Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Common Name: Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Scientific Name: Spermophilus lateralis
Size (length) English & Metric: 9"-12" (23-30cm)
Habitat: All forest types
Diet: seeds, nuts, berries, insects, underground fungi
Predators: hawks, jays, weasels, fox, bobcats, coyotes
Nineteen species of ground squirrels occur in North America. Bryce Canyon is home to two species, the Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel and the Rock Squirrel. It is hard to mistake the two as the Rock Squirrel is usually twice the size of the Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel and lacks the Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel's stripes along its sides. The Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel can be identified by its chipmunk-like stripes and coloration, but unlike chipmunks, it lacks any facial stripes. It is commonly found living in the same habitat as Uinta Chipmunks.
Biology & Behavior:
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels dig shallow burrows up to 100 ft (30m) in length with the openings hidden in a hollow log or under tree roots or a boulder. The female gives birth to a single litter of 4-6 young each summer.
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When and Where to see Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels at Bryce Canyon: