Uinta Ground Squirrel

Two squirrels stand in grass
Uinta ground squirrels are mammals in Yellowstone National Park.



Scientific Name

Spermophilus armatus


  • 11–12 inches long, 7–10 ounces.
  • Grayish back and rump with fine white spots on back; nose and shoulders are tan to cinnamon; tail is grayish underneath.


  • Found in disturbed or heavily grazed grasslands, sagebrush meadows, and mountain meadows up to 11,000 feet.
  • Eat grasses, forbs, mushrooms, insects, and carrion (including road-killed members of its own species).
  • Preyed on by long-tailed weasels, hawks, coyotes, badgers, grizzly bears.


  • Hibernate as early as mid-July through March.
  • Breed in early spring; one litter of 6–8 young per year.
  • Young, after they leave the burrow, are vulnerable to long-tailed weasels and hawks.
  • During cool spring weather, Uinta ground squirrels active at all times of day, as the weather warms activity more limited to morn- ing, late afternoon, and evening.
  • During winter, Uinta ground squirrels are sometimes active near the Albright Visitor Center and hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs. Perhaps they are aroused from hibernation due to ground temperatures rising as hydrothermal activity increases in the vicinity. No one knows for sure.
A wolf standing on a snowy bank near brown grass howls

Home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states.

Last updated: October 22, 2020

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Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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