The yellow-pine chipmunk (Neotamias amoenus ) is a species of order Rodentia in the family Sciuridae. It is found in western North America: parts of Canada and the United States.
Yellow-pine chipmunks have dark and reddish, mixed with cinnamon fur color, with five longitudinal dark stripes that are separated by four lighter stripes. The outer pair of pale stripes is creamy white and narrower, and the more median pair is a gray or smoke gray. The sides of the head each have three dark stripes, with two lighter in between, and the crown is black or smoke gray. Their ears are black on the front side and whitish behind.
Yellow-pine chipmunks are found in western North America. Their range extends from central British Columbia and southwestern Alberta in Canada, south to California, northern Nevada, and northwestern Utah, east to central Montana and western Wyoming. These animals mainly inhabit brush-covered areas, coniferous forests, rocky outcrops and logs. Yellow-pine chipmunks inhabit an elevation range of around 975 to 2,900 meters in California.
Yellow-pine chipmunks are solitary creatures. They are usually active from sunrise until sunset and return to their burrows during the middle of the day. On cloudy or rainy days, they can be active all day. These small animals spend their day foraging and grooming. These animals like to brush their fur, take dust baths, and wash their faces. They live in nests which are constructed from grass in burrow under log or rock. They can also nest above ground in woody vegetation. Yellow-pine chipmunks hibernate from late autumn until early spring. During this time they awaken periodically to feed on seeds which they stored in their burrows. These animals communicate with each other vocally. They use different vocalizations most of which are alarm calls to warn others of predators. When greeting each other, they touch noses and sniff each other all over.
Yellow-pine chipmunks are polygynandrous (promiscuous) which means that both males and females have multiple partners during a breeding season. They breed from late April to early May. Females give birth to 3-8 young after the gestation period that lasts around 30 days. Young are born altricial and remain with their mother in the burrow within six weeks. They become independent at around 8 to 12 weeks of age and reach reproductive maturity at 12 to 23 months.
There are no major threats to Yello-pine chipmunks at present.
The IUCN Red List and other sources do not provide the Yellow-pine chipmunk total population size but this animal is common throughout its known range. Currently this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.
Yellow-pine chipmunks are important dispersers of the seeds of different types of conifer species. They are also prey to many local predators.