Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Trip Cancelled; New Trip Planned

Due to an injury, I cannot go to the Sangre de Cristos this year. As I said in a previous blog about this trip, "if all goes well...". However, another Colorado trip is coming up in 2 months. It is to the Weminuche Wilderness, which is west of the Sangre mountains. I'm sure I can go to that unless I get another injury or something else happens. More is yet to be announced about the Weminuche Wilderness.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Species Postings

Well, that will be it for the squirrel species postings. The 10 squirrel fact sheets represent the 10 species of squirrel that can be found in Sangre de Cristo mountains in south central Colorado. That's where I plan on backpacking with the Sierra Club in less than 3 weeks.

Rock Squirrel

Common name: Rock Squirrel
Scientific name: Spermophilus variegatus
Often mistaken for: Gophers, Prairie Dogs, Tree Squirrels
Size: 17-21 in (43-53 cm); 21-28 oz (600-790 g)
Habitat: rocky areas, canyons, cliffs, slopes
Range: southern Nevada, Utah, and Colorado to Mexico
Photo courtesy: Firefly Forest

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel

Common name: Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
Scientific name: Spermophilus tridecemlineatus
Often mistaken for: Chipmunks, Gophers
Size: 6.75-12 in (17-30 cm); 3.8-9.5 oz (110-270 g)
Habitat: shortgrass prairie, fields, shrublands
Range: central Alberta to northern New Mexico, southern Texas, and Indiana
Photo courtesy: M. D. Carleton

Gunnison's Prairie Dog

Common name: Gunnison's Prairie Dog
Scientific name: Cynomys gunnisoni
Often mistaken for: Other Prairie Dog species, Ground Squirrels, Gophers
Size: 12-15 in (30-38 cm); 23-42 oz (650-1190 g)
Habitat: high altitude shortgrass prairies
Range: central Arizona to central Colorado
Photo courtesy: Lisa Lynch

Colorado Chipmunk

Common name: Colorado Chipmunk
Scientific name: Tamias quadrivittatus
Often mistaken for: Uinta, Least, and Hopi Chipmunk; Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Size: 8.25-9.5 in (21-24 cm); 2-3 oz (57-85 g)
Habitat: scrub, tundra, coniferous forests, and various other habitats
Range: Colorado, eastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, northern New Mexico
Photo courtesy: Michael Seraphin, Colorado Division of Wildlife

Black-tailed Prairie Dog

Common name: Black-tailed Prairie Dog
Scientific name: Cynomys ludovicianus
Often mistaken for: Ground Squirrels, Gophers, Marmots, Meerkats
Size: 14-16 in (36-41 cm); 32-48 oz (910-1360 g)
Habitat: shortgrass prairies
Range: Montana to northern Mexico and central Texas
Photo courtesy: San Francisco Zoo

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Yellow-bellied Marmot

Common name: Yellow-bellied Marmot
Scientific name: Marmota flaviventris
Often mistaken for: Hoary Marmot, Woodchuck, Prairie Dog
Size: 19-28 in (48-71 cm); 5-10 lbs (2.3-4.5 kg)
Habitat: valleys, rolling hills, rocky areas
Range: central British Columbia to southern California and northern New Mexico
Photo courtesy: Mike Dunn

Abert's Squirrel

Common name: Abert's Squirrel, Tassel-eared Squirrel
Scientific name: Sciurus aberti
Often mistaken for: Gray Squirrel, Fox Squirrel, Rock Squirrel
Size: 18-23 in (46-58 cm); 24-32 oz (680-910 g)
Habitat: Ponderosa pine forests
Range: northern Arizona, northwestern and central New Mexico, western and central Colorado
Photo courtesy: Clipart.com

Least Chipmunk

Common name: Least Chipmunk
Scientific name: Tamias minimus
Often mistaken for: All other chipmunk species; Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Size: 6.6-9 in (17-23 cm); 1-1.75 oz (28-50 g)
Habitat: brushlands, rocky areas, forests
Range: Yukon to Quebec, California, and New Mexico
Photo courtesy: Phil Armitage

American Red Squirrel

Common name: American Red Squirrel
Scientific name: Tamiasciurus hudsonicus
Often mistaken for: Douglas Squirrels, Gray Squirrels, Fox Squirrels, European Red Squirrels
Size: 11-15 in (28-38 cm); 5-8.8 oz (140-250 g)
Habitat: most forests, city parks, valleys
Range: Alaska to New Mexico; Vancouver island to Maine and the Appalachians
Photo courtesy: Franco Folini

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

Common name: Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Scientific name: Spermophilus lateralis
Often mistaken for: Chipmunks, gophers
Size: 9-12 in (23-30 cm); 6-9.75 oz (170-280g)
Habitat: mixed and coniferous forests, rocky slopes, open shrubland
Range: southeastern British Columbia to Arizona & New Mexico; northern California to central Colorado
Photo courtesy: Robert Harrington

Planned Backpacking Trip

In a few weeks, if all goes well, I'm going on a backpacking trip with the Sierra Club. The trip is to the Sangre de Cristo mountains in south central Colorado. There are at least 10 species of squirrels in that area, so I am really looking forward to it. The trip is not just for wildlife observation, but also to test my skills in rough terrain in the rugged outdoors. Soon I will be posting information about the 10 species of squirrel found in those mountains, one at a time and at random.