Southern Idaho ground Squirrel (Urocitellus endemicus)
The southern Idaho ground squirrel (Urocitellus endemicus) is about 8 to 9 inches long, with a short narrow tail, tan feet and ears, and a grey-brown throat. Research suggests that this ground squirrel prefers native cover such as big sagebrush, bitterbrush and a variety of native forbs and grasses, however, some nonnative features may enhance their survival such as alfalfa fields, haystacks and fence lines. Adult ground squirrels emerge from seasonal hibernation in late January or early February (depending on elevation and habitat conditions), and remain above ground for about 4 to 5 months. During this time, they feed on grass seed, stems and green leafy vegetation that are required for fat storage to survive the long months of hibernation. When ground squirrels emerge from their burrows in the spring, they begin breeding and young are born about 3 weeks later. In about 50 days, the juveniles leave nest burrows. Above-ground activity ceases by late June or early July when the ground squirrels return to their burrows for hibernation. Recent surveys indicate that the southern Idaho ground squirrel occurs in about 38 square miles in Idaho: extending from Emmett northwest to Weiser and the surrounding area of Squaw Butte, Midvale Hill, and over to the Henley Basin in Gem, Payette and Washington Counties. Its range is bounded on the south by the Payette River, on the west by the Snake River and on the northeast by lava flows with little soil. Currently, the distribution of the species is patchy, with areas of localized abundance and large areas of apparently suitable habitat that are unoccupied, or are sparsely occupied. The areas of localized abundance are typically concentrated around human-altered landscapes such as golf courses and row crop or farmed fields (particularly alfalfa and clover). Threats to the southern Idaho ground squirrel include exotic grasses and weeds, habitat fragmentation, direct killing from shooting, trapping or poisoning, predation, competition with Columbian ground squirrels and inadequacy of regulatory mechanisms to protect the species or its habitat.
- States/US Territories in which the Southern Idaho ground Squirrel is known to or is believed to occur: Idaho
- US Counties in which the Southern Idaho ground Squirrel is known to or is believed to occur: View All
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|Pacific Region (Region 1)|
» Federal Register Documents
No recovery information is available for the Southern Idaho ground Squirrel.
» Critical Habitat
No critical habitat rules have been published for the Southern Idaho ground Squirrel.
» Conservation Plans
|CCAA Plan Summaries|
|Soulen Ranch Southern Idaho Ground Squirrel CCAA|
|Southern Idaho Ground Squirrel Programmatic|
» Life History
No Life History information has been entered into this system for this species.
» Other Resources
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