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Class Mammalia
Order Rodentia
Family Sciuridae


Tamiasciurus fremonti Audubon and Bachman 1853—Southwestern Red SquirrelRegional Pleistocene distribution of Tamiasciurus fremonti

Red Squirrel. Photograph by Donna Dewhurst, USF&WSIn an earier version of this account, the taxon was given as T. hudsonicus; the southwestern population have been split from that species and recognized as T. fremonti (Hope et al. 2016). Southwestern Red Squirrels are one of three American Red Squirrels (Hope et al. 2016). They are inhabitants of mixed coniferous and spruce-fir forests in our region. Although sometimes descending into the Ponderosa Pine zone, they apparently are absent from those ranges that lack the higher elevation forests (Findley et al. 1975).

Fig. 1. Tamiasciurus hudsonicus. Photograph by Donna Dewhurst, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Southwestern Red Squirrels today are absent south of the Sacramento Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. Their presence as fossils in the Guadalupe Mountains fits well with the vegetational evidence of subalpine forest at the southern end of the range (Van Devender et al. 1979).


Late Wisconsin: Dust Cave (Harris and Hearst 2012); Lower Sloth Cave (Logan 1983); Muskox Cave (Logan 1981); Mystery Light Cave (this volume).

Literature. Findley et al. 1975; Harris and Hearst 2012; Hope et al. 2016; Logan 1981, 1983; Van Devender et al. 1979.


Squirrel about the size of Tamiasciurus fremonti—Squirrel about the size of Southwestern Red SquirrelsPleistocene distribution of squirrel size of Tamiasciurus fremonti

There probably is no squirrel in our region during the time frame that is of this size other than Tamiasciurus fremonti.


Wisconsin: New La Bajada Hill (Stearns 1942).

Literature. Stearns 1942.


Last Update: 21 Sep 2019