Squirrels are lovely rodents, hence many people choose them as a pet. However, the vast majority of these species of the Sciuridae family have been listed as invasive species with danger to the terrestrial habitats and ecosystems of the world. In addition to reproducing at a good pace, squirrels are species with great colonizing potential.
As with other placental mammals, the reproductive habits of squirrels, the number of offspring they can have per litter, the gestation time and other aspects, vary from one species to another, although with some similarities.
Gestation Periods for Squirrels
The gestation time of squirrels is strongly determined by the size of the squirrel species. Larger squirrels (gray squirrels, fox squirrels) usually have a gestation period ranging from 38 to 46 days, while the smallest squirrels see their young born before they turn 30 days old (such as the spotted suslik). Exotic tropical and African species can become the exception to the rule, with a maximum gestation time of up to 65 days.
The gestation of squirrels takes place in a very short time, especially when it comes to very small species. At the end of pregnancy, the females gain quite a lot of weight and find it difficult to leave the nest. They also get aggressive with any intrusion, so if it is a pet you must suppress your curiosity and leave it alone during the last days of gestation.
For the nest, it is usual for squirrels that live in the wild to choose a burrow in the ground or the hollowness of a tree. Domestic squirrels can use a nest that you provide, but it is important during pregnancy not to contaminate it because if the female perceive another smell she can leave it.
What is the Gestation Period for Squirrels?
The gestation period for squirrels is 25 – 45 days. This is because the squirrel gestation period varies from species to species. Common species of squirrels and their gestation periods are as follows:
|Red Squirrel||40 days|
|Ground Squirrel||29 days|
|Fox Squirrel||45 days|
|Flying Squirrel||40 days|
|Gray Squirrel||44 days|