What species of chipmunks are native to Illinois?
In this post, we review the common ground squirrel species in this state.
There are three different common species of ground squirrel, or chipmunks, found in Illinois.
Ground Squirrel / Chipmunks Native to Illinois
- Eastern chipmunk
- Thirteen-lined ground squirrel
- Franklin’s ground squirrel
Each of these chipmunks nests underground in burrows and have cheek pouches. They can be found in grasslands, prairies, and wooded areas that are not prone to flooding.
Eastern chipmunk: These can be found most places in Illinois but are very uncommon in southeastern Illinois.
The Eastern Chipmunks are identified by their red-brown fur, five dark brown stripes and contrasting light brown stripes on its back, dark tail, and a light colored underside.
They primarily feed on bulbs, nuts, seeds, fruits, flowers, plants etc. This species store their food in their burrows and come back to it later.
They are generally a solitary species and only socialize during mating season. They do not enter a true hibernation in the winter but enter a period of dormancy.
Related Post: What Damage Can Chipmunks Do?
Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel
Thirteen-lined ground squirrel: They are sometimes known as the striped gopher or leopard ground squirrel.
The Thirteen-lined ground squirrel has thirteen alternating brown and white stripes and white spots in between. They occur in the northern 2/3 of Illinois and are particularly active on warm days.
This species feeds on grasses, weeds, seeds, plants, and insects. They are known for their surveying behavior in which they stand on their hind legs to examine the surrounding area.
Franklin’s Ground Squirrel
Franklin’s ground squirrel: These occur in the northern 2/3 of Illinois but can be uncommon due to their threatened status. They are listed as a protected species in Illinois under the Endangered Species Act.
They are brownish gray in color, with light speckles across their body, light undersides, and solid gray heads.
This species is omnivorous and eats anything ranging from insects to eggs, plants, small birds, and frogs. These squirrels are also generally solitary.
If chipmunks or ground squirrels are making a home on your property, damaging your gardens, or causing burrowing damage, do not hesitate to call animal control to remove them safely.
For professional chipmunk removal in Chicagoland call Attic Solutions (847) 464-1861
Attic Solutions can provide you with humane live animal removal services in the Chicagoland suburbs.