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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, December 10, 2014: Black Arctic Ground Squirrel

Black Squirrel 1ccs

Ground Squirrels are fairly common in western North America.  Many people call them gophers but this is not correct.  A gopher is an animal that lives underground and stays there.  Most people have never seen one.   Ground Squirrels are simply squirrels that live underground instead of in a tree.  Unlike a gopher, they feed above ground.

There are several different species of Ground Squirrels of which the Arctic Ground Squirrel is one.  The range of the Arctic Ground Squirrel covers Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories in northern Canada and northern British Columbia.  They are brown in colour.


However, there is a very small group of Arctic Ground Squirrels that are black.  The Black Arctic Ground Squirrel is very rare.  They live only in a very small area of about ten sq km, about one hour’s drive east of Whitehorse in the Yukon.  After a couple of days of searching I was lucky enough to find and photograph them. 


I am on a quest to photograph all the Ground Squirrels of North America and I still have a couple more species to find.



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  • Black Squirrel 1ccs

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