What is a squirrel's mating habits?
Knowing the squirrels mating habits is an important information for various reasons. First things first, since these animals are often protected by law, construction companies and other industries that affect wildlife with their work, are required to adjust their activities to the squirrel's mating and gestation period. On the other hand, knowledge of squirrels mating habits is also important for pest and animal removal activities, as it helps the experts to determine whether or not their client's estate is inhabited by a mother squirrel looking to shelter her babies.
Squirrels mating habits can vary depending on the species, and the gestational period as well. Most squirrels mate twice a year, once during the summer time and once towards the end of the winter time and the early spring time. In most of the squirrels species, once the female becomes ready to mate, males will either chase after her or they will compete for the right to mate with her. The exception to these general guidelines is the Fox Squirrel, which mates throughout the whole year. They carry their pregnancies anywhere between 25 and 44 weeks, depending on the species, and can bring a large number of young into the world. In fact, squirrels can give birth to anywhere from two to more than ten babies. Squirrel babies are called kittens, and what is in common to most squirrel species is that kittens become independent between one month and two months after they are born. These kittens usually remain to live relatively near the place they were born in, often no further than sever miles.
When she brings her kittens into the world, the mother squirrel will act extremely protective of them. If a mother squirrel feels her litter is in danger, it will become very defensive and aggressive. For this reason, disturbing squirrel nest which is inhabited by the mother and the litter is not recommended. Squirrels are also likely to store food supplies for the period of time they will not be able to leave the litter and head out to look for food. Since squirrels are mammals, they will breastfeed their babies until they are between four and eight months old. Once the kittens are grown enough, they will start to act more independently and separate from their mother. Once squirrel kittens become mature enough to live on their own, they will completely separate from their mother but continue to live in a relatively short distance from the place they were born.
It is not uncommon for squirrels to seek shelter in the human households during their gestation period. If a squirrel's natural habitat is endangered due to cold whether or deforestation, the mother squirrel might seek shelter in human homes and choose places like roofs, attics, basements and sheds to give birth to her kittens. Considering how a mother-squirrels behavior changes during this time, it is not recommended for people to disturb the litter or try to remove it on their own. Taking all the facts into consideration, the best decision for a homeowner would be to hire professional help in removing a mother squirrel and her litter from their home.
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