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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tamias minimus.jpg
Least chipmunk (Neotamias minimus)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Tetrapodomorpha
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Tribe: Marmotini
Genus: Neotamias
A. H. Howell, 1929
23 species

Neotamias is a genus of chipmunks within the tribe Marmotini of the squirrel family. It contains 23 species, which mostly occur in western North America. Along with Eutamias, this genus is often considered a subgenus of Tamias.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Conservation Connect: Small Mammals
  • Cute Chipmunk Goes in Slow Motion!


(birds chirpping, ducks quacking) Today we're coming to you from the prairie. (music playing) Hi, everyone. Welcome to the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Conservation Connect. I'm Chelsea McKinney, and today we're going to explore conservation careers, awesome animals, and all kinds of technology that conservation professionals use to study and help wildlife. Today I'm coming to you from Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. (music playing) Joining us today we have Ariel Elliott, a researcher at the University of Tennessee, who is studying small mammals here at Sevilleta. Ariel, thank you so much for having us at this amazing refuge. What beautiful prairie you have. Thank you for coming down. I'm wondering, what is the best part of your job? The best part of my job is being out here. This is my office. And it's pretty amazing, expansive, and I see new things every day. What kinds of techniques are you using to study small mammals? Can you show us? What exactly do you do here? Yeah. I can show you out in the field. Come with me. All right. Let's go. (music playing) We started by checking some of Ariel's small mammal traps. You can peer inside side. A little pocket mouse. You got one! So cute. So then I just usually get my bag out. You have to wrap it around the corners to make it tight so they don't escape out. (crinkling plastic bag) You just do a little swoop, and into the bag they go. (crinkling plastic bag) Twist it. Weigh them. (music playing) This one weighs 19 in the bag. How much does the bag weigh? The bag weighs eight. And there's not a lot of food in here. So you know that the bag would be minus eight. I'm going to scooch him into the corner. You just grab their scruff, like you would a cat. Yep, like a kitten or a puppy? And there you have it. Ah, that's so cute. It's a silky pocket mouse? And I usually just mark them to show that they were captured. Black is for the first night of capture. The first capture, so you put that on the body. Yep, I give them a little vest. (music playing) So if we capture another one that has black, that means you've captured it at least one other time. And what does that tell us? If you capture enough of the black ones it means it was a recapture. It means you can tell population size. So I can estimate a population size based on how many I have recaptured that have the black markings. Yes. (music playing) What do we have? We have a woodrat. A woodrat? (music playing) Whoa. That thing is not small. Refuge biologist John Erz assisted in processing this woodrat. Let's weigh it. (music playing) 168. Yep. A fancy new ear piercing. You'll be really cool. (music playing) Then we released this little guy. (music playing) There he goes. (music playing) Now it was time for me to get some hands-on experience weighing a kangaroo rat. All right. I think I've got to weight it. I'm going to weigh it. I've got the scale. Twist. (music, crinkling plastic) This one has a tail. (music playing) What have we got? Like 64? (music playing) Once I finished my measurements, I set him free. (music playing) Ariel, can you tell me more about small mammals, what kinds of species you're finding in these traps, and then why you find them so interesting? I find them interesting because they're small and they're really adorable. And there's so many of them. You wouldn't suspect because it's like nothing's out here. But there is. There's desert, but it's full of life. And the types of species that I get are kangaroo rats basically and the small pocket mouse, which you saw earlier. Now, you have the coolest job. Students that are going into school, what kinds of things should they be doing to get a job as cool as yours? Get out there. Go talk to your professors and your teachers. Just go out for activities that are outdoors. Thank you, Ariel, so much for showing us around Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge and this amazing prairie that you have. Thank you for coming. But you haven't really seen it all yet. This is just a small part of it. (music playing) It's really amazing when we can combine our love of wildlife, the beautiful outdoors and the techniques of catching small mammals to help protect our fish, wildlife, and our beautiful places. We'll see you guys next time on the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Conservation Connect. (music playing)



  • Musser, G. G.; Durden, L. A.; Holden, M. E.; and Light, J. E. (2010) "Systematic review of endemic Sulawesi squirrels (Rodentia, Sciuridae), with descriptions of new species of associated sucking lice (Insecta, Anoplura), and phylogenetic and zoogeographic assessments of sciurid lice." Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 339.
  • Piaggio, A. J. and Spicer, G. S. 2001. "Molecular phylogeny of the chipmunks inferred from mitochondrial cytochrome b and cytochrome oxidase II gene sequences." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 20: 335–350.

This page was last edited on 3 November 2018, at 13:00
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