They can be found scurrying about on all but two continents (Antarctica and Australia). According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System, the world has over 200 species of squirrels. Each species falls in one of three categories- tree squirrels, flying squirrels and ground squirrels. There is a wide variety of sub-species in each of these categories. A deeper knowledge of the differences and similarities helps to create the right squirrel control strategies for Bowmanville wildlife technicians.
What Squirrels Have in Common
Squirrels around the world have a few things in common. Perhaps the most common trait is a love for nuts and seeds and an affinity for foraging … and hoarding food. The smallest species of squirrel is the African pygmy, which is just 5 inches. While the Indian giant squirrel can reach the remarkable total length of 3 feet! That’s quite large when you consider the squirrels we are used to seeing in Bowmanville average 30 centimetres. Mostly all squirrels are omnivorous and sport short legs with bushy tails. Their four front teeth grow continuously which makes it necessary for them to tame these chompers by chewing on tree barks and other material.
A Closer Look at the Three Main Squirrel Groups
Tree squirrels include the red, fox and gray squirrels. They frequent heavily forested areas and man-made habitats such as parks and nature preserves. Their acrobatics often catch the eye as they leap from branch to branch. From time to time, tree squirrels descend to the ground, usually in search of food.
Flying squirrels, which include the southern flying squirrel, the Japanese giant flying squirrel, the new world flying squirrel and the Japanese dwarf flying squirrel, have flaps of skin along the sides of their torsos that expand as they stretch their feet out to soar. Technically, they don’t really fly-instead they glide after propelling their bodies from one launch point to another. They can cover distances as wide as 150 feet but must land at that point and relaunch to continue gliding. These squirrels are also nocturnal, which means that unlike the other two squirrel groups, you won’t really see tree squirrels up and about during the day.
This squirrel group includes the Arctic ground squirrel, Belding’s ground squirrel, Richardson ground squirrel, California ground squirrel and the Thirteen-lined ground squirrel. They tend to be medium-sized when compared with tree and flying squirrels. The ground squirrels’ name says it all about them. These squirrels spend most of their time scurrying around on the ground. Squirrels are very vulnerable to predators and nature has armed them with very little defence mechanisms. The one thing they are good at is evading capture. They move swiftly to avoid threat and ground squirrels have a complex system of warnings (a system that has been mastered by the ground squirrel) that they use to indicate that a predator is near.
Where Squirrels Live
Squirrel homes depend on the species. Tree squirrels make their homes in trees. Flying squirrels will also use nests or holes in trees. Ground squirrels, on the other hand, tunnel into the ground to create burrows in which they hibernate during the winter period. They use a variety of materials (leaves, twigs moss, etc.) to create their nests.
Conservationists like those at the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center help to protect the world’s squirrel population by providing a safe haven for squirrels on the mend. At this center injured or orphaned squirrels are given time and care required to recuperate before they are released back into the wild.
Protecting Your Property
In their quest to survive, squirrels may inadvertently cause problems for people. They may damage property as they chew on whatever they can find to control the growth of their teeth (and sharpen them as well). When they get inside a building, they usually head for the attic and over time the damage can become extensive and expensive to reverse. Exclusion barriers can help to keep squirrels out of a building and if the need arises, you can turn to Skedaddle a company that offers expert squirrel control services to help protect your Bowmanville property from wildlife intrusion.