Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens
AG Säugetierkunde in NRW
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Burunduk (Sibirisches Streifenhörnchen)
Siberian Chipmunks or Common Chipmunks are small squirrels characterised by five (about equally prominent) distinctive stripes along the back. They are inhabitants of the forest belt of northern Eurasia. Their western-most natural distribution reaches across the Ural Mountains into the North of Russia. Siberian Chipmunks are good climbers but remain mostly on the ground, feed mostly on plant products and accumulate a food supply in autumn, which is consumed during the interruption of their hibernation.
Since about the 1960s, and especially in the two following decades, the species was popularly kept as a pet. For this, chipmunks were probably imported from Asia. Given the agility of these squirrels it is not surprising that individual animals repeatedly escaped and because of this, aside from intentional releases, the species could be temporarily observed in several locations in Central Europe and even permanent colonies could form.
From North Rhine-Westphalia there are individuals′ observations of Siberian Chipmunks in the wild, and a colony of this species existed there for several years in the forest cemetery Lauheide near Münster. Currently, free-ranging Siberian Chipmunks are only known from the Wildpark Rolandseck (Rhineland-Palatinate) south of Bad Godesberg and the Wildpark Heissiwald in Essen-Bredeney. Because there are several other chipmunk species in North America and Asia which closely resemble the Siberian Chipmunk, and some are also in the animal trade, such as the tree chipmunk from East Asia (Genus Tamiops), the animals of individual occurrences should be carefully examined regarding their species assignment (see also "Eastern Chipmunk").
Vierhaus, H (2021): Burunduk (Sibirisches Streifenhörnchen) (Tamias sibiricus).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2021/12/01