Squirrels are naturally energetic creatures. They engage in various activities on land or in trees, including climbing, hopping, and chewing on their preferred meal, which some people find endearing. With this in mind, many people wonder how long do squirrels live.
Squirrels kept in captivity also live longer lives than wild animals substantially. Most squirrels do not survive their first year! Squirrels can live for an average of 6 to 11 years in the wild if they survive the first year. Their breed has a significant impact on their life expectancy. Some of them have lived for up to 24 years when maintained in captivity.
Squirrels are members of the Sciuridae animal family, which contains small and medium-sized rodents. Ground squirrels (which include prairie dogs and chipmunks), tree squirrels, and flying squirrels are all squirrel family members.
The rear limbs of most squirrel species are longer than the forelimbs, and all species have four or five toes on each foot. The feet have soft pads on the undersides and adaptable, sturdy claws for gripping and climbing, have gentle pads on the undersides, and adaptable and sturdy claws for grasping and climbing.
Unlike other mammals, Tree squirrels can descend a tree headfirst. They accomplish this by turning their ankles 180 degrees, allowing their hind feet to point backward and grip the tree bark from the other direction.
Squirrels may be found in nearly every habitat, from tropical rainforest to semiarid desert, except for the higher polar regions and the driest deserts. They are mostly herbivorous, living on seeds and nuts, but many may consume insects and even small vertebrates.
Life Span of Squirrels in the Wild vs. Captivity
A squirrel reaches maturity at roughly nine months, at which point adolescent squirrels leave their nests to form their own territories. Squirrels live anywhere from 6 to 11 years in the wild. A squirrel’s average lifespan is most likely substantially shorter.
Most wild squirrels are predicted to survive little longer than eighteen months due to diseases, human interaction, and predation. Food is also an important role in our survival. Squirrels, like humans, require food to survive. A malnourished squirrel may die before attaining the average lifespan.
However, in captivity, they can live their entire lives thanks to continual care and medicine.
Who are the Main Predators of Squirrel?
Coyotes, rattlesnakes, black snakes, red foxes, grey wolves, weasels, hawks, and bobcats are squirrels’ main predators.
What are the Most Common Diseases That Squirrels Get?
Squirrels are more vulnerable to squirrel pox. The disease is distinguished by rapid loss of body condition and primarily affects red squirrels. Grey squirrels have long been carriers of the squirrel pox virus.
Other diseases that can affect a squirrel include Tularemia, leptospirosis, and Lyme disease. Furthermore, these rodents can be hosts to various internal and external parasites.
Nematodes, ticks, flesh flies, fleas, single-celled coccidia, flatworms, and trypanosomes are examples of such parasites.
What are the Most Important Survival Skills of a Squirrel?
While their small stature and high mortality rate make it difficult to tell, squirrels are highly intelligent and formidable. True, many children do not survive their first two years of life, but they learn critical survival skills.
Squirrels learn via observation. They study many species to learn how to survive. They can, for example, learn to look both ways before crossing the street and to forage and hide effectively.
Squirrels are also swift and agile. They are quick to respond and do not hesitate to make decisions. Unfortunately, their speed can be fatal, especially if they flee into oncoming traffic.
So Then How Long Do Squirrels Live? The Squirrels Life Span Chart
|Squirrel Type||In the Wild (Years)||When in Captivity ( Years)|
|American Red Squirrel||2-6||2-8|
|Mexican fox squirrel||3-8||11|
|Uinta ground squirrel||3-5||7|
|Indian giant squirrel||10-12||20|
|Richardson’s ground squirrel||2-4||6|
|Columbian ground squirrel||3-6||6-8|
|Northern flying squirrel||4-5||10|
|Thirteen-lined ground squirrel||2-4||6|
|Southern Flying Squirrels||3-5||10|
|New World flying squirrel||3-5||8-10|
|Eastern Fox Squirrels||8||18|
|Western Gray Squirrels||12||20|
|Indian palm squirrel||1-2||5|
|Wyoming ground squirrel||3-4||5|
|Eastern Gray Squirrel||12-18||12-24|
So How Long Do Squirrels Live? When you go through the above list of 30 common squirrels’ type’s average life span, it would have cleared all your doubts.
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