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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Rodentia · Sciuridae · Poliocitellus franklinii (Spermophilus franklinii)

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Poliocitellus franklinii (Spermophilus franklinii)

Franklin's Ground Squirrel

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Poliocitellus franklinii (Spermophilus franklinii)
Poliocitellus franklinii - right (with Urocitellus beldingi)
Click to enlarge. (92 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Franklin's Ground Squirrels live in closed habitats such as tall grass in disturbed areas, shrubland, and woodland edges. Their bushy tails, generally gray coloration, and occurrence in wooded areas can lead one to confuse them with a tree squirrel, the eastern Gray Squirrel. In addition to eating vegetation and insects, Franklin's Ground Squirrels are known to rob birds' nests of eggs and eat toads, mice, and young hares.

Also known as:

Gray Gopher, Gray Ground Squirrel, Bush Gopher, Whistling Squirrel

Sexual Dimorphism:

Males are slightly larger than females.


Average: 371 mm
Range: 355-410 mm


Average: 350-950 g males; 340-760 g females
Range: 340-950 g


Sabine, J., 1822.  Account of the marmots of North America hitherto known, with notices and descriptions of three new species, p. 587.  Transactions of the Linnaean Society of London, 13:579-591.


Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).

Distribution of Poliocitellus franklinii (Spermophilus franklinii)

Image of Poliocitellus franklinii (Spermophilus franklinii)
Click to enlarge. (114kb)

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