ever See Dead Squirrels?
- 1.3 Why Do Squirrels Fight All The Time?
- 1.4 What Does It Mean If A Squirrel Keeps Staring At You?
- 1.5 Where Do Squirrels Live?
- 1.6 Does Diet Affect A Squirrel’s Lifespan?
- 1.7 Do Squirrels Lay Eggs?
- 1.8 When A Squirrel Chases Another Squirrel, Are They Playing Or Fighting?
- 1.9 What Is A Squirrels Breeding Season?
- 1.10 Where Do Squirrels Nest In Winter?
- 1.11 Squirrel Life Cycles
- 2 Final Words About How Long Do Squirrels Live.
Do squirrels remember humans?
Squirrels are remarkably intelligent mammals with problem-solving skills and spatial memory, with an ability to remember faces.
Interestingly enough, we can easily train wild squirrels to be friendly and compassionate with humans and solve puzzles.
Do squirrels live for 900 years?
While it may be possible for some animals to live for over 1000 years, squirrels are not one of them.
The average lifespan of a squirrel depends on many factors like environment, food availability, and gender.
Following are the different species of squirrels and their life expectancy:
- Fox Squirrel – 5 to 7 years in wild, over 15 years in captivity
- Gray Squirrel – Up to 12 years in wild
- Black Squirrel – 10 years
- American Pygmy Squirrel – 10 to 15 years
- African Pygmy Squirrel 10 to 15 years
- Southern Flying Squirrel- Up to 10 years in captivity
- Antelope Ground Squirrel – 2 to 4 years in wild
- Asian tree Squirrel – 4 to 6 years
The longest lifespan of Eastern Grey squirrels is 24 years in captivity, while Ground squirrel species like Richardson Ground Squirrel have a life expectancy of 2-3 years.
What Do Squirrels Hate The Most?
Squirrels are bestowed with a great sense of smell.
For this reason, their sensory organs are highly sensitive and irritant to strong smells like peppermint, black pepper, and garlic.
Squirrels avoid bright-colored plants like Daffodils and Hyacinth, so many house owners plant these species to prevent nuisance squirrels.
Especially in Scotland where the prevalence of Red Squirrels in gardens reached over 70 percent in a study by Statista Research Department.
How Long Do Squirrels Live As Pets?
It is illegal to own squirrels in most U.S states because they are undomesticated animals belonging to the wild.
Flying squirrels are allowed in states like Idaho and Alaska. Under captivity, these animal species can live for over 20 years.
Because of abundant food sources, unlike in the wild, where the mortality rates of many baby squirrels are high because of their vulnerability to predatory animals and shortage of food.
Do Squirrels Ever Fall From Trees?
Squirrels can fall while jumping from tree to tree despite their agility, powerful legs, and low adult body mass.
However, squirrel families decrease their terminal velocity during a fall, which helps in their survival.
Their bushy tail is a great tool for balancing the weight during an accidental fall from treetops.
It means that no matter at what height squirrels are dropped, be it trees or buildings- chances are these wild animals will rarely ever get a bruise and go on with their life, though muscle ache and minor injury are possible.
That’s why these species live the longest.
Why Don’t We Ever See Dead Squirrels?
Despite the high mortality of squirrels, There can rarely witness their dead bodies because scavenger animals quickly feed on animal carcasses.
The major culprit behind squirrel death is natural predators and a competitive environment where predators like hawks, owls, and snakes prey upon these species.
Squirrels may wave their tail and use their athletic ability to escape a predator.
Why Do Squirrels Fight All The Time?
Squirrels are highly territorial species that compete with members of their species for better mating.
And food, but they can chase around each other playfully.
What Does It Mean If A Squirrel Keeps Staring At You?
All animals have the instinct to stare, to see the potential threat from their surroundings.
When a squirrel stares at a person, it most probably is curious or afraid of you.
Animals, including squirrels, are sensitive to movements, due to which they may get alert and stare at you.
Where Do Squirrels Live?
There are three types of squirrels, broadly categorized:
- Flying/ Gliding Squirrel
- Ground Squirrel
- Tree Squirrels (Tree Squirrels are also called Tree rats)
More than a half species of squirrels are spread across the whole world, excluding Australia.
Many squirrels reside in nest boxes of thick, bushy forests, in hollow trunks of trees and ground caves where they hibernate and raise their kids.
Gray squirrels belong to the United States and Canada, while Fox squirrels are native to Canada.
Similarly, flying squirrels live in woody areas and coniferous forests, known to glide up to 500 feet.
Does Diet Affect A Squirrel’s Lifespan?
While most squirrel species follow a plant-based lifestyle, sunflower seeds and fruit pits may prove fatal to native squirrels.
Gray squirrels prefer to eat green corn and hazelnuts. Long-term exposure to unhealthy, high starch or sugar food in the diet of squirrels can decrease the longevity of squirrels.
Generally, squirrels can eat just about anything, but pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, and nuts are preferable for squirrels.
Other factors that can negatively affect a squirrel’s life period are given below:
- Rodent diseases like rabies, squirrel pox virus, and Lyme disease
- Vulnerability to predators like owls and snakes.
- Food shortage
- Overgrown or damaged teeth
- Urbanization (leading to deforestation, limited food)
Do Squirrels Lay Eggs?
Since squirrels are rodents of class Mammalia, they give birth to baby squirrels and can not lay eggs.
Female squirrels can begin mating when they reach one year, giving birth to 4 to 8 squirrels.
The mating season occurs twice per year, in cold winter and mid-summer and Spring is the best season of birth for squirrels.
When A Squirrel Chases Another Squirrel, Are They Playing Or Fighting?
When a male squirrel runs after another squirrel, it shows dominance in front of a female or a competition for food and space.
Occasionally, this way of chasing about is a playful gesture.
What Is A Squirrels Breeding Season?
Squirrels breed two times a year, in late winter from December to February and later in summer.
The copulating session can go on for over 20 minutes, and squirrels are born with the onset of the spring season.
After breeding, the males of the squirrel family often leave the litter to nature’s mercy due to their non-monogamous nature.
Where Do Squirrels Nest In Winter?
When the harsh coldness of winter sets in forests and woodland, squirrels seek shelter for refuge from cold weather.
Ground squirrels live in underground holes of open grasslands.
Squirrels dwelling in trees and trunks chew branches off trees like an oak tree and use twigs or pine needles to make a nest (called drey).
Squirrel Life Cycles
Eastern gray squirrels are pregnant for 44 days, and the gestation period of fox squirrels is over 30 days, during which the female squirrel is prone to aggressive behavior.
For this reason, the chattering of a squirrel is a sign of threat, and A pregnant squirrel should give a pregnant squirrel ample space.
When an adult female gives birth to squirrels, they do not leave the nest for about 12 weeks.
The squirrel’s growth covers the remaining period. When the squirrel matures, it is ready to mate with other members extend the generation of squirrels.
Final Words About How Long Do Squirrels Live.
Compared to other rodents (mice, hamsters, rats), squirrels share a comparatively longer lifetime and short reproductive longevity.
Squirrels inhabit tree trunks and ground caves and are widespread across all the continents.
Known for its fluffy tail and sharp incisors for gnawing, the average life expectancy of squirrels, is 5 to 10 years.
However, gray squirrels are known to live for over 20 years, even extending the lifespan of dog or cat species.