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These ground squirrels are very similar to appearance to chipmunks. They have one black and one white stripe down their side. Their heads are always golden/brown with hints of gray. Unlike chipmunks, however, golden-mantled ground squirrels do not have a stripe over their eyes.
These ground squirrels are found in mountainous regions of western North America. They are found equally disdributed over rocky mountains, sagebrush flats, and various forest habitats.