Belding Ground Squirrel

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The Belding Ground Squirrel is also known as the Picket Pin for its habit of standing erect to survey its surroundings and bark at intruders. They are one of the most commonly seen animals of the higher elevations and the populations around Tioga Pass have been intensively studied. A group of researchers who tagged and followed them over years and tried to establish family relations, came to the conclusion that the alarm barks of the Belding are not a simple community service. In fact, male squirrels and females without offspring are far less likely to sound the alarm. Usually, a barking Belding is a female with close relatives in the area. So the alarm bark is a family affair, not a community service.

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