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Abert's Squirrel Sciurus aberti


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Abert's Squirrel
credit: NPS

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Alternate name: Tassel-eared Squirrel; Kaibab Squirrel

Family: Sciuridae, Squirrels view all from this family

Description This squirrel has tufted ears and white on the underside of a broad tail. New ear tufts are grown in October, and may be inconspicuous by summer. The back is gray, with a rusty band. Some animals in central Colorado are uniform brown. North of Grand Canyon, the subspecies S. a. kaibabensis has dark underparts and all-white tail, and was once considered a distinct species. Elsewhere the tail is only white on the underside and the belly is white. The back and belly color are usually separated by a black line. There is also a dark melanistic form.

Dimensions 64-58cm, 19-28cm, 540-971g

Habitat Alpine & subalpine habitats, Forests & woodlands

Range Rocky Mountains, Southwest

Discussion Forages on seeds, buds, and cambium of the ponderosa pine. Small twigs stripped of bark underneath pines are a clear indication of their presence. Conspicuous during the breeding season in spring, when groups of males chase females. Lives chiefly in ponderosa pine forests.