Year of 2017

Uinta ground squirrels in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Though there are no known incidents of Uinta ground squirrels breaking out in four-part harmony, they have a repertoire of calls. Chirps signal an airborne predator nearby. Trills indicate a ground predator, such as a long-tailed weasel. Aside from all this chatter, they’re not terribly social with each other outside mating season.

The Uinta ground squirrel, commonly called a Potgut in northern Utah, is a species of rodent native to the western United States. The Uinta ground squirrel is a moderately sized ground squirrel, measuring 28 to 30 cm in total length. They weigh about 210 g when they emerge from hibernation, a figure that steadily increases until they are ready to hibernate again in the fall. Their fur is brown to cinnamon in color, being paler on the underside and grey on the sides of the head and neck. The 6 to 8 cm tail is buff with a grey underside, as distinct from the ochraceous or reddish color found in closely related species such as Belding’s or Wyoming ground squirrels. Females have ten teats.
Scientific name: Urocitellus armatus
Biological classification: Species