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:
Did You Know?
Pronghorn, once roaming the plains of North America in numbers second only to Bison, can be found at Bryce Canyon National Park. They are the fastest land mammal on the continent and only the second fastest mammalian runner in the whole world, reaching speeds of up to 60 mph! More...