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Showing posts from April, 2014

Where Do Ground Squirrels Come From? - The Ground Squirrel Sex Talk

A Ground Squirrel Explosion?!! This is the time of year that we start getting desperate calls for help. It seems like overnight, orchards, fields, parks and yards are overrun with ground squirrels. To better understand the situation we need to talk about sex...ground squirrel reproduction that is. Their mating system is officially called: polygynandrous. That means they are promiscuous litter critters that mate with up to 4 others. If you were wondering why you haven't seen them on their dates, it's because they copulate underground.  When ground squirrels emerge from hibernation the first thing on their mind is sex. Is it surprising that the males emerge a few weeks earlier than the females? They just can't wait.  This is their big chance because the females only produce one litter per year. (I've heard from a few biologists that they sometimes mate again if they lose their litter, but I can't find that in writing.) In California, breeding season runs fro