Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Rodentia > Sciuridae > Urocitellus > Urocitellus columbianus

Urocitellus columbianus (Columbian ground squirrel)

Synonyms: Spermophilus columbianus

Wikipedia Abstract

The Columbian ground squirrel (Urocitellus columbianus), is a species of rodent common in certain regions of Canada and the northwestern United States. It is the second largest member of the genus Urocitellus, which is part of the tribe Marmotini, along with marmots, chipmunks, prairie dogs, and other holarctic ground squirrels. They are stout, with short dense fur, which is characteristically tawny across the bridge of the nose. Social encounters often are initiated with kissing behavior and the most common activity above ground is standing at attention. Residing in mountainous terrain and high plains in northern latitudes, they hibernate most of the year in underground burrows, which may be used for many years. They are emaciated when emerging in the spring. These long periods of torpor
View Wikipedia Record: Urocitellus columbianus


EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 2.94
EDGE Score: 1.37


Adult Weight [1]  1.09 lbs (493 g)
Birth Weight [2]  9 grams
Diet [3]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Granivore, Herbivore
Diet - Invertibrates [3]  20 %
Diet - Plants [3]  40 %
Diet - Seeds [3]  40 %
Forages - Ground [3]  100 %
Gestation [2]  24 days
Litter Size [2]  3
Litters / Year [2]  1
Weaning [2]  30 days


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Alberta Mountain forests Canada Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Alberta-British Columbia foothills forests Canada Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Blue Mountains forests United States Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Cascade Mountains leeward forests Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Central British Columbia Mountain forests Canada Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Montana Valley and Foothill grasslands Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
North Central Rockies forests Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Okanagan dry forests Canada, United States Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests
Palouse grasslands United States Nearctic Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Snake-Columbia shrub steppe United States Nearctic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
South Central Rockies forests United States Nearctic Temperate Coniferous Forests

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Banff National Park II 1690912 Alberta, Canada
Coram Biosphere Reserve 7460 Montana, United States
Craters of the Moon National Monument V 690996 Idaho, United States
Glacier National Park II 953799 Montana, United States
Jasper National Park II 2776809 Alberta, Canada
Kootenay National Park II 341762 British Columbia, Canada
Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area V 103172 Washington, United States
Mount Revelstoke National Park Ia 18 British Columbia, Canada
Waterton Biosphere Reserve II 121459 Alberta, Canada
Yoho National Park II 317576 British Columbia, Canada

Prey / Diet

Achillea distans subsp. distans (yarrow)[4]
Balsamorhiza sagittata (arrowleaf balsamroot)[2]
Bromus moeszii (military grass)[5]
Cerastium arvense (field chickweed)[4]
Cirsium arvense (Creeping Thistle)[4]
Cirsium foliosum (elk thistle)[5]
Cirsium vulgare (Spear Thistle)[4]
Dactylis glomerata (orchardgrass)[5]
Diarrhena americana (varioushair fescue)[5]
Elymus repens (quackgrass)[5]
Elymus spicatus (Bluebunch wheatgrass)[2]
Equisetum scirpoides (dwarf scouringrush)[4]
Erigeron speciosus (aspen fleabane)[2]
Eritrichium nanum (arctic alpine forget me not)[4]
Erodium cicutarium (redstem)[5]
Linaria vulgaris (Butter-and-Eggs)[4]
Lupinus sericeus (Pursh's silky lupine)[2]
Medicago sativa (yellow alfalfa)[5]
Phleum alpinum (alpine timothy)[2]
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass)[5]
Polygonum aviculare subsp. aviculare (prostrate knotweed)[5]
Populus balsamifera (balsam poplar)[4]
Rumex acetosella (Common Sheep Sorrel)[4]
Taraxacum campylodes (Dandelion)[2]
Taraxacum tenejapense[4]
Trifolium dubium (hop clover)[4]
Verbascum thapsus (great mullein)[4]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Acanthis flammea (Common Redpoll)2
Adelphocoris lineolatus (alfalfa plant bug)1
Amblytylus nasutus1
Ammospermophilus nelsoni (Nelson's antelope squirrel)1
Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard)1
Andrena barbilabris1
Andrena clarkella (Clark's Mining Bee)1
Anthophora abrupta (miner bee)1
Anthophora plumipes (Spring Flower Bee)1
Apis mellifera (honey bee)1
Armadillidium vulgare (pillbug)1
Bombus fervidus (Golden northern bumble bee)1
Bombus lucorum (White-tailed bumblebee)1
Brachylagus idahoensis (Pygmy Rabbit)1
Branta canadensis (Canada Goose)1
Callipepla gambelii (Gambel's Quail)1
Capsus ater2
Carduelis carduelis (European Goldfinch)2
Cathartes aura (Turkey Vulture)1
Cervus elaphus (wapiti or elk)2
Chaetocnema concinna1
Chaetodipus penicillatus (desert pocket mouse)1
Chlamydatus pullus1
Closterotomus norvegicus (strawberry bug)1
Colinus virginianus (Northern Bobwhite)2
Contarinia geniculati1
Dipodomys elator (Texas kangaroo rat)1
Dipodomys ingens (giant kangaroo rat)1
Emberiza schoeniclus (Reed Bunting)1
Fringilla coelebs (Common Chaffinch)2
Gastrophysa polygoni1
Grus grus (Common Crane)1
Lemmiscus curtatus (sagebrush vole)3
Leptopterna dolabrata (meadow plant bug)2
Leptopterna ferrugata1
Lepus europaeus (European Hare)1
Lepus townsendii (White-tailed Jackrabbit)2
Lygocoris pabulinus (Common Green Capsid)1
Lygus rugulipennis1
Marmota flaviventris (yellow-bellied marmot)4
Mayetiola destructor (hessian fly)1
Meleagris gallopavo (Wild Turkey)2
Microtus pennsylvanicus (meadow vole)1
Microtus pinetorum (woodland vole)1
Microtus townsendii (Townsend's vole)1
Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer)2
Ovis canadensis (bighorn sheep)3
Passer domesticus (House Sparrow)2
Passer montanus (Eurasian Tree Sparrow)1
Perognathus flavescens (plains pocket mouse)1
Perognathus merriami (Merriam's pocket mouse)1
Peromyscus leucopus (white-footed mouse)1
Phanacis taraxaci (dandelion gall wasp)1
Rattus norvegicus (Norway rat)2
Spinus spinus (Eurasian Siskin)1
Spinus tristis (American Goldfinch)1
Stenotus binotatus (Two-spotted Grass Bug)1
Streptopelia decaocto (Eurasian Collared-Dove)1
Streptopelia turtur (European Turtle-Dove)2
Sylvilagus audubonii (Desert Cottontail)1
Sylvilagus floridanus (Eastern Cottontail)1
Tamias dorsalis (cliff chipmunk)1
Tamias minimus (least chipmunk)1
Tamias ruficaudus (red-tailed chipmunk)2
Thomomys talpoides (northern pocket gopher)2
Urocitellus armatus (Uinta ground squirrel)1
Urocitellus brunneus (Idaho ground squirrel)1
Urocitellus washingtoni (Washington ground squirrel)1
Ursus arctos (Grizzly Bear)2
Zenaida macroura (Mourning Dove)1
Zonotrichia albicollis (White-throated Sparrow)2


Accipiter gentilis (Northern Goshawk)[2]
Aquila chrysaetos (Golden Eagle)[2]
Buteo jamaicensis (Red-tailed Hawk)[2]
Buteo swainsoni (Swainson's Hawk)[4]
Canis latrans (Coyote)[2]
Lynx lynx (Eurasian Lynx)[2]
Martes americana (American Marten)[2]
Puma concolor (Cougar)[2]
Taxidea taxus (American Badger)[2]
Ursus arctos (Grizzly Bear)[2]


Parasitized by 
Aetheca wagneri[6]
Callistopsyllus terinus terinus[6]
Catallagia charlottensis[6]
Catallagia decipiens[6]
Cediopsylla inaequalis inaequalis[6]
Ceratophyllus vison[6]
Dermacentor andersoni (Rocky Mountain wood tick)[2]
Enderleinellus suturalis[2]
Epitedia wenmanni wenmanni[6]
Eumolpianus eumolpi eumolpi[6]
Foxella ignota recula[6]
Hystrichopsylla dippiei dippiei[6]
Hystrichopsylla dippiei spinata[6]
Hystrichopsylla dippiei truncata[6]
Linognathoides laeviusculus[4]
Malaraeus telchinus[6]
Megabothris abantis[6]
Neopsylla inopina[6]
Oropsylla arctomys[6]
Oropsylla bruneri[6]
Oropsylla idahoensis[6]
Oropsylla labis[6]
Oropsylla oregonensis[6]
Oropsylla rupestris[6]
Oropsylla tuberculata tuberculata[6]
Rhadinopsylla fraterna[6]
Rhadinopsylla sectilis sectilis[6]
Thrassis acamantis acamantis[6]
Thrassis acamantis howelli[6]
Thrassis pandorae pandorae[6]
Thrassis petiolatus[6]
Trichinella spiralis (pork worm)[7]

Range Map

North America;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Felisa A. Smith, S. Kathleen Lyons, S. K. Morgan Ernest, Kate E. Jones, Dawn M. Kaufman, Tamar Dayan, Pablo A. Marquet, James H. Brown, and John P. Haskell. 2003. Body mass of late Quaternary mammals. Ecology 84:3403
2Spermophilus columbianus, Charles L. Elliott and Jerran T. Flinders, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 372, pp. 1-9 (1991)
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
5Individual variation in the ability of Columbian ground squirrels to select an optimal diet, MARK E. RITCHIE, Evolutionary Ecology, 1988, 2, 232-252
6International Flea Database
7Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access