Sunday, October 16, 2011

Squirrel Facts: Ground Squirrels

Ground squirrels are found in most parts of the world. In North America they can be found in the central and western parts of the continent. They generally live in prairie grasslands, arctic tundra, mountain meadows, open forest, desert, and scrub country. Chipmunks and marmots are members of the family of ground squirrels.

Golden-mantled ground squirrel

Unlike tree squirrels, ground squirrels are gregarious, living often in large groups that dig tunnel networks under the ground. Their diet is mostly vegetarian, and in many agricultural areas they are considered pests. However, they also will kill and eat mice and insects, and their tunneling action helps to aerate the soil.

13-lined ground squirrel
In colder climates, ground squirrels will hibernate during the winter. Ground squirrel colonies have complex social structures. Because the ground squirrel has little defense against their natural predators, they will cooperate in watching for danger. Members of the group will stand on their hind legs and when a predator is spotted, will call out to the others, giving them time to take cover.

Harris ground squirrel


  1. chipmunks make the best friends in the world, honestly!!!!!!

  2. Best Friends? you need help Anonymous. Two people died in 2013 due to ground squirrels in AZ. They carry nasty diseases.

    1. I am sure that many more people died from diseases transmitted by humans than by ground squirrels. Does that mean that humans can't be friends?