Siberian Chipmunks or Korean Groundsquirrels
are lots of books and booklets available on chipmunks or ground
squirrels; Pets at Home, Focus, etc., stock them. Some are 160-180
pages in length, so you must read them if you are interested in
the wild they occur right round the northern sector of the globe
in the afforested regions, living in open glades amongst the trees
in Canada, North America, and South East Asia, e.g. Korea, hence
the name. Like most squirrels, they self regulate their numbers
by spacing themselves out. Each female digs a tunnel 1.5-3 m. deep
with one or two side galleries or little rooms. Here she gives birth
to and rears up to 8 young in a litter. They hibernate each autumn
until the following spring.
as pets in the 1960's and 1970's, 100's are bred in the UK each
year, including many in various colour variants like the white (really
animals are rodents and feed on all sorts of nuts and seeds. In
the wild they hibernate underground through the winter months.
can see this energetic creature in the Tropical House.
chipmunks are aggressive towards one another. Some females only
accept the male for mating (they make a very audible chirruping
when in oestrus). Provide two nest boxes, if you can, so they can
stay separate, if possible, especially at night, when they prefer
to use a nest box to sleep.
captivity, accommodation is highly variable. If cages are too small,
ie., a typical bird cage, they 'stereotype' by doing repeated circles
of the cage and backward flips - not a good idea. For the first
year they will live as a group, but come the Spring, each female
will fight the others to obtain the 'space' to herself, so most
serious breeders try to keep them in pairs.