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IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Description

Arctic Ground Squirrels must cope with a harsh environment that offers long, cold winters, strong winds, a short growing season, permafrost, poor drainage, and limited cover. The squirrels are, by necessity, dormant for seven months each year. Newborns must grow to adult size over the short Arctic spring and summer. By six weeks of age, they are ready to emerge from the underground nest. They reach 80 percent of their adult weight within a month of emergence, and by the middle of September attain prehibernation weights of 600-700 g. Like other ground squirrels, Arctic Ground Squirrels feed on a variety of plants, berries, seeds, and leaves, insects, and carrion.

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© Smithsonian Institution

Source: Smithsonian's North American Mammals

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