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Uinta Ground Squirrel

urocitellus armatus

Description:

This little guys was spotted in Sweatwater, Co deep in the mountains near Eagle and Glennwood Springs. I spotted this little guy in tall grass along a dirt road. The road was near a large mountain lake. There are eagles, osprey and turkey vultures in the area as well. This photo was taken in late summer.

Habitat:

Native to the northern Rocky Mountains and surrounding foothills of the United States including Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. (This one was spotted in Colorado) Their habitat includes dry meadows, grasslands, and cultivated fields close to water. The squirrels eat foods including seeds, green vegetation, insects, and meat. They are fully active for roughly 3½ months in the spring and summer before beginning estivation and hibernation in burrows underground. During their active periods the squirrels are diurnal and often live in colonies. The squirrels mate in the early spring and females give birth after about a month of gestation. Young leave the burrow at twenty-four days. Litters usually include four to six young with older females generally producing larger litters.


1 species ID suggestions

Wyoming ground squirrel
Spermophilus elegans Wyoming ground squirrel

14 Comments

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 2 years ago

I think it does have a black tail tip!

moralcoral
moralcoral 2 years ago

also do you remember if the tip of the tail was darker it looks it in the photo but could be a shadow or something?

moralcoral
moralcoral 2 years ago

great additional information! if you look at other Uinta ground squirrel in the related sightings box to your right you can see that many of the other spottings identified as this species are very similar to yours however sometimes people get the id wrong even on google images thats why it can be so hard to identify some species, always best to get out a trusty id book!! you could see if your local library has Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. seems its the guide the Utah division of wildlife resources uses!

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 2 years ago

Thanks guys! I added a description to help you identify. I am leaning toward potgut, although Daniele mentioned the Wyoming ground squirrel and it also could be that! I read somewhere that the Wyoming Ground Squirrel is more buff than the potgut (potgut more grey), so it's hard to say!

moralcoral
moralcoral 2 years ago

it does look a lot like the potgut though also!! more so than the white tail!! id go for that!

moralcoral
moralcoral 2 years ago

It is probably a white tailed then i didnt see it on the species list but now i see that it can be found in parts of west colerado

White-tailed prairie dogs are generally found at altitudes ranging between 5,000 and 10,000 feet in desert grasslands and shrub grasslands. Conversely, the black-tailed prairie dogs are found at altitudes below 6,000 feet in grasslands associated with the Great Plains and are not tolerant of shrubs within their colony.

http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/spec...

thats why its good to add that information to the habitat description box to help others identify accuratly!!

good spot, some populations are significantly reduced!!

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 2 years ago

Hmm, that's a good possibility too!

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 2 years ago

This could be a Wyoming ground squirrel, Spermophilus elegans...

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 2 years ago

I found it! I did a search for "small mountain rodent" and I found a small mammal that looks like this little guy! It's a Uinta ground squirrel (urocitellus armatus) Thanks for your help! You were right about the Pika!

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 2 years ago

I'm not sure if this is a prairie dog. This picture was taken deep in the mountains around 8,000 ft. This little guy was smaller than the typical prairie dogs you see in the plains. There was also no visible prairie dog town around.

moralcoral
moralcoral 2 years ago

this looks like the one http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpec...

beautiful eyes!!

moralcoral
moralcoral 2 years ago

looks more like a prarie dog ill check it out!

moralcoral
moralcoral 2 years ago

a pika has much bigger ears!!

EmilyMarino
EmilyMarino 2 years ago

Is this a Pika?

Colorado, USA

Lat: 39.66, Long: -106.83

Spotted on Aug 15, 2011
Submitted on Dec 30, 2011

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