The Pallas' squirrel

Writer: Isaac Cohen  |  Editor: Shenzhen Daily  |  From: Shenzhen Daily

A Pallas’ squirrel is seen in a tree in Donghu Lake, Luohu District. Photos by Wang Haolan

The Pallas' squirrel

The red-bellied squirrel, also known as Pallas’ squirrel (Callosciurus erythraeus), is a beautiful medium-sized mammal that can be found in our city.


Its body is approximately 25 centimeters long, and it has a fluffy tail that is equally long. The fur is light brown, while the underbelly has a reddish hue, with some discolored brown on the tail that fades into red.


These squirrels are prevalent throughout China, including the islands of Taiwan and Hainan, and they thrive in forested areas at various elevations. Their diet mainly consists of seeds, fruits, flowers and leaves, but they have also been seen consuming insects and birds’ eggs.


Squirrels breed all year round, with pregnancy lasting for about 45 days. They become ready to mate again as soon as the first litter is prepared to leave the nest. After 12 months, young squirrels reach reproductive maturity, which helps stabilize their population.


A red-bellied squirrel is seen in Donghu Park.

It is crucial to maintain a complex and dynamic ecosystem to sustain species like the red-bellied squirrel. Birds and snakes are their primary predators, and many other mammals, birds and reptiles compete for resources.


Therefore, we must continue to protect our forests and parks to ensure that these and other species can live in our fantastic city for years to come.