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Lodgepole chipmunk (Neotamias speciosus)        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Chipmunks are an attractive and species-rich group, especially in mountainous regions in the western US and Candada; other species occur in eastern North America and in Eurasia.  All are active, alert, and fast-moving.   I'm especially fond of them because I did my PhD research on three species in eastern California, the yellow-pine chipmunk, least chipmunk, and this species, the lodgepole chipmunk.   A fourth species, the alpine chipmunk is found in the same region, but above treeline only.   Lodgepole chipmunks, as their name implies, are most frequently found in high-altitude lodgepole pine forests, but they can also be found in nearby Jeffrey pines along stream courses.   These are medium-sized chipmunks, noticeably bigger than the other chipmunks of the east slope of the central Sierra.   They can be recognized by range and habitat, and by the rich orange undertail (unfortunately not visible in these images), orange-chestnut sides that tend to blend into the dark border of the first white side-stripe, and the distinct, bold facial striping.   These pictures were taken in Lee Vining Canyon, just east of Yosemite National Park, and in the Rock Creek drainage to the south.   Chipmunk species pictured on this site include:

  • Canon 1D Mk. II or 7D2, 500mm f4 IS with 1.4X or 2X extender or 800 mm IS with 1.4X extender, fill-in flash (2006, 2018)