Japanese Squirrel

Japanese Squirrel

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Sciurus lis
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
12-14 yrs
WEIGHT
250-310 g
LENGTH
160-220 mm

Japanese squirrels belong to tree squirrels which means they live in trees. They have bushy tails, large tufted ears, and sharp claws. Their fur color changes depending on the season. In summer, it is red-orange and in winter the fur becomes gray or light-brown and white under the chin and on the belly.

Distribution

Japanese squirrels are found in East Asia. They are native to Japan. Their range includes the islands of Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Japanese squirrels inhabit lowland to subalpine mixed-species forests and pine forests.

Japanese Squirrel habitat map

Geography

Continents
Subcontinents
Countries

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Japanese squirrels are diurnal creatures. They are usually active in the early morning, and during the day they like to sleep in a tree. They live in nests which they build in trees and then switch between them. These squirrels don't hebirnate. To prepare for the winter they store nuts and seeds in their caches. Sometimes they forget locations of the caches they made and may found caches of a different squirrel which they don't hesitate to steal. Japanese squirrels are generally solitary, but during the winter adults may nest together. There is a social hierarchy among males and females; older and heavier individuals are usually more dominant and have larger home ranges.

Lifestyle
Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Japanese squirrels are mainly herbivorous animals. They feed on seeds, nuts, young leaves, flowers and fruits. Sometimes they can also eat insects and fungi.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
February-March; May-June
PREGNANCY DURATION
39-40 days
BABY CARRYING
2-6 kittens
INDEPENDENT AGE
62 days
FEMALE NAME
doe
MALE NAME
buck
BABY NAME
pup, kit, kitten

The mating habits of Japanese squirrels are unknown. Tese animals breed from February to March and May to June. Females give birth to 2-6 kittens. The gestation period usually lasts around 39-40 days. Females nurse their young until they reach 62 days of age. Females reach reproductive maturity at around 296 days old and males at 320 days old.

Population

Population threats

One of the factors affecting the local extinction of Japanese squirrels in Kyushu island is forest fragmentation by humans.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources do not provide the Japanese squirrel total population size. This animal is common throughout its known range. Currently this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.

References

1. Japanese Squirrel on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_squirrel
2. Japanese Squirrel on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/20014/115155004

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