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Overview

Brief Summary

Description

Hopi chipmunks are naturally timid, and even individuals born in captivity never become tame. Like Panamint chipmunks, they live in southwestern pinyon-juniper forests and nest in rock crevices or piles of broken rock. They are fast and sure-footed on the sheer rock faces of canyons and buttes. They often climb into shrubs to get seeds, but never eat there: either they take the food to the safety of their den, or perch on a boulder or other lookout where they can eat but at the same time watch for hawks or other predators.

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Mammal Species of the World
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  • Original description: Hoffmeister, D.F., and L.S. Ellis.  Geographic variation in Eutamias quadrivittatus with comments on the taxonomy of other Arizonan chipmunks, p. 656.  The Southwestern Naturalist, 24:655-665.
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Distribution

endemic to a single nation

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: Western Colorado, eastern Utah, and northeastern Arizona. Elevations of about 1290-2700 m.

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Range Description

This species occurs in western Colorado, eastern Utah, and northeastern Arizona in the United States, at elevations of about 1,290-2,700 m asl.
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Physical Description

Size

Length: 23 cm

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Size in North America

Sexual Dimorphism: Females are slightly larger than males.

Length:
Average: 211 mm
Range: 197-221 mm

Weight:
Range: 52-62 g
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Various rocky habitats: woodlands of pinyon-juniper and associated shrubs, rubble slopes, slickrock; may use trees and shrubs for cover; burrows beneath boulders or shrubs (Armstrong 1982). May sometimes use sandy habitats (blackbrush-Indian ricegrass) adjacent to pinyon-juniper or rocky areas. Easily climbs on cliffs and in woody vegetation. Nest sites are associated with piles of broken rock or crevices in solid rock.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits various rocky habitats: woodlands of pinyon-juniper and associated shrubs, rubble slopes, slickrock; may use trees and shrubs for cover; burrows beneath boulders or shrubs (Armstrong 1982). May sometimes use sandy habitats (blackbrush-Indian ricegrass) adjacent to pinyon-juniper or rocky areas. Easily climbs on cliffs and in woody vegetation. Nest sites are associated with piles of broken rock or crevices in solid rock.

In southeastern Utah mating occurs February-March; gestation lasts 30-33 days; young are born during first half of April, above ground in May; average litter size is 5.2 (Wadsworth 1969). Weaning is completed in 6-7 weeks. Sexually mature in 10-11 months; females give birth to their first litter when about one year old (Burt and Best 1994).

Home range in southeastern Utah was estimated at 0.4-1.3 ha (Wadsworth 1972). Diet includes mainly seeds (of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants), also flowers and insects, and, seasonally, small or large amounts of green vegetation; opportunistic, takes advantage of handouts and human food refuse in campgrounds (Armstrong 1982, Wadsworth 1972, Burt and Best 1994).

Activity peaks in morning and late afternoon (Armstrong 1982), especially in summer when it avoids midday heat. Seldom seen above ground mid-November to mid-February (Armstrong 1982).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Diet includes mainly seeds (of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants), also flowers and insects, and, seasonally, small or large amounts of green vegetation; opportunistic, takes advantage of handouts and human food refuse in campgrounds (Armstrong 1982, Wadsworth 1972, Burt and Best 1994).

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General Ecology

Home range in southeastern Utah was estimated at 0.4-1.3 ha (Wadsworth 1972).

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Activity peaks in morning and late afternoon (Armstrong 1982), especially in summer when avoids midday heat. Seldom above ground mid-November to mid-February (Armstrong 1982).

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Reproduction

Southeastern Utah: mates February-March; gestation lasts 30-33 days; young are born during first half of April, above ground in May; average litter size is 5.2 (Wadsworth 1969). Lactating females were captured in late May and early June in southeastern Utah (Armstrong 1982) and in mid-June in southwestern Colorado. Weaning is completed in 6-7 weeks. Sexually mature in 10-11 months; females give birth to their first litter when about one year old (see Burt and Best 1994).

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)

Reviewer/s
Amori, G., Koprowski, J. & Roth, L. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern because it is relatively widespread, common, and there are no major threats at present.
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Population

Population
This species is locally common in a naturally fragmented distribution.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats to this species.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is not known to occur in any protected areas.
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Wikipedia

Hopi chipmunk

The Hopi chipmunk (Neotamias rufus) is a small chipmunk found in Colorado, Utah and Arizona in the southwestern United States.[1] It was previously grouped with the Colorado Chipmunk, T. quadrivittatus.[1]

Hopi chipmunks prefer rocky areas with pinion and juniper pines and feed mostly on nuts, seeds and fruits. Food gathered is stored in cheek pouches and taken elsewhere for consumption or storage. They nest in rock piles or crevices. Habitat: This is the common chipmunk of much of the canyon and slickrock piñon-juniper country in western Colorado. Population densities appear to be highest in areas with an abundance of broken rock or rubble at the base of cliff faces or in rock formations with deep fissures and crevices suitable for den sites.

Diet: Seeds of Indian ricegrass and penstemon are eagerly sought as are seeds of junipers, piñon, oak, skunkbrush, and other shrubs.

Description: This species is distinguished by somewhat smaller size and a dorsal pelage that generally lacks significant amounts of black in the stripes, resulting in a more orange red to buff pelage. Measurements are: total length 190–221 mm; length of tail 83–95 mm; length of hindfoot 31–35 mm; length of ear 15–22 mm.

Range in Colorado: The Hopi chipmunk occurs in western Colorado from the Yampa River south. It ranges eastward along the Colorado River to Eagle County and along the Gunnison to the western end of the Black Canyon.

Status: This species is not listed [2]

Hopi chipmunks are naturally timid, and even individuals born in captivity never become tame. Like Panamint chipmunks, they live in southwestern pinyon-juniper forests and nest in rock crevices or piles of broken rock. They are fast and sure-footed on the sheer rock faces of canyons and buttes. They often climb into shrubs to get seeds, but never eat there: either they take the food to the safety of their den, or perch on a boulder or other lookout where they can eat but at the same time watch for hawks or other predators. Sexual Dimorphism: Females are slightly larger than males.

Length: Average: 211 mm Range: 197–221 mm

Weight: Range: 52-62 g

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Linzey, A. V. & Hammerson, G. (2008). Tamias rufus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
  2. ^ Stephanie l. Burt and Troy L. Best (2 June 1994). Mammalian Species: Tamias rufus 460. American Society of Mammalogists. 
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Formerly included in T. quadrivittatus (as subspecies hopiensis, a nomen dubium); recognized as a distinct species by Patterson (1984), Jones et al. (1992), and Hoffmann et al. (in Wilson and Reeder 1993).

Formerly included in genus Eutamias, which recently was included in the genus Tamias (Levenson et al. 1985; Jones et al. 1992, Hoffmann et al., in Wilson and Reeder 1993). Based on patterns of variation in ectoparasites (Jameson 1999) and molecular phylogenetics (Piaggio and Spicer 2001), the North American mammal checklist by Baker et al. (2003) placed all North American chipmunks (except Tamias striatus) in the genus Neotamias. Thorington and Hoffmann (in Wilson and Reeder 2005) noted that chipmunks could be legitimately allocated to one (Tamias), two (Neotamias, Tamias), or three (Tamias, Neotamias, Eutamias) genera; they chose to adopt the single-genus (Tamias) arrangement.

See Sutton (1992) for a key to the species of Tamias (Neotamias).

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