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Columbian Ground Squirrel

Urocitellus columbianus
Closeup side view of Columbian Ground Squirrel.  Photo by USFWS
Columbian ground squirrels live in well-developed colonies, so if you see one, it is likely you will see a few. However, we have just a few colonies scattered in the grasslands. Watch for them near in the horse pasture by the Mission Creek walk-in fishing access and along Red Sleep Mountain Drive in open areas between High Point and Trisky Creek.

Try to catch sight of their spotted mottled fur and the rusty red patch above their noses just before they dive into their burrow. They are a favorite food of badgers, as well as coyotes and hawks, so they are quite cautious. These animals hibernate through the winter and go into their dens as early as August as food sources dry up. 

Facts About Columbian Ground Squirrel

Size
1.1 pounds
Diet
A wide variety of grasses, forbs, roots, and bulbs
Lifespan
2-3 years
Reproduction
Breeds February to March
Young (1 litter of 2-7), born March and April
Viewing
Horse pasture by Mission Creek Walk-in Fishing Access
Last Updated: Feb 05, 2013
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