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Tamias townsendii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA SCIURIDAE

Scientific Name: Tamias townsendii
Species Authority: Bachman, 1839
Common Name(s):
English Townsend's Chipmunk
Synonym(s):
Neotamias townsendii Bachman, 1839
Taxonomic Notes: Formerly included ochrogenys, siskiyou and senex.

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 on the Pacific coast of North America, from extreme southwestern British Columbia in Canada, south to southern Oregon in the United States (Rogue River), southward in the western Cascades to the headwaters of the Rogue River (Sutton 1993).
Countries:
Native:
Canada (British Columbia); United States (Oregon, Washington)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is considered common. Density estimates range from 0.6 - 1.1 per ha in virgin forest, but may be 2-4 times higher 3-10 years post-clearcutting.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Typical habitat consists of mesic closed-canopy forest and dense brush thickets. However, they reach high densities in clearcut areas, where there are decaying logs, evergreen herbs, shrubs, and trees, and a variety of fungi and lichens. Talus slopes with loose rocks are preferred as nest sites.

In Cascades of Washington mating occurs in spring, one litter per year, gestation lasts about four weeks, average litter size 3.8, first breeds at one or two years; young appear above ground in July (Kenagy and Barnes 1988). May live as long as seven years.

Weasels, mink, and bobcats are important predators. This species has a diverse diet. Will eat seeds, nuts, fruits, insects, roots, green vegetation, fungi. Forages mostly on the ground but sometimes also in trees. Caches food in burrow.

Usually remains active at least from March to late November; remains in nest only during severe winter weather (Banfield 1974). Duration of inactivity is longer at higher elevations, especially in areas covered by deep snow. Active all winter in warmer areas, especially along the coast.

It may be a significant agent in the dissemination of harmful fungus that attacks conifer seeds (see Sutton 1993). Sometimes considered detrimental to commercial forestry due to its diet of coniferous seeds.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In coastal British Columbia, the population appeared to decline temporarily as a result of herbicide treatment of Douglas-fir plantation (Sullivan 1990). At present, however, there are no major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is not of conservation concern and its range does include a few protected areas.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Tamias townsendii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 July 2014.
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