Siberian Chipmunk: Identification & Behaviour

The fur and other components of the Siberian chipmunk are desirable, thus some people keep them as pets. Siberian chipmunks have been known to destroy gardens and consume crops.

Damage to Russia’s agricultural fields and orchards can be substantial.

The Siberian chipmunk, or Eutamias sibiricus, is a species of chipmunk that is native to northern Asia. Its range extends from central Russia through China, Korea, and Hokkaido in northern Japan.

Keep reading to find out more!


What Does the Siberian Chipmunk Look Like?

Siberian Chipmunk
Picture of the Siberian Chipmunk

Four white stripes and five dark stripes are typical on the back of a Siberian chipmunk. The tail accounts for about a third of its total length of 18-25 cm (7.1-9.8 in).

Adult body mass indexes fluctuate with the seasons and food supplies. Its colouring varies subtly from one place to the next.

Although the typical weight of a Siberian chipmunk is between 50 and 150 grams (1.8 and 5.3 ounces).

The Siberian chipmunk displays sexual dimorphism, with only size and body proportions separating juveniles from adults.

Its low wildlife span of two to five years may be attributable to its small stature. In contrast, its lifespan can extend to ten years in human care.


Read also: Does Chipmunks Climb Trees?


How Does the Siberian Chipmunk Behave?

Although the Siberian chipmunk is primarily a solitary animal, it is fairly uncommon for it to share its winter burrow with another chipmunk.

The average length of a mole’s burrow is 1.5 meters (4.11 feet) and its average depth is 2.5 meters (8 feet 2 inches).

These chipmunks bury themselves with three to four kilograms (6.6 to 8.8 pounds) of food to get through the winter.

During hibernation, they not only pair off but also use a sophisticated speech communication system. They make a high-pitched squeal when startled and a low, croaking sound that may be employed during courtship.


Where Does the Siberian Chipmunk Live?

The Siberian chipmunk has a wide range of environmental tolerance. Common habitats for these plants include coniferous forests, stony places inside forests and mountains, shrub habitats, riverbanks, roadways, and other tiny sections of agricultural land.

Deciduous forests, mixed deciduous and coniferous forests, and urban environments with greenery are common places for introduced populations in Europe.

From 29°N to 69°N, and 65 °C to 30 °C, Tamias sibiricus is able to thrive in a wide range of temperatures and circumstances.

There is little likelihood of natural spread because this species has a low dispersal ability and is typically introduced into forested or vegetated urban areas.

They have a hard time getting through both man-made barriers like roads and natural ones like marshes.

The Siberian chipmunk is a solitary creature that lives in informal colonies where each member has their own region.

In addition to being larger in the fall than in the spring, a female’s territory might span anywhere from 700 to 4,000 square meters.

The Siberian chipmunk uses its salivary glands and urine to scent-mark its territory. This technique exemplifies a mode of communication utilized by this species.


Read also: How To Get Rid of Chipmunk Poop


Where Can the Siberian Chipmunk Be Found in the World?

Pets of this species were first sent to Europe from South Korea in the 1960s. More than 200 thousand people left South Korea for Europe between the years 1960 and 1980.

Several small groups have made their homes in suburban woodlands and urban parks across Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, and Great Britain since the 1970s.

The majority of chipmunks end out in the wild because their former owners either no longer desired them as pets or intentionally set them free.

Other captive-bred Siberian chipmunks migrated to the forests of Europe. The chipmunks in the Netherlands, for instance, are strays from a defunct zoo in Tilburg.

Since many chipmunks lived in the zoo’s tunnel system, they were often overlooked when the facility closed and the animals were relocated.

Although thousands of species were introduced to new ecosystems, they are not particularly invasive and spread at a sluggish rate of only 200 to 250 meters (660 to 820 feet) each year.

Since the 1970s, 22 invasive populations were discovered in Europe and 11 in France’s woodlands and urban parks in 2009.


What Does the Siberian Chipmunk Feed On?

Siberian Chipmunk
Picture of the Siberian Chipmunk Eating

The Siberian chipmunk is a scavenger that will eat almost anything. They mostly consume pine seeds, but may also eat those of other coniferous and deciduous trees.

Herb roots, insects, molluscs, birds, reptiles, cereals, fruits, and fungi are just a few of the things they eat.


How Do I Describe Reproduction in the Siberian Chipmunk?

They are known to be iteroparous and viviparous, with a typical breeding season beginning in mid-April when they emerge from hibernation.

They typically only have one or two broods per year, with anywhere from three to eight young. The infants weigh anything from 0.11-0.18 ounces and are born both blind and naked.

Children born during a gestation period of 28–35 days typically open their eyes between days 20–25.

Females provide primary care for their young and start teaching them to forage when the young are around six weeks old.

After about seven weeks, the newborns are fully weaned, and by eight weeks, they are fully independent. By the time they are nine months old, both sexes have reached sexual maturity and have reached adult body mass.


Read also: Can Porcupines Climb Trees? 8 Known Facts About Them



Since 2016, the Siberian chipmunk has appeared on the Union list of Invasive Alien Species of European Concern.

This means that the entire European Union is prohibited from bringing in, breeding, transporting, commercializing, or releasing this species into the wild.

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