We have so much wildlife here in the Columbia Valley of all varying sorts, but often our eyes are drawn to the larger types. Although animals like elk, bears and deer are stunning to observe we must not forget about the cute little furry ones. Thanks to Alan Dibb, Kootenay’s Wildlife Specialist and the article below from Larry Halverson we are keeping a close eye on Columbia Ground Squirrels and tracking their hibernation patterns.
Kootenay National Park has been keeping track of when Columbia Ground Squirrels emerge from hibernation. Their appearance dates in April can vary from year to year. However, their emergence pattern is the same – first the adult males surface, then slightly later the adult females, and finally the yearlings of both sexes.
During the next four months adult squirrels must reproduce and store enough fat for eight months of hibernation. The females typically breed within a week of surfacing from their burrows, but their young will not appear above ground until two months later. So watch for little ground squirrels around the end of June.
Alan Dibb, Kootenay’s Wildlife Specialist, would like to know when you see the first Columbia Ground Squirrel poke its head above ground. He can be reached at (250)-347- 6158 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .