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Alpine chipmunk (Neotamias alpinus)        Images © Mark A. Chappell

The chipmunks of North America are a diverse group, but all are small, active, graceful, and colorful, with face and back stripes.   Many have limited distributions, and this one, the alpine chipmunk, has one of the most restricted ranges: above timberline in the central Sierra Nevada, between Lake Tahoe and Mt. Whitney.   Although common, it may be threatened by global warming, if its habitat shrinks due to elevations in timberline and invasions of competing chipmunk species.  Alpine chipmunks can be identified by their high-altitude habitat, small size, and pale coloration.   These were photographed near Saddlebag Lake, east of Yosemite National Park, California (several are juveniles).   Chipmunk species pictured on this site include:

  • Canon 30D or 7D2, 500 mm IS lens or 800 mm IS lens with 1.4X extender, fill-in flash (2007, 2018)