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Showing posts from March, 2015

Everything is BLOOMING - soon the Ground Squirrel Population will be BOOMING!

A Little Lesson on
Ground Squirrel Reproduction
To better understand the pending ground squirrel boom, 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 from December - April. The further south, the sooner the ground squirrels start breeding. After 25-30 days gestation, the female has a litter of 1-…