Although the European ground squirrel lives in burrows in loosely structured populations, it is not an exceptionally social or territorial species (2). In common with all ground-dwelling squirrels, it is mostly active during the hours of sunlight, devoting most of its attention to foraging for food. Roots, seeds, shoots and flowers comprise the bulk of this species’ diet, but occasionally small invertebrates will also be taken (1) (4). However, as an important part of the food chain itself, it is commonly preyed upon by larger predators such as polecats and birds of prey (5) (6). During the summer months, there is a rise in foraging activity as each ground squirrel attempts to accumulate as much stored fat as possible before the onset of hibernation (2). Unlike many other ground squirrels, it does not stock-pile food but must rely on doubling its body mass to see it through the long winter (2) (3). Entering hibernation near the beginning of September, European ground squirrels do not appear from the underground burrows again until late March. Soon after emerging there is a scramble amongst the males to gain access to the reproductively active females. This period of breeding lasts three to four weeks, with each female mating with only one male. Following 25 days of development in the womb, the females give birth to a litter of 4 to 11 young which receive milk for around 30 days before being weaned. The young reach maturity after the following hibernation, but not all will breed in their first year (3).