This is a fairly large chipmunk: total length is 8 ¾ to 10 inches (223-248 mm), tail length 4 to 4 ¼ inches (101-122 mm), and they weigh about 2 1/8 ounce (60 g). They are a tawny (sandy) color on their back and sides, their rump is gray, their tail is reddish above and dark reddish below. They have three median blackish stripes with brownish outer stripes on their back, and their cheeks have 2 white and 3 brown stripes.
From central Rocky Mountains in southern British Columbia and Alberta, south to northwestern Washington, northern Idaho, and western Montana.
Found in coniferous forests, including spruce/fir, cedar/hemlock, yellow pine, and (at timberline) alpine fir. Seems to prefer dense cover where range overlaps with yellow pine chipmunk. Idaho study indicated red-tailed chipmunks prefer mid-successional forests.
Not a lot is known about their feeding habits or ecology, but they probably feed on seeds, fungi, and fruits.
Like most chipmunks they are probably inactive during the coldest part of the winter, waking periodically to feed from their food cache. They actively forage on the ground, but this species may climb trees more readily than other chipmunks.
Probably similar to other western chipmunks which mate in spring and, following Gestation period of approximately 1 mo, produce a litter of altricial young.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Important State References:
Scrivner, J.H. and H.D. Smith. 1984. Relative abundance of small mammals in four successional stages of spruce-fir in Idaho. Northwest Sci. 58:171-176.