Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens
AG Säugetierkunde in NRW
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It remained hidden even to many mammal experts in NRW, that aside from the Muskrat, the Nutria and the Siberian Chipmunk another free-ranging immigrant from the Order Rodentia was present in the state. This is the Eastern Chipmunk originating from eastern North America, living freely in the Wuppertal Zoo. Surely the Eastern Chipmunks there were usually confused with the Siberian Chipmunk. The Eastern Chipmunk is distinguished from the Siberian Chipmunk, which was commonly kept as a pet in the 60s and 70s of the last century, by a different stripe pattern. While the latter has five stripes evenly stretching along the back, in the Eastern Chipmunk the two lateral stripes, which enclose a whitish stripe are separated from the central stripe by a broad grey band. The habitat of this squirrel species must include enough trees and bushes, which supply the acorns, nuts and similar seeds which the Chipmunks prefer and hoard for the winter.
Already since 1966 there have been free-ranging Eastern Chipmunks in the Wuppertal Zoo, which benefit from the rich food supplied to the zoo animals. In contrast to the intentional but not permanent introduction of this species in Austria the population on the Wuppertal Zoo is stable. It remains to be studied if in Wuppertal the species also occurs outside of the zoo in other parks and gardens.
Vierhaus H (2021): Streifen-Backenhörnchen (Tamias striatus).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2021/04/11