Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus brunneus)

Federal Register | Recovery | Critical Habitat | Conservation Plans | Petitions | Life History

Listing Status:   

Where Listed: WHEREVER FOUND

General Information

The northern Idaho ground squirrel (Urocitellus brunneus) is smaller than most ground squirrels at about 9 inches. It was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, April 5, 2000. The northern Idaho ground squirrel�s fur is dark reddish-gray (due to a mixture of black unbanded and yellowish-red banded guard hairs), with reddish-brown spots on its coat. It has a short, narrow tail, tan feet and ears, grey-brown throat and a creamy white eye ring. This rare squirrel needs large quantities of grass seed, stems and other green leafy vegetation to store fat reserves for its eight-month hibernation period (August/early September through late April/May). Adult males are first to emerge from burrows in the spring followed by females and their young. Populations of the northern Idaho ground squirrel have been found in Adams and Valley Counties of western Idaho, though the species historic range extends into neighboring Washington County. It occurs in dry meadows surrounded by ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests, including lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service�s Payette National Forest (1,500 to 7,500-foot elevations). Today there are an estimated 1,500 to 2,200 individual animals in about 54 populations, including New Meadows, Lost Valley Reservoir, and other nearby locations. It is thought that northern Idaho ground squirrel populations have decreased due to the loss of their native meadow habitat as a result of fire suppression. Important travel corridors have become fragmented, leaving the ground squirrels to survive in isolated islands of non-connected habitat. As of 2011, the recovery status remained unclear, though range-wide monitoring shows known populations as stable to slightly increasing over time. Biologists have recorded several new population sites, and the animal seems to be responding positively to habitat restoration at certain locations, especially on the Payette National Forest.

  • States/US Territories in which the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur:  Idaho
  • US Counties in which the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur:  View All
  • Additional species information
 
Current Listing Status Summary
Status Date Listed Lead Region Where Listed
2000-04-05 Pacific Region (Region 1) Wherever found

» Federal Register Documents

Federal Register Documents
Date Citation Page Title
1991-11-21 00:00:00.0 56 FR 58804 58836 ETWP; Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species; 56 FR 58804 58836
2002-07-15 00:00:00.0 67 FR 46440 46441 Notice of Availability of a Draft Recovery Plan for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus brunneus brunneus), for Review and Comment
2010-04-08 00:00:00.0 75 FR 17947 17950 5-Year Status Reviews of 69 Species in Idaho, Washington, Hawaii, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
2016-02-12 00:00:00.0 81 FR 7571 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 76 Species in Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Idaho
1994-11-15 00:00:00.0 59 FR 58982 59028 ETWP; Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species.
1998-03-23 00:00:00.0 63 FR 13825 13832 ETWP; Proposed Threatened Status for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel
1999-10-25 00:00:00.0 64 FR 57535 57547 Review of Plant and Animal Taxa That Are Candidates or Proposed for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Recycled Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions
1982-12-30 00:00:00.0 47 FR 58454 58460 Review of Vertebrate Wildlife for Listing as End. or Thr. Species
2003-09-16 00:00:00.0 68 FR 54242 54242 Availability of the Recovery Plan for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus brunneus brunneus)
2000-04-05 00:00:00.0 65 FR 17780 17786 Determination of Threatened Status for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel
2001-10-30 00:00:00.0 66 FR 54808 54832 ETWP; Review of Plant and Animal Species That Are Candidates or Proposed for Listing as Endangered or Threatened,Annual Notice of Findings on Recycled Petitions, and Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions; Proposed Rule
1997-09-19 00:00:00.0 62 FR 49398 49397 Review of Plant and Animal Taxa
2015-06-23 00:00:00.0 80 FR 35860 35869 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Technical Corrections for 54 Wildlife and Plant Species on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants
2006-10-18 00:00:00.0 71 FR 61501 61502 Proposed Low Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Schwisow Development in Adams County, ID
1996-02-28 00:00:00.0 61 FR 7597 7613 ETWP; Review of Plant and Animal Taxa That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species
1989-01-06 00:00:00.0 54 FR 554 579 ETWP; Animal Notice of Review; 54 FR 554 579
1985-09-18 00:00:00.0 50 FR 37958 37967 Review of Vertebrate Wildlife; Notice of Review; 50 FR 37958-37967

» Recovery

Current Recovery Plan(s)
Date Title Plan Action Status Plan Status
2003-09-16 Recovery Plan for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel View Implementation Progress Final
Other Recovery Documents
Date Citation Page Title Document Type
2002-07-15 67 FR 46440 46441 Notice of Availability of a Draft Recovery Plan for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus brunneus brunneus), for Review and Comment
  • Notice Draft Recovery Plan Availability
2016-02-12 81 FR 7571 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 76 Species in Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Idaho
  • Notice 5-year Review, Initiation
2003-09-16 68 FR 54242 54242 Availability of the Recovery Plan for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus brunneus brunneus)
  • Notice Final Recovery Plan Availability
2010-04-08 75 FR 17947 17950 5-Year Status Reviews of 69 Species in Idaho, Washington, Hawaii, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Notice 5-year Review, Initiation
Five Year Review
Date Title
2011-09-13 Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel, 5-Year Review Summary and Evaluation

» Critical Habitat

No critical habitat rules have been published for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel.

» Conservation Plans

Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) (learn more)
HCP Plan Summaries
Schwisow-Price Valley
Safe Harbor Agreements (SHA): (learn more)
SHA Plan Summaries
OX Ranch Safe Harbor for the northern Idaho ground squirrel

» Petitions

» Life History

No Life History information has been entered into this system for this species.

» Other Resources

NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.

FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.