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Barbary ground squirrel

Februari 13, 2016

The barbary ground squirrel (Atlantoxerus getulus) is a ground squirrel species found in western Algeria, Morocco, and northern Western Sahara. They have also been introduced to the Canary Islands.

These squirrels have two white stripes running down their back. Their hair is thick and long. They have a relatively large head with small ears, and they weigh 300-350 grams.

The barbary ground squirrel inhabits rocky areas and open spaces, especially mountain slopes and deserts. They live in burrows dug under stone walls or rocks near vegetation. They are omnivorous, feeding on seeds, nuts, fruit, vegetables, insects, snails, and small birds.

Not much is known about their reproductive habits, except that they breed twice a year, and up to four young are born per litter.

The IUCN lists the barbary ground squirrel as “least concern”, because they are widespread throughout their range, and there are no major threats. In the Canary island of Fuerteventura, these squirrels are tame enough to be hand-fed.

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