Scientific Name: Xerospermophilus mohavensis
About the Mohave Ground Squirrel
DescriptionHabitatBehaviorThreats & StatusFun Fact
The mohave ground squirrel is a rodent native to the Mojave desert in California. The squirrel measures only about 9 inches in length. Their fur is a light brown color with a white underside. Furthermore, these squirrels are solitary and diurnal animals and feed continuously during the day. Their main diet consists of seeds, fungi, forbs and fruits.
This squirrel species can inhabit Joshua trees, creosote scrub, and saltbush scrub, as well as mixed woody scrub. Therefore, you can often see these squirrels in creosote bushes.
Ground squirrels are only active around spring and summer. Around July, these squirrels enter a period of estivation. The mating season begins in February and lasts through March. Predators of the ground squirrel include badgers, coyotes, snakes, falcons and hawks.
According to the California Endangered Species Act, the mohave ground squirrel is threatened. This is due to habitat loss and fragmentation. In addition, the IUCN lists this species as vulnerable.
Litters are born blind and unable to hear.
Read more about other California in our post Species of the Mojave Desert.