ENVIRONMENT YUKON






Red Squirrel

Tamiascurus hudsonicus

Order Rodentia
Family

Sciuridae

 

Red Squirrel crouching

YG - C. McClelland

Also known as: Chickaree, North American Red Squirrel, Pine Squirrel

Fast Facts

Distribution in Yukon
Length 30 cm Distribution of Red Squirrels in Yukon
Weight 280 g
Lifespan 6 years
Habitat
Predators Birds of prey, lynx, Coyotes, wolves, Ermine, marten, Fisher

Conservation Status

Yukon S5 (Secure)
Global G5 (Secure)
Yukon population estimate:  Common

 

Description

Behaviour

Red Squirrels are solitary, territorial rodents. They are active by day and can be observed racing up and down tree trunks, clinging to the undersides of branches, and leaping  to the ground. When on the ground, Red Squirrels stay close to familiar trees that offer escape routes from predators. They build oval nests of dried grasses and secure them firmly into the forks of tree branches. Red squirrels mate in early spring and females generally have one litter per year.  In autumn, red squirrels collect thousands of spruce and pine cones and hoard them underground in a central storage depot called a midden. The seeds from the cones are a Red Squirrel’s main food source and allow them to remain active all winter long. The midden is partially composed of old cone bracts discarded by the squirrel over many years. Red Squirrels readily defend their caches from other squirrels.

Diet

Conifer seeds, buds, flowers, mushrooms, lichens, berries, bird eggs, insects, mice.

Sights and sounds

sheep scat

Midden at the base of a tree

Scat

Oval pellet (1.5 - 2 cm)

Signs

Cone midden

 

Squirrel tracks

Alternative content - radio interview

Tracks

Front: 3x1.9 cm Hind: 4.5x2.5 cm

Sound

Chirping

 

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