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Townsend's chipmunk

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Title: Townsend's chipmunk  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Yellow-cheeked chipmunk, Neotamias, Chipmunks, Ecotourism in the United States, Sciurotamias
Collection: Animals Described in 1839, Chipmunks
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Townsend's chipmunk

Townsend's chipmunk
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Neotamias
Species: N. townsendii
Binomial name
Neotamias townsendii
(Bachman, 1839)

Tamias townsendii Bachman, 1839

Townsend's chipmunk (Neotamias townsendii) is a species of rodent in the squirrel family Sciuridae. It lives in the forests of the Pacific Northwest of North America, from British Columbia through western Washington and Oregon. A large chipmunk, adults can be 36 cm (14 in) from nose to tail. In much of its range, it is the only chipmunk; it can be identified by its tail which is grayish above and reddish below, and by its brown coloration with indistinct tawny stripes. Townsend's chipmunk hibernates in regions where the winter is harsh, but in other parts of its range that have a more mild climate it can be active year-round. It is omnivorous, eating a variety of plants and insects and even birds' eggs.[2] Townsend's chipmunks in the Oregon Coast Range have higher population densities in areas with dense shrubbery, especially salal (Gaultheria shallon).[3] In the summer and early fall, Townsend's chipmunks eat blackberries, salal berries, and thimble berries. In the late fall, they eat acorns, huckleberries, maple seeds, thistle seeds, grain seeds, grass, roots, and conifer seeds.

Townsend's Chipmunk is named after John Kirk Townsend, an early 19th-century ornithologist.[4]


  1. ^ Linzey, A. V. & Hammerson, G. (2008). Tamias townsendii. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
  2. ^ Hartson, Tamara (1999). Squirrels of the West.  
  3. ^ Hayes, John P.; Horvath, Eric G.; Hounihan, Patrick (January 1995). "Townsend's chipmunk populations in Douglas-fir plantations and mature forests in the Oregon Coast Range". Canadian Journal of Zoology (Ottawa: National Research Council) 73: 67–73.  
  4. ^ Ornithology of the United States of North America, John Kirk Townsend, 1839
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