The European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) is found in eastern Europe from southern Ukraine to Asia Minor, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and north as far as Poland but the range is divided into two parts by the Carpathian Mountains.
It is a diurnal animal, living in colonies of individual burrows in pastures or grassy embankments. The squirrels emerge during the day to feed upon seeds, plant shoots, and roots or flightless invertebrates. The colonies maintain sentinels who whistle at the sight of a predator, bringing the pack scurrying back to safety.
Breeding takes place in early summer when a single litter of five to eight young are borne. The European ground squirrel hibernates between autumn and March, the length of time depending on the climate. In preparation, they will build up reserves of brown fat during the late summer.
European Ground Squirrel
Prevost's Squirrel or Asian Tri-colored Squirrel (Callosciurus prevostii) is a colorful species and found in forests in the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, and nearby smaller islands. It can live in somewhat disturbed habitats and often visits plantations or gardens. It mostly feeds on plant material, especially fruits, but also takes insects.
The Grey-bellied Squirrel (Callosciurus caniceps) is found in forests, plantations, and gardens in Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, southern Myanmar, southern China (Yunnan), and possibly western Laos. The Grey-bellied Squirrel occurs in a variety of habitats including primary and secondary forests, disturbed habitats, and mature parks and gardens. It is generally not shy and may approach close to human habitation. Its diet comprises fruits, seeds, flowers, and insects.
The upper side of the body is olive-brown, and the belly light grey or silvery. The long tail is thick with fur, sometimes with vague grey banding and sometimes a black tip. In some forms, there is a reddish wash on the flanks. During the dry season, the upperside turns orange-brown, thus the species is sometimes referred to as the Golden-backed Squirrel.
The Variegated Squirrel (Sciurus variegatoides) is a tree squirrel and found in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, southern Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama. It is a medium-sized squirrel; the head-and-body length is about 260 mm with a tail of much the same length. It weighs about 500 g. Several subspecies differ in appearance and there is often a considerable variation between the appearances of individuals in the same population. The dorsal coloration varies between dark brown to yellowish-grey. The neck tends to be darker than other parts and there is often a paler patch behind the ears. The underparts are usually some shade of cinnamon. The tail is long and densely bushy; in Mexico, it is black, sometimes with white tips to the hairs giving it a frosted appearance. In Nicaragua and Costa Rica, some individuals have pale underparts and tails.
The Indian Palm Squirrel or Three-striped Palm squirrel (Funambulus palmarum) is found naturally in India (south of the Vindhyas) and Sri Lanka. These squirrels eat mainly nuts and fruits. They are fairly vocal, with a cry that sounds like "chip chip chip" when danger is present. They are opportunists in urban areas and can be easily tamed and trained to accept food from humans. Naturally active, their activity reaches levels of frenzy during the mating season. They tend to be very protective of their food sources, often guarding and defending them from birds and other squirrels.