Most of the members of this group are diurnal and solitary, like chipmunks, groundhogs and grey squirrels, while others are nocturnal and social, like flying squirrels.
NOTE: Though beavers are also rodents, per Maryland law they are unrehabilitable. Any injured or ill beavers should be reported to the local animal control.
- Any nestling found on the ground and cold. Grey and flying squirrels nest in trees; chipmunks and groundhogs nest on the ground. Though the mother will retrieve her young if she finds it missing, any baby found cold needs care.
- Any nestling with visible injuries.
- Any that were attacked by another animal, especially a cat.
- Any that were hit by a car or moving equipment.
- Any adults that are easy to approach and appear lethargic. PLEASE USE CAUTION – though rodents are not considered a vector species, they can contract and spread the rabies virus.
- Any young juvenile that is found approaching people or pets; it has been orphaned for at least a couple of days and needs care.
DO NOT RESCUE:
- Any injured squirrel that has escaped up a tree. Even injured, they can still be good climbers; call for advice.
- If you see the baby’s mother nearby. If you are too close to the baby, she may not feel safe enough to retrieve it. Watch from a safe distance to see if she collects her young; she may need several hours to find and retrieve her baby.
- Any young found in a nest in your attic, etc. To evict the litter, locate the nest site and place a small radio nearby and leave it on around the clock. The constant noise bothers the animals when they want to sleep, causing the mother to move her young to another, quieter location. When you are sure that all of the babies have been removed, find the entry location and patch it over to prevent another creature from moving in.
IF IT NEEDS REHABILITATION:
- BE CAREFUL! Rodents have sharp teeth and claws.
- DO NOT force feed any injured rodent. Unskilled hands can force food/water into the lungs and excess handling can cause shock and exacerbate the animal’s injuries.
- DO NOT feed any baby. Unskilled hands can force food/water into the lungs and an improper diet can be fatal.
See Transporting Wildlife. Keep it warm and quiet.