Ground squirrels are truly amazing creatures, and the Piute Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus mollis) is no exception. Hibernating 7 months of the year, these critters are found in particular abundance in southwestern Idaho within the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.
They form the foundational prey species supporting the greatest concentration of non-colonial nesting raptors in the world.
Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus) reproduction in the area is closely tied to ground squirrel abundance, and the sheer number of Piute Ground Squirrels within the National Conservation Area supports the largest breeding population of Prairie Falcons in North America.
When Piute Ground Squirrels begin to emerge from their underground burrows every January, a truly unique spectacle can be witnessed in southwestern Idaho. Don’t miss out, and visit your National Conservation Lands today!
Tags: 52-week project, birds, Falco, falco mexicanus, falcon, ground squirrel, national conservation area, piute ground squirrel, Snake River Birds of Prey, urocitellus mollis