How Long Does a Squirrel Live?
How long does a squirrel live? This question is often asked by many people, especially those who live in the city. This medium-sized rodent is a member of the family Sciuridae, which also includes chipmunks, marmots, flying squirrels, prairie dogs, and tree mice. Although there are different types of species of squirrels, all belong to the same family. So, how long does a typical gray-headed squirrel live?
The life span of a gray-headed squirrel is much shorter than that of a male. Eastern gray females enter estrus at five-and-a-half months of age and are not fertile until one year. Fertile males induce ovulation in the female during her first year, male eastern grays are sexually mature between one and two years of age. While these species of gray-headed squirrels can reach up to 20 years in captivity, their lifespans are considerably reduced due to habitat challenges and predation.
A typical gray-headed squirrel will live for six to twelve years. They require a variety of diets to survive. A diversified diet ensures a healthier and longer lifespan. Squirrels eat mostly healthy foods, and they don’t have many health problems. The only real risk is death from predators or bad weather. If your squirrel is not receiving the proper nutrition, it’s unlikely to live for very long.
The lifespan of a gray-headed squirrel depends on the amount of food it eats. If they don’t get enough to eat, they’ll die before they reach their average life span. That’s why it is important to feed your pet. Even though the average lifespan of a gray squirrel is about one year, if you keep them in a safe environment, their lifespan will be longer.
The lifespan of a gray-headed squirrel is shorter than that of a red squirrel. The average gray-headed critter dies within a year, while its population in the U.S. is less than half as large. In the wild, however, the average lifespan is four to five years. The female of a gray-headed squirrel usually has two or three litters a year, averaging about nine pups. The young ones don’t have fur, so they are not ready to leave their nest until at least a month and a half after birth.
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A grey-headed squirrel’s lifespan is much shorter than that of a red-headed one. By the second year, mortality drops to 30-50%, making the first year of a young gray-headed squirrel more vulnerable to disease and predators. By the end of their first winter, only half of a young grey-headed squirrel will survive the winter. When it comes to mortality in the wild, it depends on the severity of the attack and the nature of the habitat.
Red squirrels can live up to eight years in the wild. In captivity, they can live for only one or two years. In the wild, however, they are vulnerable to predators. That means you can’t expect to see your red squirrel for more than a decade. If you want to adopt a red squirrel, the best way to do that is to take care of the baby. It will be healthy and safe for you to raise and will not bite your house, so you can enjoy a red one.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.