Shared Flashcard Set


American Wildlife
Squirrels and Rodents
Environmental Studies
Undergraduate 4

Additional Environmental Studies Flashcards





Mountain Beaver


description: small ears and eyes, timy tail,LONG whiskers


range: W. Pacific states to central CA


non-migratory, minatains a burrow system up to 19" in diameter


habitat: most forests, esp. near streams


diet: vegetation, ferns, grasses, tree bark stored in burrow


solitary, fossorial (adapted for burrowing)


status: Point Arena Mountain Beaver is federally threatened

negligible interaction with humans, may damage conifers by peeling bark, may damage gardens


Eastern Gray Squirrel


description: gray (*some brown/tan) above, white below with tawny underfur, may be melanistic in N. range


range: Eastern US (intoduced to Stanford campus and LA)


habitat: hardwood or mixed forests with nut trees


status: ABUNDANT, stable game species


nut caches are important to forest regeneration (buried undergrounnd and found again by smell)


Western Gray Squirrel


description: gray with white tipped hairs (*NO brown in its color), white, tail bigger than E. Gray Squirrel


range: along W. coast in oak conifer woodlands, only large gray tree squirel in its range


diet: acorns, pine seeds


status: abundant, stable game species


Eastern Fox Squirrel


description: grey-brown above, buff or reddish below, redidsh back of ears (can be black with white ears/nose/tail in SE)


range: E. US except N. England, introduced in several Western cities, found on Berkeley campus and LA


diet: acorns, pine seeds, fungus


status: abundant game species, decreasing in SE due to loss of open hardwood woodlots, through fire suppression

Delmara Penninsula Fox Squirrel (VA) is federally listed


Abert's Squirrel


description: *"tassel ears", grey above, red back, darker sides, white or black below, white tail


range: isolated mountain regions in SW (Grand Canyon rim)


habitat: conifer forests


diet: ponderosa pine seeds and inner bark


status: stable game species, entertains tourists

diff. subspecies on diff sides of grand Canyon (Kaibeb= red ears and whiter tail)


Red Squirrel


description: greyish red above, white-grey below, black line on side, ear tufts in winter, white ring around eye


range: across Alaska and Canada, down Rockies, down in NE US and Appalachia


habitat: any forest


diet: pine nuts, seed, mushrooms, maple sap


status: abundant and stable game species


Mount Graham Red Squirrel subspecies isolated to Pinaleno Mtns. of SE Arizona, rediscovered 1970, federally threatened; Univ. of AZ built observatory on Mt. Graham and in return pays to monitor pop.


Douglas's Squirrel


description: white eye ring, less red than Red Squirrel (more grey), underparts greyish tan/orange than white, dark line on side, small ear tufts in winter


range: W. Pacific states through Sierra Nevada


habitat: coniferous forests


status:abundant, stable game species

may be important in dispersing seeds (stores green cones in moist areas), caches seed differently (all in one place)


California Ground Squirrel


description: brownish with prominent white flecks, dark triangle on back, white shoulders


range: Pacific coastal states from SW Washington to Baja CA


habitat: grassland, disturbed areas (like open country)


diet: omnivorous


litter: 5-8 young born in May


hibernate from Nov-Feb

generally solitary but may form loose colonies


status: stable pest species (not listed as game species- can kill it at any time)

disliked by ranchers: may eat crops and compete for forage, fleas carry bubonic plague, burrows can be hazard to livestock, poison as primary control






Black-tailed Prairie Dog


description: brown, slim tail with black tip, "fat little guy", very short ears


range: Great Plains area from Montana to TX (original range), now less approx. 1% of that

(same as black footed ferret, biggest predator)


diet: grasses


litter: 4-5 young in spring


repro: polygynous

social, greeting behavior to identify family members


status: DECLINING, proposed for listing

locally common, but overall range is highly fragmented, long history of shooting and poisoning


American Beaver


description: large, flat tail


range: most of US and Canada


habitat: rivers, streams, marshes, lakes, ponds


diet: food items (also used for building): POPLAR, aspen, willow,birch, maple


litter: 2


repro: monogamous, lifetime pair bonds


status: managed furbearer (not in CA), populations now mostly recovered


fell small trees to build dams and lodged to live in, lodges have 2 entrances and house a pair and their offspring

slap tails on water as a warning signal

beaver ponds are valuable to other wildlife, but can flood commerical timberland, highways, cropland, etc.

pelts were valued for clothes in 19th cent., motivated Euro. exploration of N. Am., unregulated trapping led to extirpation in much of range




description: thin, scaly tail (flattened horizontally), webbed feet (like Mountain Beaver, but with a TAIL)


range: Gulf Coast and other scattered populations throughout US (introduced)


habitat: marshes, ponds, streams (favors marches more than beavers)


builds feeding platforms, leftovers piled up after eating


litter: 4-6


repro: polygynous


status: managed game species, introduced to Louisiana in 1930s for fur, now widely introduced in N. Am., dense pop. raid crops, undermine stream banks and deplete vegetaiton for native wildlife


Common Porcupine


description: arched back, short legs, QUILLS


range: N. North America and W. US


habitat: forests, scrubby areas with trees


diet: cambium of trees


litter: single young



may damage commercial timber


mostly nocturnal


Botta's Pocket Gopher


description: short, skinless tail, long claws, brownish-grey

range: SW US to Mexico


habitat: varies- deserts to mtn. meadows

burrow systems- "nest"/sleeping area, food storage, etc.


diet: herbivores- roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, leaves


litter: 6 young


repro: breed once a year in spring


status: abundant pest species, may be a nuisance in ag. areas eating tubers and roots, making mounds, BUT they aerate the soil


Heermann's Kangaroo Rat


description: large back feet, LONG tail, fast (12 mph), large eyes


range: CA, west of Sierra, into Oregon


varied habitat


diet: granivorous and plants


litter: 2-5 young


repro: Feb-Oct, peaking in April



status: abundant

Morro Bay subspecies is highly endangered by habitat loss due to real estate development

Supporting users have an ad free experience!