Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image 
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Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Spermophilus lateralis

Chipmunks, Squirrels, Ground Squirrels and Marmots
Squirrel Family (Sciruidae)

Measurement: Size: 30 cm Weight: 230 g

Description: Often mistaken for a large chipmunk, the golden-mantled ground squirrel differs from chipmunks is both appearance and habit. The first key to identifying this ground squirrel is its large size. Like the chipmunk, the golden-mantled ground squirrel also has stripes. Unlike the chipmunk though, the stripes do not continue forward of the shoulders. There are two light stripes, each bordered by black. The tail is usually dark.

Range: These are a western ground squirrel which prefers the high country, usually ground within the subalpine and alpine. They are common throughout the Canadian and American Rockies from Grande Cache south.

Diet: Notorious for begging for handouts at places like Lake Louise and Peyto Lake, the golden-mantled ground squirrel is an aggressive and versatile feeder. It will devour seeds, flowers, leaves, insects, fungus and eggs.

The golden-mantled ground squirrel forms an integral part of the diet of many animals, in particular hawks, eagles, weasels, coyotes, bobcats, and bears.

Reproduction: They produce a single litter of between 2 and 8 (average 4) young per year.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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