Idaho ground squirrel

Spermophilus brunneus


Spermophilus brunneus Howell, 1928, Adams County, New Meadows, Idaho. Two subspecies.



8.2-10.2 in (20.9-25.8 cm), 3.5-4.6 oz (99-131 g). Brown with small white spots. Legs, nose, and underneath of tail are rufous. Has prominent whitish eye ring.


Endemic to west central Idaho, United States. HABITAT

Northern population lives in xeric meadows at 3,800-5,100 ft (1,150-1,550 m) surrounded by forest of Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. Southern population lives in xeric meadows at 2,200-3,200 ft (670-975 m). Digs burrows often under rocks and logs in well-drained soils.


An asocial species in which there is no association between males and females except for breeding. Young of both sexes disperse within several days after emerging from their natal chambers. The southern population at lower elevation is active above ground from late January-early February to late June-early July. The season is approximately 6-8 weeks later at the northern high elevation population.


Preferences for herbaceous leaves, flowers, bulbs and grasses. Diet shifts towards seeds later in the season. Will eat invertebrates and fungi.


Mating occurs shortly after emergence from hibernation. During the breeding season, males over two years old guard sexually receptive females from other males until they are mated, then they may search for other receptive females. Gestation is approximately three weeks and litters are weaned in approximately another three weeks. Average litter size is five but can be as high as 10.


The IUCN has classified the northern population (S. b. brun-neus) as Critically Endangered, and the southern population (S. b. endemicus) as Vulnerable. According to Sherman and Runge in 2002, who studied the northern population from 1987 to

1999, the likely explanation for its collapse is a combination of fire suppression, exotic grasses, drying, and grazing that have reduced native seeds that are a critical component of their diet. The northern subspecies (S. b. brunneus) was listed as Threatened under the United States Endangered Species Act in April

2000. The southern subspecies (S. b. endemicus) was listed as a candidate for listing by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in 2001.


Common name / Scientific name/ Other common names

Physical characteristics

Habitat and behavior



Conservation status

Yellow-bellied marmot Marmota flavlventrls French: Marmotte à ventre fauve; German: Gelbbäuchiges Murmeltier

Siberian chipmunk Tamlas slblrlcus English: Burunduk; French: Ecureuil rayé de Sibérie Burunduk, Sibirisches; German: Streifenhörnchen; Spanish: Ardilla terrestre de Siberia

Hoary marmot Marmota caligata English: Mountain marmot, whistler; French: Marmotte des Rocheuses, marmotte grise, siffleux; German: Eisgraues Murmeltiere

Yellow-brown to tawny with yellow or orange to russet belly. Cream colored bar across nose. Body length 18.5-27.6 in (47-70 cm), male weight 6.5-11.5 (3.05.2 kg), female weight 3.5-8.7 lb (1.64.0 kg).

Brown-gray to ochre-yellow with five black stripes separated by four lighter stripes running from neck to tail. Body length 4.8-6.8 in (12-17 cm), tail 3.24.6 in (8-11.5 cm), weight 1.8-4.3 oz (50-120 g).

Color varies widely over its range. Silver gray from shoulder to shoulder. Rump varies from blond, brown, to silver gray. Feet always black. A melanistic subspecies M. c. vigilis lives in Glacier Bay Alaska. Body length 26.8-29.6 in (68-75 cm), male weight 9.0-17.6 lb (4.1-8.0 kg), female weight 7.3-15.9 lb (3.3-7.2 kg).

Female kin groups with a dominant territorial male. Half of daughters remain in group, all sons disperse. Lives on 0.5-17.8 acre (0.27.2 ha) habitat patches of well drained soils, rocky outcrops, or boulders in open meadows from valley bottoms to alpine.

Deciduous and coniferous forests. Can climb trees but spends most of time on ground. Nests in lodges constructed on the ground. Hibernate in pairs from October to April in underground burrows under tree roots or stumps.

Subalpine to alpine meadows with talus, boulders, or rocky cliffs. Near sea level in south-central Alaska. Lives and hibernates (September-May) as family groups (2-35 marmots) of one to four females with offspring (0-4 years old) and one adult male.

In Canada only In south- Selectively forage among central British Columbia a variety of forbs and and extreme southern grasses.

Alberta. In the United

States from central

Washington east to central Montana and south to mountains of central California and northern New Mexico.

Forests of northern Europe through Asia to Japan.

Alaska, United States, Yukon, and Northwest Territories, Canada, south along the Coastal and Rocky Mountains of Canada and the United States to eastern Washington, central Idaho, and western Montana.

Not threatened

Variety of vegetables, seeds, nuts, berries, tree and shrub buds, and mushrooms. Will raid birds' nests for eggs and chicks. Also eats invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles.

Leaves, flowers, and seeds from a variety of forbs and grasses.

Not threatened

Two subspecies, M. c. sheldoni and M. c. vigilis, are listed as Data Deficient


Common name / Scientific name/ Other common names

Physical characteristics

Habitat and behavior



Conservation status

Unstriped ground squirrel Xerus rutilus French: écureuil foisseur; German: Erdhörnchen

Black-capped marmot Marmota camtschatica French: Marmotte du Kamtchatka; German: Kamtschatka Murmeltiere

Red-tailed chipmunk Tamias ruficaudus French: Tamia a queue rousse; German: Rotschwanz-Streifenhornchen, Rotschwanz Chipmunk

Richardson's ground squirrel

Spermophilus richardsonii English: Flickertail, picket pin; French: Spermophile de Richardson; German: Richardson's Ziesel

Pale tan to brown fur with whitish eye ring. Body length 12.6-17.3 in (32.044.0 cm), 9.2-14.8 oz (260-420 g).

Brownish fur with black spot from the nape to the head. Body length 17.121.4 in (42.7-53.5 cm), tail length 4.87.1 in (12-17.7 cm), weight 4.4-8.8 lb (2-4 kg).

Bushland thickets to savanna East Africa from north-in arid and semi-arid eastern Tanzania north environments. Isolated to northeastern Sudan burrow systems are occupied and east to Somalia. by one to six squirrels. Non-hibernating.

Alpine and arctic tundra areas Eastern Siberia. where permafrost is absent. Hibernate as family groups from mid-September to May.

Deep orange-brown with five black to fuscous stripes separated by four grayish to tawny and creamy white stripes running from neck to tail along back. Body length 8.8-9.8 in (22.3-24.8 cm), weight 1.9-2.1 oz (55.2-60.4 g).

Pinkish buff or cinnamon buff shaded with fuscous, light spots on back. Body length 10.9-12.0 in (27.7-30.6 cm), male weight 9.2-23.6 oz (260-670 g), female weight 6.3-18.3 oz (180-520 g).

Dense coniferous forests with Rocky Mountains of shrubby undergrowth. Nest southeastern British in tree branches up to 60 ft Columbia and south-

(18.3 m), bushes, in rock western Alberta, crevices, under logs, or Canada, and from north underground. eastern Washington to western Montana, United States.

Open short-grass plains and Central Alberta, Canada, croplands. Females and western Montana to daughters will share a home western Minnesota, range. Male home ranges United States. only overlap during breeding. Active above ground typically March through September but varies regionally.

Seeds, fruits, herbaceous material, and invertebrates.

Variety of plants, some invertebrates, and small mammals.

Not listed by IUCN

Not listed by IUCN, though listed as Vulnerable in the Red Book of Yakutia because of declining populations

Not listed by IUCN

Variety of seeds and fruit from conifers, shrubs, and grasses. Also eats leaves and flowers of some herbaceous plants. Will eat meat.

Variety of leaves, Not listed by flowers, and seeds. Also IUCN eats invertebrates and carrion.

Golden-mantled ground squirrel Tawny gray with reddish shoulders and

Spermophilus lateralis English: Copperhead; French: Spermophile à mante dorée; German: Geldmeantel-Ziesel, Gelgestreiftes Backenhörnchen

Long-clawed ground squirrel Spermophilopsis leptodactylus French: Spermophile leptodactyle; German: Langkrallenziesel

Barbary ground squirrel Atlantoxerus getulus French: Écureuil foisseur de Barbarie, écureuil terrestre nord-Africain; German: Barbarie-Erdhornchen, Atlashörnchen Spanish: Ardilla mora

Gunnison's prairie dog Cynomys gunnisoni German: Gunnison's-Präriehund, WeißschwanzPräriehund russet mantle over the head. A whitish stripe bordered by two black stripes run down each side. Body length 9.3-11.6 in (23.5-29.5 cm), weight 4.2-12.0 oz (120-340 g).

Body: 7.9 to 11.8 in (20 to 30 cm); tail: 2.8 to 3.9 in (7 to 10 cm).

Body: 8.7 to 17.7 in (22 to 45 cm); tail: 7.9 to 9.8 in (20 to 25 cm), 10.6 to 38.8 oz (300 to 1,100 g). Short, coarse-textured hair; little hair on underside; white stripe down either side of body; whitish eye ring; black and white banded bushy tail.

Open coniferous forests, sparsely bushy areas in foothills, mountain slopes, rocky sagebrush country, and alpine tundra. Nests in burrows under rocks, stumps, logs, trees, bushes or in rock crevices. Active from late March-May to late August-November depending on elevation.

Lives and hibernates in small family groups. Desert dwelling on stationary sand dunes.

Colonial in rocky areas with scattered trees and shrubs; lives up to 12,800 ft (4,000 m). Uncertain, but may hibernate at high elevations.

Rocky Mountains of Nuts, forbs, and inverte- Not listed by IUCN,

Canada and south to New Mexico, United States. West to northern California and east to central Colorado.

Southeast Kazakstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, west Tadzhikistan, northeast Iran, and northwest Afghanistan.

Atlas Mountains in Morocco and western Algeria in northern Africa.

brates. Will raid nests for eggs and chicks.

Nuts and seeds.

though the subspecies S. l. wortmani is listed as Data Deficient

Fruits, seeds, bulbs, and vegetation of desert plants. Also eats invertebrates.

Not listed by IUCN

Not threatened

12.2 to 14.7 in (30.9 to 37.3 cm); 8.8 to Live in clans that average The region where Utah, Grasses, forbs, sedges, Not threatened

38.9 oz (250 to 1,100 g). Yellow buff intermixed with black hairs; white-tipped tail.

about five individuals (range 1-19) with one or two breeding males, and several breeding females, and one or more non-breeding yearling males. Open habitats or with scattered shrubs and conifers. Active March to October.

Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, United States, meet at elevations of 6,000 to 12,000 ft (1,840 to 3,660 m).

and shrubs. Also eats invertebrates.


Common name / Scientific name/ Other common names

Physical characteristics

Habitat and behavior



Conservation status

Nelson's antelope squirrel Ammospermophilus nelsoni English: San Joaquin antelope squirrel; German: NelsonAntilopen Zeisel

Uinta ground squirrel Spermophilus armatus

Belding's ground squirrel Spermophilus beldingi German: Belding Zeisel

Allen's chipmunk Tamias senex

English: Shadow chipmunk

9.1 to 10.5 in (23.0 to 26.7 cm); 5.4 oz (154 g). Tawny-yellow with a white stripe down either side.

11.0 to 11.9 in (28.0 to 30.3 cm), 7.4 to 15.2 oz (211 to 430 g). Buff-brown with paler undersides, cinnamon face.

San Joaquin Valley of Feeds on insects (>90% California, United States. of diet) from March to December during dry season. Eats grasses, forbs, and seeds at other times.

9.1 to 11.8 in (23.0 to 30.0 cm), 4.4 to 19.4 oz (126 to 550 g). Gray with cinnamon on underside and reddish-brown on back; black-tipped tail.

9.0 to 10.3 in (22.9 to 26.1 cm), males: 2.4 to 3.5 oz (67to 99 g); females: 2.6 to 3.8 oz (73 to 108 g). Color varies regionally; grayish to brownish-orange with indistinct stripes except for middle dorsal stripe which is more conspicuous.

Live in scattered colonies of six to eight individuals. Found on open, rolling hills with gentle slopes, on fine textured soils that allow digging. Prefers to use burrows under shrubs dug by other animals. Adults may estivate during summer.

Group together in large open areas such as meadows, pastures, or fields in high valleys to tree line, or shrub-steppe habitats. Individuals intolerant of one another except during breeding. Hibernation from August to April; may estivate in hot and dry areas in summer.

Alpine, subalpine meadows, Northeast Oregon south Grasses, forbs, and sage-brush flats, mixed brush to California, southwest seeds. Also will eat


Western Montana to central Idaho, western Wyoming to southeast Idaho, United States.

Grasses, forbs, grass seeds, sagebrush leaves, and earthworms.

and grass habitats, fields and pastures. Active from April to May through September. Lives in groups of related females and daughters; all males disperse.

Dense coniferous forests. After accumulating 20% of its body mass in fat it hibernates from November through March.

Idaho to central Nevada; and extreme northwest Utah, United States.

Central Oregon south to east-central California; west to northwest California and east to California-Nevada border, United States.

invertebrates, other vertebrates, carrion, and will kill and eat young Belding's ground squirrels.

Fungi, seeds, flowers, and insects.

Not threatened

Not threatened

Not threatened

0 0

Post a comment