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Spermophilus lateralis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA SCIURIDAE

Scientific Name: Spermophilus lateralis
Species Authority: (Say, 1823)
Common Name(s):
English Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel, Green River Basin Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Taxonomic Notes: Spermophilus saturatus formerly was included in this species.

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., Koprowski, J. & Roth, L. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern because it is widespread, common in suitable habitat, and there are no major threats at present.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in western North America, from eastern British Columbia and western Alberta, south through the western United States to California, Arizona, and New Mexico, at elevations of 1,220-3,965 m asl (Bartels and Thompson 1993). There are disjunct population segments in the southern portion of the range.
Countries:
Native:
Canada; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Populations usually are distributed evenly over good habitat. This species is locally abundant.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits mountain slopes and foothills, alpine tundra, chaparral, open areas in pine, spruce, and fir forests, rocky outcroppings and slides, margins of mountain meadows, and rocky sagebrush country; campgrounds. Often in areas with abundant stumps, rocks, or fallen logs. When inactive or tending young, it occupies burrows under rocks, stumps, logs, trees, bushes, or cabins, in rock crevices, or in banks or along washes.

Breeding occurs in the spring soon after females emerge from hibernation. Females are monoestrous. Gestation lasts 26-33 days. Litter size is 2-8, usually 4-6. Young emerge from burrow typically in July (to early August at highest elevations). Weaning occurs at a minimum age of four weeks.

Predators include snakes, foxes, weasels, and bears. This species may be an intermediate host for the Rocky Mountain spotted fever tick, Dermacentor andersoni. These squirrels are omnivorous. Diet includes seeds, fungus, leaves, flowers, fruits and roots. They also feed on arthropods and meat, including carrion. May store food in burrows in summer. Active mainly March-November at low elevations; season is shorter in high mountains and in areas with abundant snowfall.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

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

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is not of conservation concern and its range includes several protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

Bartels, M. A. and Thompson, D. P. 1993. Spermophilus lateralis. Mammalian Species 440: 1-8.

Hafner, D. J., Yensen, E. and Kirkland Jr., G. L. 1998. Status survey and conservation action plan - North American Rodents. IUCN/SSC Rodent Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

Wilson, D. E. and Ruff, S. 1999. The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.


Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Spermophilus lateralis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 December 2014.
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