Tamias palmeri


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Tamias palmeri
Species Authority: (Merriam, 1897)
Common Name(s):
English Palmer's Chipmunk
Taxonomic Notes: This species formerly was regarded as a subspecies of Tamias umbrinus by some authors.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Lowrey, C., Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 km², it is restricted to only one small mountain range (and mostly a single mountain), and there is an immediate threat of urban expansion and development, accompanied by the threat of increased predation pressure from house cats.
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is restricted to the Spring Mountains (and mostly confined to Mount Charleston), Clarke County, southwestern Nevada in the United States. These mountains are surrounded by deserts that limit the distribution of this species. The species occurs mostly on one peak of a small mountain range in Nevada. The Nevada Gap Analysis Project data indicate the area of the entire range to be 2,126 km². It occurs at elevations of 2,100-3,600 m asl (most abundant at 2,400-2,550 m asl).
United States (Nevada)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species can be locally abundant, but is very limited in distribution. The total adult population size is unknown. This species is represented by at least several localities in one mountain range (Museum of Vertebrate Zoology specimen data, Nevada Division of Wildlife 1996). Density is often a few to several individuals per hectare (a few hundred to several hundred per square kilometer) (Nevada Division of Wildlife 1996).

Available information suggests that extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size probably have not declined by more than 10 percent over the past 10 years or three generations.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This chipmunk inhabits coniferous forests, from the yellow pine belt to the timber line (Hall 1946); it rarely ventures far from shelter among large rocks, logs, or cliff crevices. Habitats include white fir-Ponderosa pine, single-leaf pinyon-Utah juniper, mountain mahogany-manzanita, and bristlecone pine. Dens are typically on or near the ground but sometimes it nests in trees (e.g., in cavities made by woodpeckers). It may associate preferentially with water sources.

Mating occurs probably in April and early May; births occur in late May in June; gestation lasts at least 33 days; litter size usually 3-6; young first emerge in June, continue to appear through August (Best 1993).

This species is generally secretive and highly mobile; may habituate to humans (Best 1993). Diet includes seeds, fruits, fleshy fungi, green vegetation, and insects; conifer seeds are a primary food source.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Water diversion is reducing the available riparian habitat; campgrounds and woodcutting are reducing available habitat; feral dogs and cats are increasing mortality through predation (G. Clemmer pers. comm., 1995). However, the degree to which these factors have affected chipmunk populations is unknown. The range is being encroached upon by urban sprawl and development associated with Las Vegas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Almost all of the area encompassed by the Spring Mountains is managed by the Bureau of Land Management or United States Forest Service; most of the chipmunk habitat appears to be on Forest Service lands.

Citation: Lowrey, C., Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Tamias palmeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided