As with T.m. oreocetes, this
is one of the smallest Canadian chipmunks. It has a brown forehead
with three dark brown stripes on the cheeks, the middle one running
through the eye. Between these are two white stripes running from
nose to ear. Five black stripes edged in brown traverse the back.
The underparts are white from chin to tail, the flanks are buffy.
Average weight of both sexes is about 40 grams.
Columbia Basin: Found only in three
known locations in the Purcell Mountains.
British Columbia: Presumed to be
restricted to alpine and sub-alpine habitats in the Purcell Mountains.
Global: Restricted to the Purcell
Mountains in southeastern British Columbia.
The Least Chipmunk
is generally an inhabitant of the open country of subalpine parkland
and alpine tundra.
There are probably fewer than 1000
individuals in the three known occurrences. Because there is little
human activity in the alpine and subalpine habitats that could affect
this subspecies, the populations probably are stable. Because this
subspecies inhabits alpine and sub-alpine habitats, it is not vulnerable
to most human activities. Mining and ski developments could potentially
affect some populations (Cannings et al. 1999).
Food consists primarily of berries
and seeds, but invertebrates are also eaten. Least Chipmunks hibernate
from September to late April or May. One litter of two to six (average
is five) young is born each year, usually in May (Cannings et al.