Chipmunk Facts

Chipmunk Facts
Chipmunk is a type of ground squirrel. If not in the wild, chipmunks can be easily recognized as Chip and Dale, two cartoon characters created by Walt Disney. There are 25 species of chipmunks. 24 of them originate from North America, remaining one from Asia. Chipmunks live in deciduous forests, woodlands, shrubs and in gardens. Farmers often consider chipmunks as vermin because they dig burrows in the ground. Chipmunks are threatened by habitat loss via deforestation. Palmer's chipmunk is on the list of vulnerable species (it may become endangered in the near future).
Interesting Chipmunk Facts:
Chipmunks are the smallest members of the squirrel family. Smallest species has 1.1 to 1.8 ounces of weight and reaches 7.2 to 8.5 inches in length. Largest species can reach 4.4 ounces of weight and 11 inches in length.
Chipmunks are covered with red or grayish-brown fur with light and dark stripes on their back, sides and head.
Chipmunks have fluffy tail that can reach 3 to 5 inches in length.
Unlike other squirrels, chipmunks live mainly in the underground burrows. They can be 30 feet long and 3 feet wide. All burrows are divided in several sections: nursery, food storing chamber and resting area.
Chipmunks keep their burrows very clean. Entrance area is always well hidden.
Chipmunks have a lot of predators due to their small size. Main predators of chipmunks are snakes, hawks, owls, weasels, bobcats, raccoons and coyotes.
Chipmunks are omnivores (they eat both plant- and animal-based food). They usually eat nuts, seeds, berries, fruit, fungi, insects, frogs and eggs.
Chipmunks spend coldest part of the year under the ground. They undergo winter sleep, but they wake up couple of times to eat.
Chipmunks are solitary creatures that spend majority of time in collecting and storing the food for the upcoming winter.
Chipmunks have cheek pouches that can enlarge to the size 3 times bigger than their heads. Cheek pouches are used for the transportation of food to the burrows. One chipmunk can collect 8 pounds of food per year.
Chipmunks are territorial animals. They require territory of up to ½ acre. In the case of intruders, chipmunk will fiercely defend territory around its burrow.
Chipmunks are very vocal animals. They produce bird-like noise that can be heard in the case of near danger and during the mating season, when female wants to attract males.
Chipmunks gather during the mating season that takes place from February to April. Female gives birth to 2 to 6 babies. Chipmunks are sized like a bumblebee at birth. They are blind, naked and helpless.
Both parents take care of the babies. Young chipmunks are ready to leave the burrow at the age of 6 weeks. Chipmunks reach sexual maturity at the age of one year.
Chipmunks live 2 to 3 years in the wild.

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