Wildlife of the Week: Yellow-pine Chipmunk

This chipmunk species is a familiar sighting for any Palouse hiking enthusiast



A Yellow-Pine Chipmunk rests on a fallen pine, May 27, near Wenas, Wash.


The Yellow-pine Chipmunk is a small chipmunk species that can be found in Pullman’s high-elevation pine forests, like Kamiak and Steptoe buttes, or at Paradise Ridge in Moscow.

These chipmunks live throughout the Pacific Northwest and are primarily found in Southwestern Canada, Washington, Idaho and Oregon, according to Animal Diversity Web.

To find these chipmunks, hikers can look around fallen logs near berry bushes when they are wandering through the woods.

The Yellow-pine Chipmunk is one of the smallest chipmunk species in Northwest America and the second smallest in Washington state, according to the Slater Museum of Natural History.

The Least Chipmunk, which is the smallest species in the state, can also be found in pine forests on the Palouse. It is very difficult to tell the two species apart. One of the only ways to truly differentiate the species is to measure their skulls, something that typically requires the animals to be captured and held in hand, according to NatureLynx.