We examined microhabitat use of sympatrically occurring Tamias minimus (least chipmunk) and T. rufus (Hopi chipmunk) in a piñon-juniper/sagebrush vegetative community near Molina, western Colorado, from October 1994 to June 1999. This community is dominated by 2 major microhabitat types: shrub (sage; Artemisia spp.) and tree (pine and juniper; Pinus edulis and Juniperus scopulorum). Small mammals were live-trapped, marked, and released throughout this study. When it was the most abundant Tamias species on the study plots (1994–1997), Tamias minimus captures were associated with trees. Tamias rufus also exhibited this association but was captured at very low abundances during this period. Tamias rufus abundance was much greater, on average, than that of T. minimus between 1998 and 1999. During this time T. minimus captures were not associated with trees, but T. rufus captures remained associated with trees. As has been previously reported for other Tamias species, the greater abundance of 1 of 2 coexisting congeners in select areas may play a role in the microhabitat use of these 2 chipmunk species.
Root, J. Jeffrey; Calisher, Charles H.; and Beaty, Barry J.
"Microhabitat partitioning by two chipmunk species (Tamias) in western Colorado,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 61
, Article 15.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol61/iss1/15