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DescriptionThe Idaho Ground Squirrel is the only mammal endemic to Idaho. One subspecies, Spermophilus brunneus brunneus, lives only in about two dozen mountain meadows, and in 1998, biologists counted only 500 of them. Other subspecies may fare better, but the life of a ground squirrel is perilous. Only 40-60 percent of the adults survive their 8-9 month hibernation, and mortality is as high as 90 percent for juveniles. Females can mate for only a few hours a year, shortly after they emerge from hibernation. After mating (in the burrow) males guard the females from other males, which exposes the males to predation by prairie falcons and goshawks.
Mammal Species of the World
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