ground squirrels

ex03111July 16, 2006

i think the problem of not having ground squirrels around after trapping them and then they"seem" to come back is that they never leave at all....When ground squirrels hibernate, they go into their dens to sleep through the cold of winter. They usually hibernate five to six months of the year. Their body temperatures drop so that they are only about one or two degrees higher than the temperature outside. The body temperature drops below the freezing point of water. Their breathing and heart beats slow down. A ground squirrel¡¦s heart will beat only a few times in a minute during hibernation. Every week or so, the squirrels wake up for about 12-20 hours and then go into hibernation again. Some ground squirrels don't hibernate if they are in climates where the winters don't get too cold. Hibernation is the animal's way to adapt to things it can't change like weather or not having food available. When it's time to stop hibernating, the squirrel¡¦s body temperature rises just as fast as it went down in the beginning.

Some squirrels estivate, which is like a summer hibernation. Estivation happens when animals are in a hot climate and need to get away from the heat. An example of ground squirrel estivation is the Mohave ground squirrel that lives in the Mojave Desert in California. They sleep for about seven months a year in burrows when the air temperature gets above 98 degrees Fahrenheit. They might go to sleep anytime from June to September and stay asleep until February. Older squirrels go to sleep before the younger ones because they are less active and don't need to store as much food to make it through hibernation. Mojave Desert squirrels also have times when the weather cools and they go into a little torpor. They get less active if the air temperature drops below 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

Males usually go into estivation first because they don't need to store as much food as the females do. Females need to feed their babies before their bodies store fat. After they come out of estivation, ground squirrels have a litter of babies. There might be seven or eight babies in the litter. The young squirrels stay in the burrow for about six weeks. I hope this info helps...

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Ground squirrels are a different genus than chipmunks. Ground squirrels ( genus spermophilis) hibernate during the winter, chipmunks ( genus tamias) do not.
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 11:51AM
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