Flora and fauna
in forest park Háj-Nicovô

Red squirrel

Sciurus vulgaris

Red squirrel

Classification: mammals
Size: 20 – 27 cm, tail 15 – 18 cm, 200 – 400 g
Lifespan: 5 – 6 years
Red List Category: LC – least concern

This species is perfectly suited to moving in the crowns of trees. Its strong fingers and claws help it to climb, while its fluffy tail serves as a wheel and parachute when maneuvering in the air. Its tail can make up to 75 percent of its total body’s surface area. It can jump up to 4 meters in distance, from tree to tree. Its coloring can be rusty, gray-brown, dark brown to black. Its ears are decorated with tufts.

It is a diurnal animal, most active in the morning and early evening. The squirrel spends most of its day looking for food. It belongs to the rodent family. Its food consists of various seeds, nuts, forest fruits, but also mushrooms. The squirrel is active also in winter. It does not hibernate, but its activity is reduced, especially in unfavorable weather. For winter, it stores food in tree hollows or the ground, which can be easily found, thanks to its good sense of smell and memory.

It lives in forests of various types but also parks, cemeteries, gardens, and old tree alleys. It builds nests in tree crowns out of twigs, moss, grass, and leaves. It also uses abandoned bird nests or tree hollows. Usually, squirrels give birth to 3-5 cubs twice a year. The squirrel is a loner who aggressively defends its territory of several tens of hectares from other genus members. Its biggest enemies are martens, hawks, and owls.

Do you know?
Squirrels were once hunted for their fur and fine meat. In some countries, its fur served as currency or part of a natural tax. Roasted squirrels often appeared on festive noble tables during feasts.

↑ Up