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BC Conservation Data Centre: Species Summary

Tamiasciurus douglasii
Douglas's Squirrel

Scientific Name: Tamiasciurus douglasii (Bachman, 1839)
English Name: Douglas's Squirrel
English Name Synonyms: Douglas' Squirrel
Classification / Taxonomy
Scientific Name - Concept Reference: Hope, A. G., J. L. Malaney, K. C. Bell, F. Salazar-Miralles, A. S. Chavez, B. R. Barber, and J. A. Cook. 2016. Revision of widespread red squirrels (genus: Tamiasciurus) highlights the complexity of speciation within North American forests. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 100:170-182.
Classification Level: Species
Taxonomy Comments: Now includes Tamiasciurus mearnsi (Hope et al. 2016).
Species Group: Vertebrate Animal
Species Code: M-TADO
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Rodentia Sciuridae
Conservation Status / Legal Designation
Global Status: G5 (Apr 2016)
Provincial Status: S4S5 (Feb 2015)
BC List: Yellow
Provincial FRPA list:   
Provincial Wildlife Act:
SARA Schedule:
General Status Canada: 4 - Secure (2005)
Ecology & Life History
General Description:
Global Reproduction Comments: Most males reproductively active March-May. Females produce 1, perhaps 2, litters/year. Litter of 2-8, usually 4-6, young is born in May-June. Young first venture to ground in August. Families stay together much of first year.
Global Ecology Comments: Populations fluctuate with variations in food supply. Predators include bobcats, martens, coyotes, and large owls.
Migration Characteristics:
(Global / Provincial)
    Local Migrant:
    Distant Migrant:
    Within Borders Migrant:
Y /
N /
N /
na /
(Type / Subtype / Dependence)
Forest / Conifer Forest - Dry / Facultative - frequent use
Forest / Conifer Forest - Mesic (average) / Facultative - frequent use
Forest / Conifer Forest - Moist/wet / Facultative - frequent use
Forest / Deciduous/Broadleaf Forest / Facultative - frequent use
Forest / Mixed Forest (deciduous/coniferous mix) / Facultative - frequent use
Riparian / Riparian Forest / Facultative - frequent use
Global Habitat Comments: Coniferous forests, in upper pine belt and in fir, spruce, hemlock forests. Occurs from the Transition to the Hudsonian life zone. In Washington, populations generally were higher in old-growth than in younger forest (Buchanan et al. 1990). Makes nest of vegetation in tree in summer; roosts in tree holes in winter.
Food Habits: Frugivore: Adult, Immature
Granivore: Adult, Immature
Herbivore: Adult, Immature
Global Food Habits Comments: In spring feeds on new shoots of conifers, inner bark and developing needles; in summer, some green vegetation, fruits and berries. In fall eats seeds from conifer cones. May also eat tree sap, fungi, and nuts. Stores cones in log, burrow, etc
Global Phenology: Diurnal: Adult, Immature
Global Phenology Comments: Active throughout the year but usually remains in nest during severe weather. Daily activity begins at dawn and ends at sunset.
Provincial Phenology:
(1st half of month/
2nd half of month)
Colonial Breeder: N
Length(cm)/width(cm)/Weight(g): 36/ / 300
Elevation (m) (min / max): Global: 
Endemic: N
Global Range Comment: Southwestern British Columbia south through coast ranges, Cascades, and Sierra Nevada to southern California, and Sierra San Pedro Martir, northern Baja California, Mexico.
Authors / Contributors
Global Information Author: Hammerson, G.
Last Updated: Apr 13, 1993
Provincial Information Author:
Last Updated:
References and Related Literature
Banfield, A. W. F. 1974. The mammals of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada. 438 pp.
Buchanan, J. B., R. W. Lundquist, and K. B. Aubry. 1990. Winter populations of Douglas' squirrels in different-aged Douglas-fir forests. J. Wildl. Manage. 54:577-581.
Hafner, M. S., L. J. Barkley, and J. M. Chupasko. 1994. Evolutionary genetics of New World tree squirrels (tribe Sciurini). J. Mamm. 75:102-109.
Hall, E. R. 1981a. The Mammals of North America, second edition. Vols. I & II. John Wiley & Sons, New York, New York. 1181 pp.
Ingles, L. G. 1965. Mammals of the Pacific States. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
Jones, J. K., Jr., R. S. Hoffman, D. W. Rice, C. Jones, R. J. Baker, and M. D. Engstrom. 1992a. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 1991. Occasional Papers, The Museum, Texas Tech University, 146:1-23.
Lindsay, S. L. 1981. Taxonomic and biogeographic relationships of Baja California chickarees (TAMIASCIURUS). J. Mamm. 62:673-682.
Lindsay, S. L. 1982. Systematic relationship of parapatric tree squirrel species (Tamiasciurus) in the Pacific Northwest. Can. J. Zool. 60:2149-2156.
Maser, C., and Z. Maser. 1988. Interactions among squirrels, mycorrhizal fungi, and coniferous forests in Oregon. Great Basin Nat. 48:358-369.
Maser, C., B. R. Mate, J. F. Franklin, and C. T. Dyrness. 1981. Natural history of Oregon coast mammals. Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Expt. Sta., USDA, Forest Service, Gen Tech. Rep. PNW-133:1-496.
Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at:

Please visit the website Conservation Status Ranks for definitions of the data fields used in this summary report.

Suggested Citation:

B.C. Conservation Data Centre. 1993. Species Summary: Tamiasciurus douglasii. B.C. Minist. of Environment. Available: (accessed May 28, 2024).