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Name:  Sandy M.
Status: other
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 7/4/2003


Question:
I've never seen more than one chipmunk for every two holes. Seems like one hole is an escape or secondary entry/exit. Do they always live by themselves. And if it's a female do all the babies leave home to set up separate living quarters?


Replies:
Except during the breeding season, most species of chipmunks are more or less solitary.

Their territories are usually based on food availability. However, an uneasy truce seems to develop when a huge supply of food is present like at a bird feeder location or some other human endeavor, but I have never observed any communal burrows.

Yes, it is common for chipmunks to burrow under ground and have more than one entrance to their burrows for chipmunks have always been easy prey for snakes, raptors, even domesticated cats and dogs, and other regional predators. Their burrows are not large and a means of escape often means survival.

At a certain time in the pups development, the female insists upon her broods to leave their birth place burrow. At this time I have observed youngsters traveling together for a time to eventually assume their solitary existence. I have seen up to five pups popping their heads out of a burrow prior to this time.

I'm not going to pretend that all species of chipmunks are the same, but for the Eastern

Chipmunk in North America the above information is applicable.

Steve Sample


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