Squirrel Poop and Types of Squirrels


Squirrel Poop and Types of Squirrels

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Types of Squirrels and Squirrel Poop

Squirrels have become a part of our lives without any hesitation and seem to be very comfortable around humans. They were introduced by humans in Australia, but they have been indigenous to America, Eurasia, and Africa. Various squirrel species are distinguished by their size ranging from the African pygmy squirrel which is about 10-14 cm to the Bhutan giant flying squirrel which is about 4 feet 2 inches. Squirrels are predominantly herbivores, which makes seeds and nuts their first choice of food. While on the other hand, many squirrels are also known to eat small insects or small vertebrates. Have a look at How long do squirrels live- what sound does they make - baby squirrel lifespan

Types Of Squirrels

Black Giant Squirrel: Also known as Ratufa bicolor, the black giant squirrel or Malayan giant squirrel is the largest squirrel in the world. They are under a constant threat of extinction due to deforestation, hunting, wildlife trade, and tree looting and have made the Red List of Threatened Species. The Rema-Kalenga forest is known to be the only safe habitat for the black squirrel in Bangladesh, as the number of black squirrels has fallen drastically. They weigh approximately two kilograms and can be found making their house on treetops with leaves - while eating seeds, raw leaves, and wild fruits. They also tend to look like monkeys on first glance, due to their long tails and big ears.

Namdapha Flying Squirrel: Also known as the Biswamoyopterus biswasi, was last seen in 1981 in a single valley of the Namdapha National Park - which makes it endemic to the park and critically endangered. It is also one of the 25 most wanted species in Global Wildlife Conservation’s Search for Lost Species as the Namdapha flying squirrel has not been spotted in 40 years. Known for their rarity and elusiveness it has been next to impossible to know absolutely anything about these flying squirrels. Many scientists who continuously seek this magnificent creature claim it to be one of the most mysterious mammals in the world.

Grizzled Giant Squirrel: Also known as Ratufa macroura are known to maintain an omnivorous and balanced diet to appear superior. Their diet includes eggs or small birds (as a source of protein) fungi, fruits, nuts, seeds, green vegetation, mushrooms and tree bark (as a source of fiber). It is reported that in the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary the population of the grizzled giant squirrel has seen a massive fall from 78-85 percent. These squirrels are known to be found in the southern part of India. There is evidence to be found that the grizzled giant squirrel can be spotted as far as Sri Lanks.

Indian Giant Squirrel: Also known as Ratufa Indica, the preferred habit of the Indian giant squirrel is mixed deciduous, tropical and rain forests. They weigh anywhere between 1.5 to 2kg and are deep red to brown in color with white fur across the belly area. The Indian giant squirrel lives on to 20 years and produces an average of one or two offsprings. The male Indian giant squirrel competes for the females’ attention during mating season - which is all year round. While the male and female Indian giant squirrel have almost the same physical appearance, the female Indian giant squirrel has three sets of mammae.

Indian Giant Flying Squirrel: Also known as Petaurista philippensis, the Indian giant flying squirrel is quite a large species. The head and the body of the Indian giant flying squirrel are forty-three cm long and the tail is about fifty to fifty-two cm long. The Indian giant squirrel is native to India, Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar. These nocturnal species build their nests in hollow trees that are lined with bark, moss, leaves, and fur. Though the Indian giant squirrel may be friendly when food or food resources are abundant, but they can also be very aggressive when food or resources are scarce.

Black Squirrel: Black squirrels are to be found all across North America. These rascally creatures may look innocent but they do carry deadly diseases. Cat scratch fever is commonly found among them and can be transferred to you if you are scratched by a disease-ridden squirrel. Typhus is also among other diseases carried by these rodents which cause rashes and delirium. On many occasions, these squirrels also carry rabies which can be transferred to humans with a squirrel bite. If left unchecked, rabies can cause severe damage to the nervous system. They will eat anything from bird eggs, insects, nuts to any kind of seeds and fruits. They mate from December to January. Read What do raccoons Eat? Raccoon Facts

Red Squirrel: Also known as Sciurus Vulgaris, these squirrels are found throughout Siberia and Northern Europe. Red squirrels mate twice a year starting from March-May and again from August through to early September for 105 days. The young baby red squirrel is born after a gestation period of 35 days. They weigh about 7.08g at birth and fully open their eyes after 26-35 days. By the 40th day after their birth, baby red squirrels grow almost all fur and drink their mother’s milk for the first seventy days. By the time they are a hundred and twenty-five days old, they have a full set of teeth and are completely full grown.

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How to Care for a Baby Squirrel?

First and foremost, caring for a baby squirrel, especially one that has been abandoned can be very challenging. If you see yourself not being able to devote complete attention and patience to this feeble creature, you can always bring it to an animal shelter. As mentioned above, there are various kinds and species of squirrels and some of them require specific kinds of care. If you do not have the equipment or experience to care for a proper baby squirrel care it is advised to contact the wildlife rehab center and ask for help. If you are determined to raise baby squirrels then these step by step instructions will guide you.

Check If The Squirrel Is Abandoned: It is important to check if the squirrel is really abandoned or just waiting for his/her mother. During the day the mother usually leaves in search of food and to keep predators away. The mother squirrel should return back to the nest within three hours, but if they do not, you can go ahead and take them. Usually, a litter is made of 4 squirrels but you may find 1-3 squirrels in a nest. Try looking for the rest of them in nearby areas and if you don’t find any, take the ones you found, home.

Warmth: The first thing an abandoned baby squirrel will miss, is their mothers’ warmth. When you find an abandoned baby squirrel chances are it has been that way for hours and needs immediate care and warmth. Place the tiny creature in a shoebox with high sides (to avoid crawling out) and a ventilated top. You will also need to cover the baby squirrel in a soft baby blanket making it into a squirrel next box as this will make them feel secure and warm. Also, place a heating pad halfway under the box on low temperature. Make sure the temperature is at 99 degrees and not too warm for the baby squirrel. Read article on How to get rid of ground squirrels - repellent and deterrent ideas.

Rehydration and Feeding: To rehydrate an abandoned baby squirrel wait until he is warm enough. Pedialyte is the best rehydrating solution to use for a dehydrating baby squirrel. The first two feedings after rehydration should consist of 75% Pedialyte and 25% formula. For the next three feedings, you can mix half of Pedialyte and half of the formula. Next three sets of feedings you must mix 75% of formula and 25% of Pedialyte. And after this pattern seems okay for the baby squirrel you switch to feeding him 100% formula.

These step by step instructions should help you to care for a newborn squirrel effectively and easily at home.  

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Squirrel Droppings, Habits and Dangers

Many of you might wonder what does squirrel poop look like - which may not be a pleasant topic, but the information can help you identify squirrel poop vs rat poop.

Volume: Before we begin with the differences between rat poop and squirrel poop, you must know that both these rodents leave behind a huge amount of feces - every day! Not just these two but all rodents are known to defecate in large quantities on a daily basis. If this is happening in your house and it id not checked and controlled in time, it could lead to some serious health issues.

Color: The color of the dropping by these rodents are very different from one another. When taking a first look at it, the two may seem similar, but upon close inspection, you will notice the color difference. Rat droppings are darker even black in color, while squirrel droppings are brownish to red hue in color. These color factors vary due to the different diets of the two.

Edges and Shape: Another way of knowing the difference between the two droppings is edge and shape. Squirrel feces are softer with circular ends, while rat feces are pointy on each end and thicker in the middle. Squirrel feces are also larger than rat feces are shaped more like a barrel. Rat feces many times can also almost look rectangular in shape.

Placement: As obnoxious as rats are, so are their toilet habits. Rats just do not know how to relieve themselves discreetly. The dropping can be found all over the place and you can immediately identify which rodent is to blame. Squirrels on the other hand and very particular and discreet and you can often spot clusters of droppings in a specific spot. Read also What do Squirrels eat? Do Squirrels Hibernate.

Some of the diseases that can be transferred from squirrel and rat feces to humans are:

  • Salmonella
  • Tularemia
  • Hantavirus

Difference between Chipmunk and Ground Squirrel and Squirrel

Size:  In a size competition of ground squirrel vs chipmunk, the ground squirrel is 25-30 cm in length making it bigger than the chipmunk. The chipmunk is only 16-30 cm in length which is quite a distinction. And chipmunk vs squirrel, again the squirrel wins the show by being 38-52 cm long.

Habitat: The ground squirrel may have slowly adapted to urban and agricultural development, but it has always been a grassland creature and are native in the prairies of central U.S. Though chipmunks are found in deciduous forests or shrublands, they seem to have become quite comfortable in the suburban and urban areas.

Behavior: If you wonder are squirrel nocturnal, the answer is yes. On the other hand, chipmunks are usually active during the day as they are diurnal. Squirrels also have distinguished eyesight and sense of touch along with sharp teeth to gnaw and grind. The chipmunks have cheek pouches that allows them to carry and store their desired food in their burrows.

Color: Chipmunks fur is brownish in appearance with black, yellow and brown strips all the way from their head to tail and all over their body. The ground squirrel and squirrel are found in abundance have their fur is brown, gray or red. The tree squirrel will have no strips while the ground squirrel will have stripes only on the back.

Diet: Chipmunks are omnivorous and will eat just about anything from corn, seeds, fruits to earthworms, snails, frogs, bird eggs and small snakes. Squirrels, on the other hand, eat plant shoots, mushrooms, flowers, and buds. Squirrels do not hibernate in winters and while looking for more food they survive on their body fat reserve. Whereas chipmunks start gathering food from mid-summer to October. Also read How to get rid of chipmunks - Chipmunks facts and traps

Conclusion
Squirrels usually mind their own business and seem friendly when approached with food. Their main trait of taking seeds and burying them to eat later is a major factor in the forest ecosystem. They are also helping scientists in developing a new drug that could help in limiting brain damage that is caused by strokes. Scientists also follow and document tree squirrels to measure how well an ecosystem is doing. They also make excellent pets, especially the ones that have been rescued.

Hope you got all information about Squirrel Poop and Types of Squirrels. Thanks for reading the article.