Indian palm squirrel
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Native to India and neighbouring countries, palm squirrels are bushy-tailed squirrels with prominent stripes.
Five species of Indian palm squirrel exist. The three-striped palm squirrel and five-striped palm squirrel are among India’s most abundant small mammals. They are major pests of fruit crops (including mangoes), and consume the eggs of native birds. A naturalised population of the five-striped squirrel (Funambulus pennantii) exists in Perth, Western Australia.
Indian palm squirrels are suited to large areas of Queensland and could establish here if introduced. To prevent Indian palm squirrels from establishing in Queensland, restrictions apply to their import, possession and sale.
You must not keep, feed, move, give away, sell or release into the environment. Penalties may apply.
You must report all sightings to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours.
- Five-striped palm squirrel, northern palm squirrel, three-striped palm squirrel, jungle-striped squirrel
- Small mammal with body 225-400mm long (size, weight and colour vary across species).
- Backs have prominent stripes.
- Tails are bushy.
- Ears are small and triangular.
- Incisor teeth are chisel-sharp.
- Movements are erratic.
- Preferred habitats vary for each species, but include dry forest, rainforest, scrub, grassland, urban areas, and parks and gardens.
- Three-striped and five-striped palm squirrels are well suited to urban areas, plantations and open rural areas.
- Not yet recorded in Queensland.
- Life expectancy from 18 months (wild) to 6 years (captivity).
- Sexually mature at 9 months.
- Breeds August-May with peaks in October and April.
- Can have 2 litters per year of 1-5 young.
- Various fruit crops (including citrus and stone fruits) and various vegetable crops.
- Eats native bird eggs.
- Could compete with native gliders for resources.
- Could damage fruit crops such as mango, apples, pineapples and grapes.
- Urban nuisance and scavenger.
If you see or are in possession of an Indian palm squirrel, please contact our Customer Service Centre within 24 hours.
- The Indian palm squirrel is a prohibited invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
- You must not keep, feed, move, give away, sell or release into the environment. Penalties may apply.
- You must not take any action reasonably likely to exacerbate the biosecurity threat posed by Indian palm squirrels.
- You must take any action that is reasonably likely to minimise the biosecurity threat posed by Indian palm squirrels. You must report all sightings to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours.
- Contact the Customer Service Centre
- Indian palm squirrel risk assessment (PDF, 1.9MB)
- Indian palm squirrel pest alert (PDF, 600KB)
- Prohibited pets fact sheet (PDF, 2.4MB)
- Last reviewed: 1 Sep 2021
- Last updated: 2 Sep 2021