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Nelson Ground Squirrel(Ammospermophilus nelsoni) information, facts - ClassicAnimal

Nelson ground squirrel(Ammospermophilus nelsoni) is a small-sized squirrel species native to San Joaquin Valley. They are the sub-species of Antelope squirrels. They are social animals and live in a small group with 7 to 8 individual members. Nelson ground squirrels are can also survive at least 7 months in the shade without water.



Their scientific name is Ammospermophilus nelsoni. Nelson ground squirrel is also known as 'San Joaquin antelope squirrel'.

Common Name: Nelson Ground Squirrel
Scientific Name: Ammospermophilus nelsoni
Other Name: San Joaquin antelope squirrel

Scientific Classification

Nelson ground squirrels belong to the family of Sciuridae. They are the sub-species of Antelope squirrels. Their conservation status is 'Endangered'. This species is listed on the red list of IUCN.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Genus: Antelope squirrels
Family: Sciuridae
Group: Mammal
Conservation Status: Endangered

Living & Habitat

Nelson ground squirrels are mostly found in the San Joaquin Valley of the U.S. state of California. They prefer habitats such as grasslands.

Living Locations: San Joaquin Valley
Habitat: Grasslands

Physical Classification

They are physically small-sized and their whole body covers with short fur. Nelson ground squirrel has a yellowish-brown color upper body and white color belly and a white color line goes down each side of its body. The weight of an adult male around 60 kg to 70 kg and a female around 130 g to 150 g. Normally the length around  23 cm to 25 cm. Its running speed up to 17 km/h.

Color: Yellowish-brown
Skin Type: Fur
Weight: 130 g to 150 g(Approx)
Size: 23 cm to 25 cm (Approx)
Top Speed: Up to 17 km/h(Approx)


Nelson ground squirrel is mainly part of the Omnivore diet, which means they eat meats and also plants. Nelson ground squirrel mostly eats seeds, green vegetation, insects. They have some natural predators like coyotes, San Joaquin Valley kit foxes.

Diet: Omnivore
Favorite Food: Seeds, Green vegetation, Insects
Predators: Coyotes, San Joaquin Valley Kit Fox


The average lifespan is 2 to 4 years in the wild. Nelson ground squirrel is a diurnal and colony-centric animal. At the age of 8 to 9 months, males and females are ready for sexual maturity. After the gestation period lasts around 26 days and then is born around 8 to 14 young. The young Nelson ground squirrel is called 'Kits'. The young spend four weeks with their mother.

Lifestyle: Diurnal
Group Behavior: Colony
Lifespan: Up to 4 years
Age of Sexual Maturity: 8 to 9 Months
Gestation Period: 26 Days
Average Litter Size: 8 to 14
Baby Called: Kits
Age of Weaning: 4 Weeks

Short Facts

  • Nelson ground squirrel can live up to 7 months without water.

  • Nelson antelope squirrel prefers deep, rich soil types since they are easy to dig through in both winter and summer temperatures.



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