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Red-Tailed Chipmunk

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Illustration of a Red-tailed Chipmunk The range of the Red-tailed Chipmunk in Alberta is limited to the extreme southwestern corner of the province. There is no evidence that the current provincial range is different from the historical range. However, they may occupy alpine habitats, but this is probably not a preferred habitat as Red-tailed Chipmunks are not physically suited to these higher elevations. 

In winter, Red-tailed Chipmunks spend the majority of their time in  solitary burrows where they alternate between bouts of activity and torpor. During active periods, they eat seeds cached in the burrow during the previous summer. Large conifers are important seed sources, but Red-tailed Chipmunks also use seeds from shrubs such as Saskatoon, wild rose, and snowbrush, which may be particularly important when conifer seed production is low. During the plant-growing season, chipmunks will eat the leaves, flowers, and fruits of these plants as well as many other shrubs, forbs and grasses whereas autumn foraging may be restricted almost exclusively to conifers.

Reprinted from Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 19 (1999), with permission from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.

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