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20 February 2020

Squirrels of Namibia

Namibia: Squirrels of Namibia, 20 February 2020. Images from NamPost and Delcampe.

Technical Specifications:

Issued on: 2020-02-20
Colors: Multicolor
Printing: Offset lithography
Denominations: Postcard Rate, Registered Mail, Inland Registered Mail

Damara Ground Squirrel (Xerus princeps)

The mountain ground squirrel (Xerus princeps) is a rodent that is native to southwestern Angola, western Namibia, and western South Africa. It is also known as the Kaoko ground squirrel or the Damara ground squirrel.

It is the closest relative of the Cape ground squirrel (Xerus inauris), which is so similar in appearance that the two are difficult to distinguish in the field. Both species have long bushy black and white tails with a white stripe from the shoulder towards the rump. Xerus princeps is slightly larger, on average, than X. inauris, although there is considerable overlap in body size. Differences in skull morphology also distinguish the two species, and the incisors are yellow to orange rather than white as in X. inauris.

Mountain ground squirrels are strictly diurnal. Adult females may live alone or in small family groups, while males are mostly solitary. In contrast to the Cape Ground Squirrel, they are not known to exhibit play behaviors, allogrooming, or other social behaviors. They build burrows in areas with sparse cover. In the daytime, they may range up to 1 km (0.6 mi) from the home burrow in search of food.

Striped Tree Squirrel (Funisciurus congicus)

The Congo rope squirrel (Funisciurus congicus) is a species of rodent in the family Sciuridae. It is found in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Namibia. Its natural habitats are moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, and rocky areas.

Tree Squirrel (Paraxerus cepapi)

Smith’s bush squirrel (Paraxerus cepapi), also known as the yellow-footed squirrel or tree squirrel, is an African bush squirrel which is native to woodlands of the southern Afrotropics. It is found in Angola, Botswana, the DRCongo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It is a common rodent which is diurnal by nature.

Its total length is 350 mm, half of which is tail. This species only weighs 200 g. The coat colour varies throughout the region. In the western and arid parts of its range, it is pale grey, and in the eastern localities, more brown. Its head and legs are a rusty colour. Coloration on the chest varies from yellowish to buff in the east, to white in the west. This squirrel’s belly is white. These alert and ever busy creatures carry their long tails extended backwards.

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