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Ground Squirrel
Ground Squirrel
Mammal. Golden-mantled ground squirrels hibernate (sleep) during winter months from October to May. To prepare, they must put on a heavy fat layer and store food in their shallow underground dens. Food stores are transported in big cheek pouches. A favorite food is underground fungi, mushrooms, which they sniff out and dig up. Generally solitary, they are so busy preparing for winter that they are much less social than other squirrels. They can chirp, squeal, and even growl, but are not often heard. They clean themselves by rolling in dust and then using their claws and teeth to comb though their coats.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Spermophilus lateralis 4 years or less
Omnivore. Berries, seeds, nuts, fruit, insects, and assorted vegetation. Also lots of mushrooms and underground fungi.
Predators and Threats
Bobcats, coyotes, weasels, foxes, hawks, and jays.
Most typically in mountainous areas of southwestern Canada and western United States between an altitude of 1370 meters (4500 ft) and the timberline.