Tree Squirrel - Paraxerus cepapi

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Ground Squirrel - Xerus inauris | Tree Squirrel - Paraxerus cepapi

 


Afrikaans Boomeekhoring
Shona Tsindi Tswana Setlhora Shangaan Sindyane


Tracks
F 2cm
H 3cm

Distribution

Dung
1 cm

Male/Female Differences

Males are bigger than females. Male have a very large and conspicuous scrotum.

Habitat

Trees in savanna woodland and open areas.

Diet

Seeds, flowers, leaves, berries, fruit and bark, acacia gum, lichens, grass and insects.

Reproduction

They breed at any time of year with a peak in summer, producing litters of 1-3 young after a gestation of 53-57 days. Young emerge from the nest at 20 days and are weaned after 4 weeks. Sexually mature at 10 months.

Behavior and Habits

Tree squirrels live in groups of one or two adult males or females with sub adults and up to seven young. They sleep together in tree holes lined with grass or leaves. They groom one another and anal mark each other. Forages both in trees and on the ground. Active during the day, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. Group members recognize each other by their shared odor. Strangers are chased away from the group's nest hole and feeding areas. Group territories are defended by adult males and are scent marked by mouth wiping, urination and anal dragging by all group members.

Predators are mobbed with loud clicking calls  accompanied by tail flicking. When alarmed, tree squirrels flee to their nest or they hide in dense foliage or lie along the top of a branch. They climb around trunks of trees to keep the trunk between themselves and danger.

A female in season gives a seductive, prolonged, loud clicking call. She may be chased by several males which may include intruders to the territory. Males help groom the young. Families remain together until the offspring are sexually mature at 10 months old.

Sounds

A drawn out 'chuck-chuck-chuck' call given while sitting in a prominent position is probably a territorial advertisement.  Predators are mobbed with loud clicking calls that rise in intensity until they run together into a harsh rattle. A high-pitched whistle is an extreme alarm call. Also croaking noises and single "chucks"

Dung and Field sign

Dung 1cm long. Heaps of discarded shells and food fragments at feeding sites.


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