Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
Search the Archive

  Rodentia · Sciuridae · Tamias alpinus
   Smithsonian Institution
   Copyright Notice
   Privacy Notice
Tamias alpinus

Alpine Chipmunk

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Tamias alpinus
Click to enlarge. (58 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Alpine chipmunks live only at high elevations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. They are found in rocky areas such as rock-bordered alpine meadows, talus slopes, and rockslides, with such other mammals as pikas, ermine, yellow-bellied marmots, and bighorn sheep. Seeds, small alpine plants, and sedges make up most of the chipmunk's diet, but they also eat fruits, berries, fungi, forbs, and grasses. They are active until mid-October and then hibernate until June.

Also known as:
Mountain Chipmunk

Average: 174 mm males; 177 mm females
Range: 166-184 mm males; 169-181 mm females

Range: 27.5-45.5 g


Merriam, C.H., 1893.  Descriptions of eight new ground squirrels of the genera Spermophilus and Tamias from California, Texas, and Mexico, p. 137.  Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 8:129-138.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Tamias alpinus

Image of Tamias alpinus
Click to enlarge. (356kb)