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Richardson's ground squirrel

Spermophilus richardsonii
Photo by weaselhead.org Steve Mason

Habitat: Open areas in the grasslands and farm land.

Description: Tan-grey back and a tan-yellow belly.

Size: 28-32 cm long; 260-630 g

Diet: Grasses, green vegetation, seeds, fruits, flowers and insects.

Fun Facts: Commonly called the ‘gopher’, this ground squirrel has a bad reputation as a pest and gets killed a lot. As a key species in the food web and having its den used by several animals, the killing of Richardson’s ground squirrels has contributed to the drop in the Badger, Burrowing Owl and Swift fox populations.

Source: Pattie, D. and C. Fisher. 1999. Mammals of Alberta. Lone Pine Publishing.

area wildlife + plants

Golden Bean
Thermopsis rhombifolia
Has alternate, compound leaves with 3 leaflets, but it also has stipules, that look like leaves that have no stem, and clasp the main stem.  Bluish green in color, smooth, or with little hair.   Flowers short, crowded into clusters.  Flowers are 1-2cm long, bright yellow color, with small black lines in the centre.
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