Urocitellus armatus - (Kennicott, 1863)
Uinta Ground Squirrel
Synonym(s): Spermophilus armatus Kennicott, 1863
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Spermophilus armatus Kennicott, 1863 (TSN 180147)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104586
Element Code: AMAFB05050
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Rodents
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Rodentia Sciuridae Urocitellus
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Spermophilus armatus
Taxonomic Comments: Recent molecular phylogenetic studies suggest that the traditionally recognized genera Marmota (marmots), Cynomys (prairie dogs), and Ammospermophilus (antelope ground squirrels) render Spermophilus paraphyletic, potentially suggesting that multiple generic-level lineages should be credited within Spermophilus (Helgen et al. 2009). As a result, ground squirrels formerly allocated to the genus Spermophilus (sensu Thorington and Hoffman, in Wilson and Reeder 2005) are now classified in 8 genera (Notocitellus, Otospermophilus, Callospermophilus, Ictidomys, Poliocitellus, Xerospermophilus, and Urocitellus). Spermophilus sensu stricto is restricted to Eurasia.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 06Nov1996
Global Status Last Changed: 06Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Common within a somewhat restricted range.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Sep1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Idaho (S4), Montana (S3S4), Utah (S5), Wyoming (S3S4)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Intermountain west region of United States; southern Montana, southeastern Idaho, western Wyoming and north-central Utah.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Actual abundance unknown, but "frequently occur in meadows and fields from 1219 meters along the Snake River up to 2438 meters in mountainous regions" (Eshelman and Sonnemann 2000).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Intermountain west region of United States; southern Montana, southeastern Idaho, western Wyoming and north-central Utah.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ID, MT, UT, WY

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: Sechrest, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
WY Albany (56001), Fremont (56013), Lincoln (56023), Natrona (56025), Park (56029), Sublette (56035), Sweetwater (56037), Teton (56039), Uinta (56041)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 Clarks Fork Yellowstone (10070006)+, Upper Wind (10080001)+, Popo Agie (10080003)+, Upper Bighorn (10080007)+*, Greybull (10080009)+, Salt (10090204)+, Sweetwater (10180006)+, Upper Laramie (10180010)+, Cache La Poudre (10190007)+, Lone Tree-Owl (10190008)+, Crow (10190009)+
14 Upper Green (14040101)+, New Fork (14040102)+, Upper Green-Slate (14040103)+, Big Sandy (14040104)+, Bitter (14040105)+, Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir (14040106)+, Blacks Fork (14040107)+, Muddy (14040108)+, Vermilion (14040109)+, Great Divide closed basin (14040200)+
16 Upper Bear (16010101)+
17 Snake headwaters (17040101)+, Gros Ventre (17040102)+, Greys-Hobock (17040103)+, Teton (17040204)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Females produce 1 litter of 4-6 altricial young/year. Young are born usually in April (Burt and Grossenheider 1964).
Ecology Comments: Lives in large colonies.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Grassland/herbaceous, Shrubland/chaparral
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Dry meadows, pastures and cultivated fields in high valleys; also in montane grasslands and shrub-steppes almost to timberline (Eshelman and Sonnemann 2000). Digs underground burrows.
Adult Food Habits: Granivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Granivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Feeds primarily on a wide variety of green vegetation and seeds; some invertebrates (e.g. earthworms) (Eshelman and Sonnemann 2000), and some vertebrates; accumulates great reserves of body fat.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Usually active from spring through late summer (approximately April-August). Dormant during the fall and winter.
Length: 30 centimeters
Weight: 425 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Ground Squirrels

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Major water barriers; greater than 300 meters wide, or narrower if evidence or professional judgement indicates little or no dispersal across.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Recorded home ranges for most species are very small, 0.1 to 0.6 hectares (Evans and Holdenried 1943, Owings et al. 1977, Morton et al. 1974, Drabek 1973, Murie and Harris 1978, Recht 1977, Johnson 1981), occasionally up to 4 hectares (in S. parryii, Banfield 1974). However, most studies have not used radiotelemetry and likely have underestimated movements. For example, radio-tagged male Spermophilus mohavensis, a species thought to be characterized by very low vagility (Hafner 1992), have mating-season home ranges of up to 40 ha (mean 6.7 ha) and sometimes make movements of at least 1.5 km in a single day (Harris and Leitner 2004). Also, dispersing individuals travel much farther than available home range data might suggest. For example, juvenile S. townsendii dispersed a maximum of 1076 meters, with a mean of 515 meters (Olson and Van Horne 1998). Since actual dispersal surely exceeds documented dispersal, and other small sciurids readily return home after displacements of 1.6 km (see specs for antelope squirrels), it seems unlikely that ground squirrels observed less than 5 km apart and separated by suitable habitat would represent distinct occurrences.
Date: 12Mar2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings
Notes: Covers species of the genus SPERMOPHILUS.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 15Apr1986
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Andersen, M.D. 2011. HUC10-based species range maps. Prepared by Wyoming Natural Diversity Database for use in the pilot WISDOM application operational from inception to yet-to-be-determined date of update of tool.

  • Andersen, M.D. 2011. Maxent-based species distribution models. Prepared by Wyoming Natural Diversity Database for use in the pilot WISDOM application operational from inception to yet-to-be-determined date of update of tool.

  • Banfield, A. W. F. 1974. The mammals of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada. 438 pp.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1964. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.

  • Clark, Tim W. and Mark R. Stromberg. 1987. Mammals in Wyoming. University Press of Kansas. Lawrence, Kansas.

  • Drabek, C. M. 1973. Home range and daily activity of the round-tailed ground squirrel, Spermophilus tereticaudus neglectus. American Midland Naturalist 89:287-93.

  • Eshelman, B. D. and C. S. Sonnemann. 2000. SPERMOPHILUS ARMATUS. Mammalian Species No. 637:1-6.

  • Evans, F. C., and R. Holdenried. 1943. A population study of the Beechey ground squirrel in central California. Journal of Mammalogy 24:231-260.

  • Hafner, D. J. 1992. Speciation and persistence of a contact zone in Mojave Desert ground squirrels, subgenus Xerospermophilus. Journal of Mammalogy 73:770-778.

  • Harris, J. H., and P. Leitner. 2004. Home-range size and use of space by adult Mohave ground squirrels, Spermophilus mohavensis. Journal of Mammalogy 85:517-523.

  • Helgen, K. M., F. R. Cole, L. E. Helgen, and D. E. Wilson. 2009. Generic revision in the holarctic ground squirrel genus Spermophilus. Journal of Mammalogy 90(2):270-305.

  • Helgen, K.M., F.R. Cole, L.E., Helgen, and D.E. Wilson. 2009. Generic Revision in the Holarctic Ground Squirrel Genus Spermophilus. Journal of Mammalogy, 90(2):270-305.

  • Johnson, K. 1981. Social organization in a colony of rock squirrels (Spermophilus variegatus). Southwestern Naturalist 26:237-242.

  • Larrison, E.J. and D.R. Johnson. 1981. Mammals of Idaho. The University of Idaho Press, Moscow.

  • Long, C.A. 1965. The mammals of Wyoming. University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History 14: 493-758.

  • McGee, M., D.A. Keinath, and G.P. Beauvais. 2002. Survey for rare vertebrates in the Pinedale Field Office of the USDI Bureau of Land Management (Wyoming). Unpublished report prepared for USDI Bureau of Land Management - Wyoming State Office by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database - University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming.

  • Morton, M. L., C. S. Maxwell, and C. E. Wade. 1974. Body size, body composition, and behavior of juvenile Belding ground squirrels. Great Basin Naturalist 34:121-134.

  • Murie, J. O. 1973. Population characteristics and phenology of a Franklin ground squirrel (Spermophilus franklinii) colony in central Alberta. American Midland Naturalist 90:334-40.

  • Murie, J. O., and G. R. Michener, editors. 1984. The biology of ground-dwelling squirrels: annual cycles, behavioral ecology and sociality. Univ. Nebraska Press, Lincoln. xvi + 459 pp.

  • Murie, J. O., and M. A. Harris. 1978. Territoriality and dominance in male Columbian ground squirrels (Spermophilus columbianus). Canadian Journal of Zoology 56:2402-12

  • Olson, G. S., and B. Van Horne. 1998. Dispersal patterns of juvenile Townsend's ground squirrels in southwestern Idaho. Canadian Journal of Zoology 76:2084-2089.

  • Owings, D. H., M. Borchert, and R. A. Virginia. 1977. The behaviour of California ground squirrels. Animal Behaviour 25:221-30.

  • Recht, M. A. 1977. The biology of the Mohave ground squirrel (Spermophilus mohavensis): home range, daily activity, foraging and weight gain, and thermoregulatory behavior. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles. 117 pp.

  • Slade, N. A., and D. F. Balph. 1974. Population ecology of Uinta ground squirrels. Ecology 55:989-1003.

  • Whitaker, J. O., Jr. 1980. The Audubon Society field guide to North American mammals. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 745 pp.

  • Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.

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Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

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"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

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