Uinta ground squirrel (Spermophilus armatus)
Uinta ground squirrels are small, burrowing rodents found in mountainous sagebrush meadows in the western US. They occupy a small range, being found in southwest Montana, eastern Idaho, northern Utah, and western Wyoming. They will dig burrows in which they form colonies at very high densities. Along with these mountain meadows, they often frequent lawns and other irrigated areas. After coming out of hibernation, they begin the breeding season, where females will typically produce litters of 4-8 young at a time. Early summer is the perfect time to relax on the front porch of the Berol lodge and watch the younglings frolic about the lawn. These cute critters forage on green vegetation, seeds, and insects. They also enjoy aquatic plants and are surprisingly good swimmers!
While they are undoubtedly fun to watch, timing is key. Uinta ground squirrels are only active for about 3 months of the year, as they are in hibernation all winter before going dormant again in the late summer. Learn more about these rowdy rodents here.
Written by Timothy Uttenhove
PC: Timothy Uttenhove