Alpine Chipmunk

Alpine Chipmunk

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Neotamias alpinus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
2-3 yrs
WEIGHT
27-45 g
LENGTH
166-203 mm

Alpine chipmunks are gray-brown overall with muted orange flanks. They have three white stripes on the cheeks and four down the back. The upper part of their tail is grayish-white to yellow. Overall their pattern is much paler compared to most species.

Distribution

Alpine chipmunks are found in California, USA. They live only in high Sierra Nevada, from Yosemite National Park in the north, to Olancha Peak in the south. These animals inhabit cliffs, talus slopes, rocky borders of meadows and lakes, and the rocky floor of open subalpine forest and alpine fell-fields.

Alpine Chipmunk habitat map

Geography

Continents
Countries
Regions

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Alpine chipmunks are considered diurnal, though they exhibit some nocturnal activity during the summer. They hibernate from November through April, frequently awakening to eat. Alpine chipmunks are solitary and live in dens among rocks or in burrows under rocks. They usually forage in open areas and eat their food on the ground. They are very agile and may climb trees. Alpine chipmunks communicate with the help of different sounds. Their call is a thin, high pitched, repeated, sweet sound. When thretened, these animals produce a startled whipper and run to shelter or safety.

Group name
Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Alpine chipmunks are herbivorous. They feed on the seeds of sedges, grasses, and other plants in their namesake alpine zone. They do not generally require a source of water other than food, but will use it given the opportunity.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
late winter-early spring
PREGNANCY DURATION
1 month
BABY CARRYING
4-5 pups
INDEPENDENT AGE
6 weeks
BABY NAME
pup, kit, kitten

Little is known about the mating habits in Alpine chipmunks. Breeding occurs in late winter and early spring. The gestation period lasts around one month. Females produce only one litter per year that consists of 4-5 young. Their young are born in June and July in nests that are located deep in crevices between rocks. Young remain in the nest with their mother for around 6 weeks until they become mature enough to live on their own.

Population

Population threats

Alpine chipmunks are not threatened at present. However, climate change can be a serious threat to this species in the future.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Alpine chipmunk is locally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.

References

1. Alpine Chipmunk on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpine_chipmunk
2. Alpine Chipmunk on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/42568/22266784

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