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Rock Squirrel - Spermophilus variegatus

Characteristics
Range
Habitat
Diet
Life Cycle
Behavior

 Classification

 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Mammalia
 Order: Rodentia 
 Family: Sciuridae 
 Genus:  Spermophilus

Rock Squirrel

ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern  
  Characteristics
Rock SquirrelThe rock squirrel is a large ground squirrel that is 17-21 inches in length. It is mottled gray on its uppersides with a brownish rump and creamy white on its undersides. It has a long bushy tail with white edges.

  Range

rock squirrelmapThe rock squirrel can be found in southern Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas and the panhandle of Oklahoma. It is also found in Mexico.

 

 

  Habitat
Rock SquirrelThe rock squirrel can be found in rocky habitats. It can be found on cliffs, canyon walls, talus slopes, rock and boulder piles and highway fills. It is often seen sitting on or running on rocks. It usually makes its den in a burrow below the rocks, but it may make a den in a tree hollow.

 
  Diet
Rock SquirrelThe rock squirrel eats pine nuts, walnuts, seeds of mesquite, cactus, saltbush, agave, wild gourd, cherries, and sumac as well as all sorts of cultivated fruits and vegetables. It also eats insects like grasshoppers, crickets and caterpillars. It also eats carrion or dead animals. Although it is a ground squirrel, it is a good tree climber and will climb juniper and mesquite trees to gather fruit. Sometimes it will carry food back to its den to store and eat later.
  Life Cycle
Rock SquirrelThe female rock squirrel has two litters a year with three to nine young in each litter. The first litter is born between April and June and the second litter is born between August and September.

  Behavior
Rock SquirrelThe rock squirrel is diurnal. It is most active in the early morning and the late afternoon. In the northern part of its range and in high elevations it may hibernate for short periods. The rock squirrel lives in colonies.






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