Chipmunks are small squirrel-like rodents that are native to North America, although one species is also found in some European countries. There are 25 different species of chipmunk living in the North American forests.Many different kinds of chipmunks live in Idaho. There is the yellow pine chipmunk, the red-tailed chipmunk, the cliff chipmunk, the lesser chipmunk, and a few more. The majority of these chipmunks are small, with stripes of either brown, black, or white down their backs.

Least Chipmunk eating
Chipmunk, © John J. Mosesso, courtesty /

Habitat: You will usually see chipmunks dwelling in coniferous forests (like ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forests), although they can be found in chaparral (brush). They can often be found among logs, brush and rocky outcrops, as well as brushy borders between subalpine forests and alpine tundra. They are fast-moving creatures, and they can quickly dart into their underground burrows when you approach them. 
Food: Chipmunks eat a wide variety of wildlife like frogs, mushrooms, birds, eggs, plants, nuts, and seeds. In the autumn, the chipmunks begin to gather their winter food stash, which they store in their burrows to last them until spring. They also play a vital role in the forest eco-system by dispersing seeds from fruits and berries into the surrounding forest. The seeds then sprout and grow new fruit and berry plants.


Fun Facts: Chipmunks construct extensive underground burrows which can be more than 3.5 m in length and often have several well-concealed entrances to keep the burrow a secret from unwanted predators. Within the chipmunk burrow, the chipmunk sleeping quarters are kept extremely clean as the chipmunks keep nut shells and feces stored in separate tunnels. 

Least Chipmunk
Chipmunk, courtesy of U.S. National Park Service


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Herbivore Mammals

Pygmy rabbit 
Desert cottontail 
Eastern gray squirrel 
Red squirrel 
Deer mouse
Kangaroo rat 
Meadow vole 
Mule deer 
Bighorn sheep 
American pronghorn 

Carnivore Mammals

American badger 
River otter 
Red fox 
Long-tailed weasel 
Grizzly bear 
Mountain lion   



  Long-toed salamander 
  Idaho giant salamander  
  Coeur d'Alene salamander

 Frogs and Toads  

  American bullfrog 
  Columbia spotted frog 
  Western toad 
  Northern leopard frog 
  Pacific tree frog 
  Great Basin spadefoot 



Painted turtle 
Northern alligator lizard 
Mohave black-collared lizard 
Short-horned lizard 
Desert horned lizard 
Sagebrush lizard 
Western fence lizard 
Western skink 
Side-blotched lizard 
Longnosed leopard lizard 
Western whiptail 



Western pipistrelle 
Western small-footed myotis 
Little brown bat 
Yuma myotis 
Townsend's big-eared bat 
Hoary bat 
Silver-haired bat 
Fringed myotis 
Pallid bat

Sensitive Species (not a complete list) 

Greater sage-grouse 
Pygmy rabbit 
No. Idaho ground squirrel 
So. Idaho ground squirrel
Canada lynx 
Grizzly bear 
Selkirk Mtns. woodland caribou 
Kootenai White River sturgeon 
Bull trout 
Sockeye salmon 
Chinook salmon 
Steelhead trout 
Yellow-billed cuckoo