Occurrence and potential interaction of two chipmunk species (Tamias) in Rocky Mountain National Park
Sholty, Kathleen E.
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• Two species of chipmunks, Tamias minimus and T. umbrinus, are known to occur in the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies, inhabiting a variety of vegetation types and specific elevational ranges. • Identification of and characterization of interactions between these two species are difficult due to the similar morphological characteristics they display, as well as their sympatric distributions. • Our study was part of a larger survey of small mammal diversity in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), from which we chose to focus on the distribution and interactions between T. minimus and T. umbrinus. • Based on previous studies, we expect to find T. minimus in a variety of habitats and predict the frequent capture of T. umbrinus with T. minimus areas ranging from middle to higher elevations. • If the two species are in competition with one another, we expect the mass of T. umbrinus to be greater in the absence of T. minimus.