Wyoming Ground Squirrel

Wyoming Ground Squirrel

Scientific Name: Spermophilus elegans nevadensis, (kennicott, 1863)
Classification: Sciuridae (family) ground squirrels, chipmunks, and marmots. It is taxonomic serial no.: 180152. Taxonomy notes: formally included in s. Richarsonii and includes c. Arizonensis
Size: Approximately 20 centimeters (7 to 7 ¾ inches) Approximately 124 grams (4.3 ounces)
Life Span: Approximately 4 years and less 

 

Description:

Fur is pale drab above with grayish or buff flecks. Nose is cinnamon and ears are large. Tail is relatively long, edged with buff or white; underside is buff or light brown. The similarity in appearance between wyoming ground squirrels and richardson’s ground squirrels is so great that for many years the wyoming ground squirrel was considered to be a subspecies of richardson’s ground squirrels. However, genetic evidence, such as the difference in numbers of chromosomes, justifies classification as a separate species. The wyoming ground squirrel occurs in three distinct locations in the us, primarily in montana/idaho, wyoming/colorado, and nevada.

 

Habitat:

Grasslands, sage areas, mountain meadows, and talus (rocky) slopes.

 

Range:

Isolated populations in northeast idaho and southwest montana; southeast oregon, southwest idaho, and northeast nevada; and southern wyoming, northwest colorado, and small parts of adjoining states.

 

Natural History:

Most active in midmorning and evening, the wyoming ground squirrel retires to its burrow in hot weather. It begins hibernation between july and september.

 

Food Habits:

Omnivore. During spring and summer, ground squirrels feed primarily on green vegetation: leaves, flowers, bulbs, roots, etc. Some squirrels will additionally feed on exotic bulbs and vegetation close to den areas. In late summer and fall, they may eat more seeds, berries, and nuts. All ground squirrels are advantageous eaters looking for food high in water content which means they also eats insects such as grasshoppers, ants, and termites.

 

Breeding:

1 litter per year, averaging 6 or 7 young. Born april-may.

 

Fun facts:

Its calls include cricket-like chirps and trilled chirps. It is difficult to locate this squirrel by its call because of its weak projection and because the animal often calls from the burrow entrance. This species' predators include dogs and coyotes.