Kaibab Squirrel

A chestnut brown squirrel with tuffed ears and a fluffy white tail sitting on a tree branch.
Kaibab squirrels display unique characteristics such as tuffed ears and a distinct white tail

NPS/ Todd Miller

Approximately 10,000 years ago the Kaibab Squirrel (Sciurus kaibabesis) was geographically separated from a common ancestor of the Abert’s squirrel. This separation cut off the gene flow from the Abert’s squirrel and the Kaibab squirrel began to evolve on its own. While the two are still closely related the Kaibab squirrel developed noticeable differences such as a dark belly and forelimbs. Their tails are white and the backs of their heads, a chestnut brown.

In 1972, seven female Kaibab squirrels and one male were transplanted to Mt. Trumbull on the present day Parashant National Monument. Because the squirrel populations were localized on the Kaibab Plateau, scientists feared that a plague could wipe out the entire species. For five years, they released additional squirrels to the back-up community on Mt. Trumbull to mix the gene pool and make a self-sustaining population.

Last updated: December 3, 2019

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Public Lands Visitor Center
345 East Riverside Drive

Saint George, UT 84790


(435) 688-3200
This federal interagency office is staffed by employees from the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S National Forest Service, and by dedicated volunteers from the local community. Phones are answered Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The visitor center is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and all federal holidays.

Contact Us