Thirteen liner, Striper, Striped ground squirrel, Striped gopher, Gopher, Leopard ground squirrel, Squinney, Leopard-spermophile
This small and slender ground squirrel, also known as the "thirteen liner" has 13 stripes running along the length of its body. The dark brown stripes are wider than the tan ones and have rectangular tan spots along the middle, and are either seven wider dark brown stripes alternating with tan or seven narrow tan stripes alternating with six dark brown ones. They have short ears and their tail is thin and a little bushy. They often sit erect with their head pointing up. As many as 90% of babies are taken by predators before the start of hibernation. Once reaching adulthood it is probable that they live for just a few years. Squirrels in captivity may live as long as 7.9 years
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
A burrow is a hole or tunnel excavated into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct ...
A fossorial animal is one adapted to digging which lives primarily but not solely, underground. Some examples are badgers, naked mole-rats, clams, ...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
Hibernation is a state of minimal activity and metabolic depression undergone by some animal species. Hibernation is a seasonal heterothermy charac...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Thirteen-lined ground squirrel lives throughout the central United States and Canada, from southern Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan to east central Arizona, central Ohio and the Texas Gulf Coast and also straddling the Arizona-New Mexico border. These animals prefer open areas that have short grass and well-drained loamy or sandy soils for burrows. They are not found in wooded areas. They are also often found on mowed lawns, golf courses, well-grazed pastures, cemeteries, parks and roadsides.
Thirteen-lined ground squirrels are a diurnal species and are most active during midday and warm sunny days. These animals dig shallow blind-end burrows for use in emergencies, as well as deeper complex underground burrows for nesting and hibernation. They are not colonial but they may focus one area which has desirable substrate. These squirrels are territorial and defend their home burrows. In autumn they quickly gain weight in preparation for winter dormancy, which is from August to March. Food caches are eaten when they wake from hibernation, especially just before emerging. Thirteen liners have very good senses of vision, smell and touch. They communicate with other squirrels by the use of alarm calls and other noises, and also use special scented secretions.
Thirteen liners are polygynous, which means that one male mates with multiple females. 75% of each litter is fathered by the first male to mate with the mother. Males come out of hibernation before females in order to seek breeding partners. Mating begins 2 weeks after hibernation, usually in mid-April. After gestation of 28 days, a litter of 3 to 14 (average 10) naked, blind, and toothless pups is produced. 1 litter only is produced each year. The young weigh around 1/10 ounce (3 to 4 g) when born. Their stripes start to appear when they are about 12 days old and their eyes open at 28 to 30 days. They are weaned and independent at 6 to 12 weeks. These squirrels become sexually mature at 9 to 10 months old.
There are no significant threats to the Thirteen-lined ground squirrel at present.
According to IUCN, Thirteen-lined ground squirrel is common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) and its numbers remain stable.
This species impacts plant communities by eating their seeds and foliage, and they help to recycle nutrients in the soil when they burrow. They are an important source of prey for small predators like weasels, raptors, hawks and snakes.