Types of Animals
Chipmunks, a genus (Tamias) of mammals in the squirrel family easily recognized by their facial stripes.
Their practice of building underground dens puts them in the same subfamily as ground squirrels and prairie dogs.
With over twenty native chipmunk species, the Western United States represents ground central for the world's chipmunk population.
Small, cute and almost constantly in motion, it's no wonder that Alvin and his pals would find their way south, to Hollywood stardom.
The large number of native chipmunk species makes it difficult to identify any one species in areas that host multiple species.
The Townsend's Chipmunk (Tamias townsendii), in the top picture inhabits coniferous forests in the Pacific Northwest.
Townsend's Chipmunks inhabit both lower and higher elevation areas West of the Cascades.
The chipmunk in picture two is tentatively identified as a Siskiyou Chipmunk because it was found living in the Siskiyou mountain areas of Southern Oregon and Northern California.
In areas where the Yellow-pine Chipmunk (Tamias amoenus) and the Least Chipmunk (Tamias minimus) share overlapping territory, differentiating between the two species can be problematic.
Least Chipmunks are the smallest chipmunk species found in the United States, however, Yellow-pine Chipmunks are also smaller than average sized chipmunks.
The Yellow-pine Chipmunk's range is limited to the coniferous forests of the Western United States and British Columbia. The Least Chipmunk's range extends further to the Midwest and Upper Great Lakes region.
The top picture is labeled the Least Chipmunk, the bottom picture is labeled the Yellow-pine Chipmunk. It's the same chipmunk in different poses.
© 2003-2012 Patricia A. Michaels