Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Tamias amoenus

Yellow-pine Chipmunk

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Tamias amoenus
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Yellow-pine chipmunks are common in meadows, rocky outcrops, and the borders of yellow pine and juniper forests. They feed in open, sunny areas, favoring seeds, and use their cheek pouches to carry food to the nest to store for winter. One food cache weighed 190 g—as much as four chipmunks. The chipmunks spend 4-5 months in their winter nests, which are located underground or in rock crevices, waking to feed from time to time. They breed soon after they emerge in the spring, usually in April, and have litters about a month later. When the young first emerge from the nest, they are easy prey for hawks, weasels, bobcats, and coyotes. Those that survive—sometimes as few as 30 percent—continue nursing until August.

Sexual Dimorphism:
Females are slightly larger than males.

Length:
Average: 211 mm
Range: 186-238 mm

Weight:
Range: 36-50 g

References:

Allen, J.A., 1890.  A Review of some of the North American ground squirrels of the genus Tamias, p. 90.  Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 3:45-116.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Tamias amoenus

Image of Tamias amoenus
Click to enlarge. (39kb)