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Golden-mantled Ground SquirrelPosted: August 14, 2012

By Larry Halverson/Friends of Kootenay

This female Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel, seen here with one of her young offspring, selected a Kootenay National Park campground woodpile as a place to raise her litter.  At least three other pups were present at this location. The wood pile provides good vantage points to watch and listen for predators, as well as a complex network of passageways to take shelter from the weather or evade predators. Although the mother-pup bond appears strong at present, the pups will soon disperse to establish their own home ranges before hibernation begins in early fall.  Unlike chipmunks, Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels do not cache food supplies for winter, but rely on accumulated body fat to get through until spring.

Above photo: Born in June Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel pups grow quickly – Photo by Alan Dibb

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