Rocky Mountain National Park is Waking Up for Spring!

Wyoming Ground Squirrel

Even when "spring" looks a lot like winter, there are some tell-tale signs that warmer weather is on its way.  One such sign happens every April, as many of RMNP's small mammals come out of hibernation.  The Wyoming Ground Squirrel, like you see in the above picture, are generally seen in the first week of April.  When they emerge it is the first time they've seen the sun in nearly seven months!  These amazing creatures eat meadow grass in the park, and play an important role in the ecosystem.  Each family of Wyoming Ground Squirrels creates a burrow system that includes a restroom chamber.  Since they mostly eat grass and seeds, some of these seeds do not get digested and are "planted" in the chamber.  Wyoming Ground Squirrels are cute and fuzzy, and because they hibernate more than 50% of their lives, are not the smartest animals.  This works out well for predators in the park, making them easy summer time prey. 

Come to Rocky Mountain National Park this spring to join the Wyoming Ground Squirrels as they wake up from their long winter slumber!   

by Jared Gricoskie of Yellow Wood Guiding