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

» Federal Register Documents

Federal Register Documents
Date Citation Page Title
02/28/1996 61 FR 7597 7613 ETWP; Review of Plant and Animal Taxa That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species
01/06/1989 54 FR 554 579 ETWP; Animal Notice of Review; 54 FR 554 579
07/15/2002 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
10/18/2006 71 FR 61501 61502 Proposed Low Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Schwisow Development in Adams County, ID
09/18/1985 50 FR 37958 37967 Review of Vertebrate Wildlife; Notice of Review; 50 FR 37958-37967
10/25/1999 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
10/30/2001 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
12/30/1982 47 FR 58454 58460 Review of Vertebrate Wildlife for Listing as End. or Thr. Species
06/23/2015 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
03/23/1998 63 FR 13825 13832 ETWP; Proposed Threatened Status for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel
09/19/1997 62 FR 49398 49397 Review of Plant and Animal Taxa
04/05/2000 65 FR 17780 17786 Determination of Threatened Status for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel
11/21/1991 56 FR 58804 58836 ETWP; Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species; 56 FR 58804 58836
02/12/2016 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
11/15/1994 59 FR 58982 59028 ETWP; Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species.
09/16/2003 68 FR 54242 54242 Availability of the Recovery Plan for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus brunneus brunneus)
04/08/2010 75 FR 17947 17950 5-Year Status Reviews of 69 Species in Idaho, Washington, Hawaii, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

» Recovery

Current Recovery Plan(s)
Date Title Plan Action Status Plan Status
09/16/2003 Recovery Plan for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel View Implementation Progress Final
Other Recovery Documents
Date Citation Page Title Document Type
07/15/2002 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
02/12/2016 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
09/16/2003 68 FR 54242 54242 Availability of the Recovery Plan for the Northern Idaho Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus brunneus brunneus)
  • Notice Final Recovery Plan Availability
04/08/2010 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
09/13/2011 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.