- Franklin's Ground Squirrel
name = Franklin's Ground Squirrel
status = VU | status_system = IUCN3.1
trend = down
phylum = Chordata
genus = "
species = "S. franklinii"
binomial = "Spermophilus franklinii"
binomial_authority = Sabine, 1822
Franklin's Ground Squirrel ("Spermophilus franklinii") is a species native to tallgrass American
prairie, from Canadato the northcentral United States. The species hibernates from early fall to spring, and bears a litter of 6-8 pups at this time. The species is not choosy in its diet, eschewing the typical herbivorous diet of most squirrels when it can find insects, eggs, young birds, and fruits, seeds, and nuts when they are available.
Due to the destruction of prairie, the populations of Franklin's ground squirrel have dwindled, approaching levels of concern. However, the species is prolific, and locally abundant.
Franklin's Ground Squirrel was first described by
Joseph Sabinein 1822, who named it in honor of the British Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin.cite journal| author = Andrea C. Ostroff and Elmer J. Finck| date = 30 July 2003| title = "Spermophilus franklinii" | journal = Mammalian Species | volume = 724 | publisher = American Society of Mammalogists| url = http://www.science.smith.edu/departments/Biology/VHAYSSEN/msi/pdf/724_Spermophilus_franklinii.pdf| accessdate = 2007-12-17 |format=PDF] It is typically placed in its own subgenus, "Poliocitellus", cite journal| author = Matthew D. Herron, Todd A. Castoe, and Christopher L. Parkinson| year = 2004| title = "Sciurid phylogeny and the paraphyly of Holarctic groundsquirrels (Spermophilus)" | journal = Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | volume = 31| doi =10.1016/j.ympev.2003.09.015 | accessdate = 2007-12-18 | pages = 1015] cite journal| author = Richard G. Harrison, Steven M. Bogdanowicz, Robert S. Hoffmann, Eric Yensen, and Paul W. Sherman| month = September | year = 2003| title = "Phylogeny and Evolutionary History of the Ground Squirrels (Rodentia: Marmotinae)" | journal = Journal of Mammalian Evolution | volume = 10| issue = 3| accessdate = 2007-12-23 ] and there are no commonly-recognized subspecies. DNA sequencingof the cytochrome bgene has shown "Spermophilus" to be paraphyletic; in particular, Franklin's Ground Squirrel is suggested to be sister to a clade containing not only the Mohave, Round-tailed, Spotted, and Perote Ground Squirrels, but the prairie dogs as well.
* Database entry includes a lengthy justification of why this species is vulnerable.
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