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California Ground Squirrel Spermophilus beecheyi


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California Ground Squirrel
credit: Howcheng/CCSA

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Family: Sciuridae, Squirrels view all from this family

Description A large, spotted squirrel with a mantle of light gray running from the ears back onto the shoulders. This gray streak is inconspicuous or absent in some subspecies. Back is brown; dorsal buff flecking is heaviest on rump and flanks. Belly is pale gray. Bushy tail is dark gray above and paler below.

Dimensions 360-500mm, 140-230mm, 350-885g

Habitat Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Meadows & fields, Grasslands & prairies, Canyons & caves, Forests & woodlands

Range Southwest, California, Northwest

Discussion Colonial, but each animal has its own entrance to the interconnected burrow system. Hibernates in winter, timing depends on local weather. Common in successional habitat including roadsides, chaparral, and open grassy areas.