Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel

Cute little critters, often mistaken for chipmunks, and a favorite for park visitors to attempt to feed, but you are not doing them any favors by giving them human food. They become dependent on well-intended handouts and do not learn how to find the natural food needed to help sustain them through winter months. Peanuts, pretzels and crackers are not ideal foods as they need their natural foods of seeds, berries, green plants, acorns pinecones, mushrooms, acorns, corn, sunflowers, blackberries, apples, flowers, buds, and other small animals found on the ground. When the temperature drop to 40 degrees, they start a hibernation cycle in their dens that can be 2 feet or more underground. When hibernating their heart beat slows to 5 beats per minute.

How do you tell the difference between the Uinta Chipmunk and the Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel? Chipmunks have stripes on their faces; squirrels do not! See  Uinta Chipmunk. 

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