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Tamias speciosus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA SCIURIDAE

Scientific Name: Tamias speciosus
Species Authority: Merriam, 1890
Common Name(s):
English Lodgepole Chipmunk
Synonym(s):
Tamias speciosus Merriam, 1890

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern because its extent of occurrence is much greater than 20,000 km², it is common, and there are no major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in the United States in central Sierra Nevada in California, into Nevada in the vicinity of Lake Tahoe, south to the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains and Mount Pinos. Reported occurrence in the northern Sierra Nevada has been questioned by D. A. Sutton; field investigations revealed only T. amoenus in localities from which speciosus has been reported (see Best et al. 1994, Sutton 1995). It occurs at elevations of 1,500-3,000 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
United States (California, Nevada)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is considered common. Populations fluctuate seasonally and annually; maximum reported density is about one per hectare (see Best et al. 1994).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in open mixed-conifer forests and forests mixed with chaparral; forests of lodgepole pine, Jeffrey pine, and red fir; lodgepole pine/chinquapin/shrub associations in southern California; meadows in some areas. Found primarily in Canadian, but also Hudsonian and upper Transition life zones. Primarily terrestrial but frequently climbs trees. Nests for sleeping and rearing young are in burrows, stumps, logs, tree cavities (e.g., woodpecker holes), or among rocks.

Breeding occurs in May and June, about one month after emergence from hibernation, young are born in spring and early summer. Litter size usually is 3-6 and young emerged in late July in the San Jacinto Mountains, generally one litter per year (see Best et al. 1994).

Home range size averages about 1.3-2.6 ha; at Yosemite, the longest axis of a home range was 252 metres. See Best et al. (1994) for information on the distributional relationships among T. speciosus and other Tamias species.

Diet includes seeds of grasses, forbs, and woody plants; fruits; fungi; insects; carrion. Forages in shrubs and on the ground. Stores food in small pits in the ground, in tree crevices, under rocks or logs, among rocks, or underground.
This species is inactive during the coldest part of the winter and/or during periods of prolonged deep snow cover, but may awaken during warm weather to feed; active in every month in southern California. Emerges from winter den in the early spring.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is not known to occur in any protected areas.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Tamias speciosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 December 2014.
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