Oregon Caves National Monument
In July 2013 I flew to Portland, Oregon, and spent a few days driving down to LA. One of my targets was the Siskiyou Chipmunk, which has a pretty limited range on the California/Oregon border. I spent a night at Oregon Caves National Monument to look for them after a tip from squirrel guru John Koprowski.
Some of the information I’d read suggested they were most likely at around 7,000 ft, but they were easy to find by the visitor centre at Oregon Caves National Monument (at around 4,000ft) and also pretty muvh at sea level at Jedediah Smith Sate Redwoods Park, just over the border in California: indeed the Redwood Highway (Hwy 199) that joins the two parks goes through prime Siskiyou Chipmunk habitat from Cave Junction to Crescent City and you would probably see them on the roadside in the early morning.
Identification is fairly easy as the only other species that overlaps is the more colourful Yellow-Pine Chipmunk, which I found in the forest along the trail back from the cave.
The caves themselves are home to 8 species of bats in the winter, but they are not often seen in summer. I didn’t see any during the cave tour, though the ranger said there had been a couple of Townsend’s Big-eared Bats fluttering around earlier in the day.
A 30 minute spotlight after dinner was unproductive. Bushy-tailed Woodrats are common it seems (there had been one in the staff dormitory kitchen the night before). Other mammals I saw included a Black-tailed Deer, a couple of Western Deer Mice (caught in the forest outside the park), and a Douglas Squirrel.
Crater Lake NP and Diamond Lake Recreation Area, 2022: Greg Greer’s account of seeing Belding’s and Yellow-bellied Marmots, plus 3 other species including Siskiyou Chipmunks.
Oregon mini trip, 2022: Ian Thompson’s amusing account of some furtive mammalwatching during a non-mammal trip. 17 species including a Dusky-footed Woodrat, Mountain Goat and a probable Ringtail.
California and Oregon, June 2020: Jon Hall with mammals including Long-tailed Weasel, Humboldt’s Flying Squirrel, Camas Pocket Gopher and Baja Pocket Mouse.
Pacific Northwest, 2019: Daan Drukker, 3.5 weeks & 40 species including Long-tailed Weasel, Northern Rightwhale Dolphin, and Allen’s Chipmunk. Great report.
California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah & Nevada, 2017: Jan Ebr, 4 weeks & 31 species including Grizzly, Wolf and a variety of chipmunks.
Grand Ground Squirrel Expedtion, 2016: John & Karen Shrader, 9 days & 22 species including Sewellel, American Badger and 9 ground squirrel species.
Aplodontia Site, Portland (August 2019)
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