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Columbian Ground Squirrel Spermophilus columbianus


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Columbian Ground Squirrel
credit: Martin Pot/CCSA

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Family: Sciuridae, Squirrels view all from this family

Description A large ground squirrel with a reddish-brown nose and forelegs. Back is grayish with indistinct buff spotting. Bushy tail is reddish and edged with white and some black hairs.

Dimensions 320-410mm, 80-120mm, 340-812g

Breeding Hibernates for more than two thirds of the year. Males emerge first, and breeding begins when females emerge in early spring. Males first breed at age 3, and females in their second year

Habitat Grasslands & prairies, Alpine & subalpine habitats, Meadows & fields, Scrub, shrub & brushlands

Range Rocky Mountains, Northwest, Western Canada

Discussion Both sexes are territorial. Food items include fruit, bulbs, seeds, and flowers as well as occasional insects and carrion. Lives in colonies in alpine meadows and grassy lowlands.