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Colorado chipmunk



The Colorado chipmunk (Neotamias quadrivittatus) is a species of chipmunk in the squirrel family Sciuridae. It is endemic to Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico in the United States.

Description



It can be found most often in coniferous forests, woodlands, montane shrub lands, and alpine tundra habitats. This means that in elevation, T. quadrivittatus inhabits anywhere above 1500 m and below 2200 m elevation.

This western American dweller is the largest of the three species of chipmunks found in the Colorado Front Range (which also include the Least Chipmunk and the Uinta Chipmunk). On average it weighs about . Chipmunks are distinguished from ground squirrels in that their faces have a stripe going across under the eye. There are no dimorphic differences between males and females.

Their vocalizations are essential for defending their territories.

Diet

Their diet consists of seeds, berries, flowers and insects. They like to collect food in the fall and cache it for the winter.

Reproduction

Depending on the elevation at which the chipmunk is found, it may range from 1-2 litters. Most commonly copulation occurs in the spring when the chipmunks emerge from their burrows. The females are only receptive of males for a couple of days after emerging from the burrow. About a month after copulation, the female will give birth to a litter that may have anywhere between 5-8 altricial young. Within 40–50 days they will be weaned from their mother.