The common eastern gray squirrel can live up to 12.5 years in the wild or 20 years in captivity. Other species have differing life spans; for instance, the southern flying squirrel lives for 5 to 6 years in the wild and up to 10 years in captivity.
There are around 285 living species of squirrels, including tree squirrels, ground squirrels, flying squirrels, chipmunks and prairie dogs. Squirrels are prey animals with a wide variety of predators, including foxes, coyotes, hawks, bobcats, lynxes, wolves and weasels. In urban areas, many are also struck by automobiles. All of these hazards tend to keep their life spans short.