Sciurus carolinensis

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Sciurus carolinensis (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Keven Law
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin 1788 - (North American grey squirrel)

The squirrel is native in North America and invasive in some parts of Europe, South Africa and Australia (from where it has been subsequently eradicated). It was released in the UK in 1889 and has replaced the European red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) in many parts of that country. It has also invaded Ireland and Italy (first record in 1948) where populations are expanding.

Apart from competition between the larger grey squirrel and the red squirrel, it has been suggested that grey squirrels initiate epidemics of squirrel pox in red squirrel populations (Chantrey et al., 2014). This disease is asymptomatic in grey squirrels, but usually lethal in red squirrels.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Grauhörnchen
• English: North American grey squirrel
eastern grey squirrel
• Español: ardilla de las Carolinas
• Français: écureuil gris

With a body length of 25-30 cm and a tail of 20-25 cm it is larger than the red squirrel. Apart from its grey colour (the belly is whitish), it also lacks the tufts on the ears. It lives for up to 20 years in captivity and typically has 2 litters of 2-4 each during one year.

For details see the respective page in Wikipedia.