Thursday, June 08, 2006

Eastern Chipmunk

Squirrels are not native to Newfoundland. However, both the red squirrel and the eastern chipmunk were introduced in the 1960's.

The Eastern chipmunk is a small, brownish, ground-dwelling squirrel. They are very easy to identify by their short, pointy heads marked with two white stripes, one above and one below the eye and five black lines with white striping down the back.

The chipmunk has has not adapted very well to the Newfoundland climate. They were introduced to three provincial parks beween 1963 and 1968 and remain common in the park regions but they do not appear to be spreading much beyond the parks. Chipmunks prefer deciduous forests rather than the coniferous spruce forests of northern climes . They are found in southern Canada and the United States.

1 comment:

Genevieve Netz said...

He's a handsome little fellow. Actually, I'm glad to hear that they don't seem to be spreading outside the parks where they were introduced. I am curious about why the decision was made to introduce an exotic rodent. Too often, the plan goes bad when the exotic animal begins throwing the ecosystem out of balance. So I hope the chipmunks and squirrels will continue to live just in the parks.

My husband has been trying to lure squirrels into the yard for years. We have planted oaks that are just now bearing acorns and he hope that this will bring them here to live at last.