What is the Lifespan of a Squirrel? You May Not Know

what is the life span of a squirrel

Knowing a squirrel’s lifespan is useful whether you want one as a pet or are simply interested in how long the invaders in your yard will stay there. The lifespan of a squirrel and the factors influencing it will be discussed in this article.

Rodents called squirrels have done a good job of adjusting to life in cities. They are quite resilient due to their curiosity and capacity to find food in a variety of situations. Additionally, squirrels have a fairly long lifespan when compared to other rodent species. A squirrel’s lifespan typically ranges from two to four years, but it can change depending on a number of different factors.

Today, we’ll talk about the average lifespan of a squirrel, how it differs from other rodents’ life cycles, and how it varies among squirrel species.

How Long Do Squirrels Live?

In the wild, squirrels typically live between five and ten years. Species have a big influence on how long people live. Why might this be? Some squirrel species can live for a very long time without predators thanks to their geographic location and genetic makeup.

American Red Squirrel

Given their short stature, American red squirrels often reside in Canada or the extreme northeast of the United States. They are among the shortest mammals in North America.

Although they can live up to eight years old, the majority of wild ones only reach two. The males of this species actually tend to live longer than the females, which sets them apart from other species in a small but significant way. The amount is minimal and only extends by a few weeks.

Fox Squirrel

what is the life span of a squirrel

The most prevalent variety of squirrels in North America is the fox squirrel, which is distinguished by its rich, chestnut brown coloring.

Although they can live to be 18 years old, the oldest wild squirrels were found to be 8 years old for males and 13 years old for females.

Southern Flying Squirrel

In the world of squirrels, the southern flying squirrel is a bit unusual. Only one flying squirrel exists in North America, and it only has a lifespan of three to five years.

Eastern Gray Squirrel

When trying to imagine a typical squirrel, many Americans may think of this species, which is typically found throughout the Midwest. It’s adorable and furry, and in the right conditions, it can live for 12 to 24 years.

Black Squirrel

An all-black squirrel might occasionally be seen, especially in the Midwest. In reality, they result from various levels of melanin in the animal’s body rather than being a distinct species.

They usually have a different hair color and are either eastern gray or fox squirrels. The average lifespan is about 6 years in the wild or 18 years in captivity.

Let’s examine the typical life cycle of squirrels in different parts of the world.

Squirrel Life Cycle

The rodent family Sciuridae includes squirrel members. The presence of small- to medium-sized rodents in this family distinguishes it. The Sciuridae family of rodents includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and red squirrels in addition to a larger group of rodents.

At Birth

Baby squirrels are born hairless and blind after a 39–44 day gestation period. Three to five kits make up a typical litter. Some squirrels may nurse for up to twelve weeks before weaning off and leaving the nest; they must remain dependent on their mother for at least six weeks.


Adolescent squirrels leave their nests to establish their own territories when they are nine months old, which is the approximate age of maturity. Squirrels have a lifespan of five to ten years in the wild.

Though the average lifespan of a squirrel is probably much shorter, they can live for five to ten years in the wild. According to estimates, the majority of wild squirrels do not survive past the age of eighteen months due to diseases, human contact, and predators.

Factors That Affect a Squirrel’s Lifespan

what is the life span of a squirrel

The lifespan of a squirrel can be impacted by a number of things. One of the most crucial elements that affect how long they can live is habitat. Living in an urban setting, like in a person’s backyard, is very different from living in the grasslands, where there are numerous predators and few opportunities to find food.

Here are common factors that affect squirrel’s longevity:


The lifespan of different species of squirrels depends on their natural habitat. For instance, red squirrels typically only live for about a year before passing away from starvation or predators before they can reproduce.

In addition to lifespan, a squirrel’s habitat has an impact on how big it gets. High in the mountains and in extremely cold climates, squirrels have a tendency to grow large, like the giant flying squirrel, whereas those living in warmer climates are much smaller.


The species of a squirrel is another factor that influences how long it lives; some squirrels live longer than others. For instance, Eastern Grey Squirrels typically live three to four years, while Fox Squirrels typically live four to six years.


How long a squirrel life depends in part on the climate of the region where it lives. As a result of being unable to store as much fat as their warmer-climate counterparts, squirrels that live in colder climates live shorter lives and are less likely to mature into adulthood as well as become vulnerable to predators.

Level of Predation

what is the life span of a squirrel

Like all other animals, a squirrel’s life is most at risk from predator attacks. They are most commonly preyed upon by owls and hawks. Squirrels are also prey for animals like weasels, foxes, and skunks. Rattlesnakes and black snakes are among their predators as well, but these tend to target baby squirrels instead of adult ones.


Diseases that could reduce a squirrel’s lifespan can also affect them. Scabs on the body and damage to the nervous system, for instance, can result from squirrel pox and usually result in paralysis, seizures, and death.

Squirrels can also get a disease that doesn’t kill them, but it shortens their lives by sending them down a bad path. For instance, some illnesses make it difficult for an animal to move around, making it impossible for it to scavenge food.

Human Intervention

The survival of squirrels has also been known to be impacted by people, depending on their own objectives and motives. While many people enjoy their presence, others don’t particularly like it (especially when they cause property damage).

The habitat that is available can be drastically reduced by deforestation, which makes it more challenging for squirrels to access essential resources like food and shelter.

Where Do Squirrels Live?

Tree, ground, and flying types of squirrels can all be distinguished. Tree squirrels typically make nests between the crooks of branches or live in burrows within trees. Naturally, ground squirrels live underground, usually in self-made, dug-out burrows.

Squirrels that can fly are an exception. To avoid predators, some live in tree holes, others create nests, and still, others move to a new location every night. Since they can move from tree to tree using their “wings,” this is an excellent survival mechanism.

Conclusion: Squirrel Lifespans Vary

Squirrels are amazing animals! Their lifespans are quite variable and influenced by a wide range of factors. Between species, sexes, habitats, and geographical locations, their life expectancy varies. One of the rodent family’s longest lifespans belongs to them.

The lifespan of a squirrel depends on a number of factors. They are tough creatures that typically outlive their rodent counterparts, barring attacks from predators or infections with fatal diseases.

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