Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by David Behmer
Photo Copyright David Behmer

The cliff chipmunk, Neotamias dorsalis, is common in many types of habitat, ranging from saltbrush to pine forests, in western, central, and northeastern Utah. The species also occurs in parts of Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. The cliff chipmunk is primarily a ground-dwelling species, but individuals will occasionally climb trees to look for food.

Cliff chipmunks eat seeds, nuts, and fruits. The species mates in the spring, and litters of three to six young are born in the late spring or early summer. During the summer, cliff chipmunks are most active during the early morning and late afternoon. In Utah, individuals of the species are inactive during the winter, when they retreat to their underground burrows to hibernate.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.