Facts About the Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel and the Short Tailed Ground Squirrel
While the Golden-mantled ground squirrel is a native of the western United States, it is not the only species that lives there. California ground squirrels are similarly named. They are considered threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The range of the California ground squirrel and the Mohave ground squirrel overlaps in some areas, and it is likely that they are often mistaken for each other.
Golden-mantled ground squirrel
The golden-mantled ground squirrel, Spermophilus lateralis, is the smallest species of the ground-squirrel family. It is named for its short tail and golden mantle, and is also known as the “Silver Mantle.” The scientific name of this species comes from its similarity to a frog, but the short tailed ground squirrel is the shorter species.
The golden-mantled ground-squirrel is a diurnal species, but it will disappear quickly after sunset. In areas with summertime heat, this species will quickly move on to the forest floor where the temperature is comfortable. It begins to hibernate in late summer or fall, but rarely leaves its burrow until mid-spring. It will spend much of its time between torpor bouts, storing food in a burrow.
The Golden-mantled ground squirrel has striped fur around its body, and it is highly visible in the late summer and early autumn. It inhabits the eastern slope of the Cascade Range, as well as eastern portions of the Wallowa and Siskiyou Mountains. In Oregon, this species breeds in early March and is quite fat by early August. In its native range, the golden-mantled ground squirrel inhabits the forests near Huntington and Squaw Butte.
California ground squirrel
The California Ground Squirrel is one of the most injurious animals in California. Damage is not measured in dollars per year, but other figures indicate the magnitude of the problem. Here are some facts about this ground squirrel species. These are important for understanding its behavior and conservation efforts. Identifying it as a pest species will help prevent further damage. The California Ground Squirrel is a small mammal that prefers to live underground. It has long, thin tails.
The California Ground Squirrel ranges from sea level to approximately 8,200 feet. It is most common in the San Joaquin Valley, the Sierra foothills, and the lower Sonoran region. It is less common in the yellow pine belt and in the Canadian zone. It prefers wooded areas and less dense chaparral. In California, the Gray Squirrel is more common than its counterparts in the rest of the western United States.
13-lined ground squirrel
This thirteen-lined ground-squirrel is a diurnal animal. It is active during the day and spends the winters hibernating. These ground-squirrels are often seen in social groups. Although there is no hierarchy among them, they are very sociable and will socialize with each other. This species of ground-squirrel is a very keen observer and will often stand up on its rear haunches to survey the surrounding environment. During the day, they are usually looking for prey, which can be found in the form of a rodent.
The thirteen-lined ground-squirrel is very social and resembles a miniature prairie dog. They are light-beige in color and weigh a few ounces. Their body weight is about one ounce and they weigh between 170-200 g. The rock-squirrel looks like a typical tree-squirrel, but is much smaller than the others. This species weighs a little over a pound and has a long, bushy tail.
Harris’ antelope squirrel
The Harris’ antlope squirrel is an omnivore that lives in desert habitats. They can easily climb barrel cacti and eat seeds. This species doesn’t hibernate, but can be active at any time of the day. They are solitary animals that rarely meet, but can form dense social groups during the breeding season. They live in burrows under shrubs and rock-bound hills. They can tolerate temperatures up to 107 degrees Fahrenheit.
This species of antelope ground squirrel can be found throughout the western United States and southeastern New Mexico. They have white undersides and brown limbs, and their fur is lighter during the summer. They are typically 5-6 inches long and weigh around four ounces. Harris’ antelope squirrels are solitary, but there are two subspecies of this species.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.