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European ground squirrel

Spermophilus citellus


The European ground squirrel is about the size of a brown rat, with an adult measuring 20 to 23 cm (8 to 9 in) and a weight of 240 to 340 g (8.5 to 12.0 oz). It has a slender build with a short bushy tail. The short dense fur is yellowish-grey, tinged with red, with a few indistinct pale and dark spots on the back. The underside is pale with a sandy-coloured abdomen. The large dark eyes are placed high on the head and the small, rounded ears are hidden in the fur. The dental formula is 1/1, 0/0, 2/1, 3/3. The legs are powerful with sharp claws well adapted for digging. Males are slightly larger than females otherwise they look alike.[3][4] The European ground squirrel has a shrill alarm call that will cause all other individuals in the vicinity to dive for cover. It also makes various soft chirruping and growling noises.[3] The European ground squirrel could be confused with the speckled ground squirrel which occurs in Poland (Lublin Voivodeship), Romania, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, but that species has dark brown fur spotted with white and a thin tail and lives in areas with coarser vegetation.[5]

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DoinaRussu 7 years ago

Thank you very much, Daniele! I am honored!

DanielePralong 7 years ago

Congratulations Doina! Your lovely spotting has been chosen for Project Noah Fact of the Day: "Sightings of the European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) indicate that spring has returned to central and southeastern Europe. This species and the Speckled Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus suslicus) are the only representatives of the genus Spermophilus in Europe. The European Ground Squirrel requires a very specific habitat of short grass steppes and pastures. It is classified as “vulnerable” on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List. One of the threats faced by the European Ground Squirrel is the conversion of steppes and pastures to cultivated fields and forestry. Although there are some local stable sub-populations its overall population is in serous decline.

European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus), spotted in Romania by Project Noah user DoinaRussu"

DoinaRussu 7 years ago

Mark, almost....:))

DoinaRussu 7 years ago

Daniele, de tout mon coeur! :) >D<

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 years ago

Doing a koala impersonation. :)

DanielePralong 7 years ago

Merci Doina :-) Multumesc :-)

DoinaRussu 7 years ago

Thank you so much, Hema Shah! >D<

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 7 years ago

Beautiful!! Welcome back Donna!

DoinaRussu 7 years ago

Dedication to Daniele Pralong :)

Spotted by


Spotted on Apr 19, 2015
Submitted on Apr 22, 2015

Spotted for Mission

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