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Indian giant squirrel

  Apr 07, 2018

Indian giant squirrel

The Indian giant squirrel, or Malabar giant squirrel, is a large tree squirrel species native to India. It is a large-bodied diurnal, arboreal, and mainly herbivorous squirrel found in South Asia.
The Indian giant squirrel is an upper-canopy dwelling species, which rarely leaves the trees, and requires tall profusely branched trees for the construction of nests. The Giant Squirrel is mostly active in the early hours of the morning and in the evening, resting in the midday. They are typically solitary animals that only come together for breeding. The species is believed to play a substantial role in shaping the ecosystem of its habitat by engaging in seed dispersal.
The species is endemic to deciduous, mixed deciduous, and moist evergreen forests of peninsular India, reaching as far north as the Satpura hill range of Madhya Pradesh (approx. 22° N).
The Indian Giant Squirrel lives alone or in pairs. They build large globular nests of twigs and leaves, placing them on thinner branches where large predators can't get to them. These nests become conspicuous in deciduous forests during the dry season. An individual may build several nests in a small area of forest which are used as sleeping quarters, with one being used as a nursery.
Captive breeding of the Malayan giant squirrel has shown positive results. In Canara, the Indian Giant Squirrel has been spotted with young ones recently.