Cliff chipmunk

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Cliff chipmunk
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Neotamias
N. dorsalis
Binomial name
Neotamias dorsalis
(Baird, 1855)

Tamias dorsalis Baird, 1855

The cliff chipmunk (Neotamias dorsalis) is a small, bushy-tailed squirrel that typically lives along cliff walls or boulder fields bordering Pinyon-juniper woodlands in the Western United States and Mexico (commonly spotted in northern Arizona to Colorado). Cliff chipmunks are very agile, and can often be seen scaling steep cliff walls. Cliff chipmunks do not amass body fat as the more common ground squirrel does. They create a "stash" of food which they frequent during the cold winter months. The chipmunks size varies from 8-10 in. and weigh an average of 2.5 oz. These small creatures live to a staggering 12 1/2 years. The chipmunks are brown on their underside and gray on the back with white stripes on their face.


The cliff chipmunk nests near cliffs in pinyon-juniper woodlands hence its name "cliff chipmunk". They are found at higher altitudes such as 5,000 - 12,000 ft. above sea level. A common destination for spotting the cliff chipmunk are the cliffs of the Grand Canyon. The cliff chipmunk is active mostly during the day, therefore easy to spot. The chipmunks diet consists of juniper berries, pine seeds, and acorns.


  1. ^ Linzey, A. V.; Timm, R.; Álvarez-Castañeda, S. T.; Castro-Arellano, I. & Lacher, T. (2008). "Neotamias dorsalis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 8 January 2009.

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