Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel
Northern Idaho ground squirrels are only found in two isolated counties in North Idaho. They have grayish-brown fur spotted with a red-brown color and they have striped tails. They also have cheek pouches, which they use to carry nuts back to their dens.
Habitat: These little squirrels live near forested areas, but they make their homes in meadows and rocky areas. They live in burrows, and they hide the entrance to their burrows under rocks or logs. They also hibernate in winter.
Food: Because they spend a significant amount of their lifespan in hibernation, Northern Idaho ground squirrels must work to gather food for winter during the spring and summer months. They forage for seeds, leaves, and vegetation so they can store up fat to keep them healthy during their long winter hibernation sleep.
Facts: The population of the Northern Idaho ground squirrel has decreased so drastically, public land managers are undertaking many measures to try and conserve them. Scientists and managers are working with private land owners to allow squirrel-friendly plants to be planted on private land, which will promote more squirrels. They are also being monitored and relocated to try and save them from extinction. It is estimated that there are fewer than 500 of these animals left.