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Sciurus nayaritensis

Mexican Fox Squirrel

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Sciurus nayaritensis
Sciurus nayaritensis - summer coloration, left; winter coloration, right
Click to enlarge. (80 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Mexican Fox Squirrels are large but secretive, and though they spend much of their time on the ground, can be difficult to find at any season. They do not store food or bury nuts. They vocalize—with raspy alarm calls, sometimes followed by a screech—only when safely established in a tree, but they are not as adept at climbing as other tree squirrels. The young frequently fall out of trees, and even adults are clumsy, sometimes slipping when they are scurrying up or down trunks or along branches. When they sense danger, their usual behavior is to freeze. Females usually have one litter of 2-3 young each year; the development of the young has not been documented.

Also known as:
Nayarit Squirrel, Apache Squirrel, Chiricahua Mountain Squirrel, Apache Fox Squirrel, Chiricahua Nayarit Squirrel

Sexual Dimorphism:
Females are slightly larger than males.

Average: 554 mm
Range: 495-613 mm

Average: 684 g males; 707 g females


Allen, J.A., 1889.  Notes on a collection of mammals from southern Mexico, with descriptions of new species of the genera Sciurus, Tamias, and Sigmodon, p. 167.  Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 2:165-181.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Sciurus nayaritensis