Colorado chipmunk

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Colorado chipmunk
Colorado chipmunk.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Neotamias
Species: N. quadrivittatus
Binomial name
Neotamias quadrivittatus
(Say, 1823)
Synonyms

Tamias quadrivittatus

The Colorado chipmunk (Neotamias quadrivittatus) is a species of rodent in the squirrel family Sciuridae. It is endemic to Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico in the United States.[2][1]

Description[edit]

A Colorado chipmunk eating a sunflower seed near the entrance to Timpanogos Cave in Timpanogos Cave National Monument, Utah

It can be found most often in coniferous forests, woodlands, montane shrub lands, and alpine tundra habitats. This means that in elevation, T. quadrivittatus inhabits anywhere above 1,500 meters and below 2,200 meters elevation.[3]

This western American dweller is the largest of the three species of chipmunks found in the Colorado Front Range (which also include the Least Chipmunk and the Uinta Chipmunk). On average it weighs about 62 grams (2.2 oz). Chipmunks are distinguished from ground squirrels in that their faces have a stripe going across under the eye. There are no dimorphic differences between males and females.

Their vocalizations are essential for defending their territories.[3]

Diet[edit]

Their diet consists of seeds, berries, flowers and insects.[4] They like to collect food in the fall and cache it for the winter.

Reproduction[edit]

Depending on the elevation at which the chipmunk is found, it may range from 1-2 litters. Most commonly copulation occurs in the spring when the chipmunks emerge from their burrows. The females are only receptive of males for a couple of days after emerging from the burrow. About a month after copulation, the female will give birth to a litter that may have anywhere between 5-8 altricial young. Within 40–50 days they will be weaned from their mother.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Linzey, A. V. & Hammerson, G. (2008). Tamias quadrivittatus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
  2. ^ David M. Armstrong (30 October 2007). Rocky Mountain Mammals: A Handbook of Mammals of Rocky Mountain National Park and Vicinity, Third Edition. University Press of Colorado. pp. 93–. ISBN 978-1-60732-008-1. 
  3. ^ a b Bergstrom, Bradley J.; Hoffmann, Robert S. (1991). "Distribution and Diagnosis of Three Species of Chipmunks (Tamias) in the Front Range of Colorado". The Southwestern Naturalist 36 (1): 14. doi:10.2307/3672112. ISSN 0038-4909. 
  4. ^ "Colorado Chipmunk Tamias quadrivittatus". Natural Diversity Infomation Source. Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  5. ^ "Colorado Chipmunk: Tamias quadrivittatus". Untamed Science. Archived from the original on 2012-04-22. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Sullivan, Robert Miles (1996). "Genetics, Ecology, and Conservation of Montane Populations of Colorado Chipmunks (Tamias quadrivittatus)". Journal of Mammalogy 77 (4): 951. doi:10.2307/1382777. ISSN 0022-2372.