Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Urocitellus armatus

Uinta Ground Squirrel

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Urocitellus armatus
Spermophillus armatus - left (with S. elegans)
Click to enlarge. (79 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Uinta Ground Squirrels can live seven years or longer, but few live more than four years. Predation is an important factor. Predators include badgers, which may account for more than a quarter of the deaths in a population annually, weasels, and birds of prey. Female squirrels and young tend to live in open habitats, possibly because predators are more easily seen there. Males—who become socially subordinate to females after the breeding season—generally remain outside a female’s territory and tend to keep out of sight. Still, males are more susceptible to predation than females. When they emerge from hibernation in the spring, Uinta Ground Squirrels feed on new, green vegetation. This green vegetation dries up in the summer, and the Ground Squirrels switch to a diet of seeds, putting on weight in preparation for a nine-month hibernation.

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are slightly larger than females.

Length:
Average: 920 mm
Range: 270-320 mm

Weight:
Range: 250-600 g

References:

Kennicott, R., 1863.  Descriptions of four new species of Spermophilus, in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, p. 158.  Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 15:157-158.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Urocitellus armatus

Image of Urocitellus armatus
Click to enlarge. (108kb)