ID for some mammals from California/Arizona – part 1

Hello all,
In May-June I was in California and Arizona. It was a great trip, we saw about 65 species of mammals with Black-footed ferret, Island fox, Bobcat, … (report is coming in the next weeks). However, I am still struggling with the ID of some animals, mainly chipmunks and kangaroo rats. I have pictures of most of them, and decided to split this up in 2 parts, one with the sciurids, and a second with mainly mice and rats. Thanks in advance for helping me out with these!

In Yosemite, I saw many chipmunks, which were mainly Lodgepoles, but I also saw Long-eared (Merced Grove), Shadow (Merced Grove) and Alpine (Tioga ). I found that id’ing Lodgepole and Long-eared was quite difficult…
1. Chipmunk, seen near the Toga Pass entrance. I saw an Alpine chipmunk there too, but I think the one on the photo is a Lodgepole?
2015_05_31 IMG_1941 7u48 Lodgepole chipmunk Yosemite N.P.
2. Another chipmunk from Yosemite, this one was seen along the Tioga Road near Lembert Dome. Another Lodgepole?

2015_05_31 IMG_2109 18u13 Lodgepole chipmunk Yosemite N.P.
3. Chipmunk, Tuolumne Grove. This one seems to have quite some white behind the ears, so Long-eared?

2015_06_01 IMG_2168 7u59 Long-eared chipmunk Yosemite N.P.
4. Another from the same location, also Long-eared?
2015_06_01 IMG_2201 8u09 Long-eared chipmunk Yosemite N.P.
5. One from Merced Grove, from where Long-eared is often reported.
2015_06_01 IMG_2297 10u35 Long-eared chipmunk Yosemite N.P.
6. A squirrel from Mojave National Preserve. Rock squirrel? (I saw many squirrels of this species in Arizona, but this one seems to be different).
2015_06_05 IMG_3067 9u50 squirrel Mojave
7. Another Rock squirrel from Mojave?
2015_06_05 IMG_3186 12u28 Rock squirrel Mojave
8. A chipmunk from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Cliff was abundant here, this one looks not as grey as the Cliffs. Could this be Uinta?
2015_06_06 IMG_3285 12u53 Cliff chipmunk Grand Canyon N.P.
9. Another one from the Grand Canyon, this one liked to climb in trees.
2015_06_07 IMG_3485 9u41 chipmunk Grand Canyon N.P.
10. A crappy picture from a chipmunk I saw at Ten-X Campground, a few miles south of Grand Canyon. Is this a Cliff chipmunk (although the habitat was pine forest without any rocks or cliffs nearby), or Uinta (or impossible to say from this picture :-))?
2015_06_07 IMG_3448 7u50 chipmunkTen-X Campground
11. I saw this squirrel at the same campsite, is this an Abert’s without eartufts?
2015_06_08 IMG_3670 5u59 Abert's squirrel Ten-X Campground
12. Some bats to finish, I don’t expect these can be identified, but since I have pictures I give it a try. This one was seen near Potwisha Campground in Sequoia, they emerged well before it was dark and were pretty small – Canyon bat? Another slightly lighter and larger species was flying around at the same time here too (maybe a California myotis?)
2015_06_02 IMG_2533 20u08 vleermuis Sequoia N.P.
13. Another bat, this time from Joshua Tree. This one was larger than the other bats (which I think were Canyon bats) flying around.
2015_06_12 IMG_4679 20u00 bat Joshua Tree N.P.
14. Finally, one without photo. At Tamarack Flat Campground in Yosemite I heard several bats flying around after dark, on my bat detector I could hear them best on 20 kHz.

Thanks again for any help!



  • vnsankar123

    I’m pretty sure photo 1 is Lodgepole. Photo 2 kinda confuses me, but probably also Lodgepole. 3, 4, and 5 are Long-eared I think.

    Rock Squirrel only occurs in CA in the Providence Mountains (in Mojave NR). If you were there, you probably had Rock Squirrel; otherwise, it would be California Ground Squirrel, which is expanding its range into the Mojave Desert. More specific locality info might be helpful here for 6 and 7.

    11 should be Abert’s, but the lack of ear tufts does really confuse me. I guess it would have to be Abert’s though, as nothing even remotely similar to it occurs on Grand Canyon S Rim.

    • simonfeys

      Thanks for your comments! The squirrels in Mojave were seen on or near the track to Cima Dome (or Teutonia Peak). Number 7 looked like California ground squirrel, but since the range map in my field guide didn’t show it for that location, I thought this species was not possible. Number 8 looked a bit different (more lika Rock I think).

  • vdinets

    I think #2 is a Yellow-pine. Lodgepoles don’t have a black stripe below the white stripe on the flank, and Long-eared have broader black cheek stripe. I agree with vnsankar on others.

    #8-9 sure look like Uinta, and #10 like a Cliff.

    Abert’s can have virtually no ear tufts in summer.

    #13 sure looks like a freetail. Did you hear any audible flight calls?

    • simonfeys

      Thanks a lot! I didn’t consider Yellow-pine, but it indeed looks like that one. Great also to see that I identified the Uinta’s correct, so I did better than I thought 🙂 I think I heard some flight calls there, so (Mexican?) freetail indeed seems a good call!

      • vdinets

        Mexican Freetails don’t vocalize that much away from the roost area. If it was really large, it could be Big Freetail (or, if it was really huge and gave long series of calls, a Western Bonneted).

    • vnsankar123

      Yeah come to think of it I actually thought Yellow-pine for a minute there (that dark flank stripe did confuse me regarding Lodgepole), but mistakenly assumed they weren’t in range. Sierran chipmunks can be very confusing…

      Agree with Yellow Pine.

  • simonfeys

    It was quite big (but not huge), and didn’t give long series of calls, so I guess Big freetail could be the one I saw. Thanks again!

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