Undeniably adorable, chipmunks play a vital role in healthy ecosystems.

Sadly, because of their penchant for nibbling in vegetable gardens and digging burrows, these small members of the squirrel family are sometimes viewed as pests by uninformed homeowners. In reality, chipmunks are solitary and territorial, and their burrows are too small to undermine structures.

chipmunk eating a strawberry
Cheeky rodents

Like two built-in grocery bags, chipmunks’ cheek pouches expand to hold and transport food. To empty the pouches, they squeeze them with their front feet, depositing the bounty in their burrows for later snacking.

chipmunk on a log with cheeks full
Did you know?

Along with providing a food source for owls, hawks, foxes and other predators, chipmunks help nurture trees from the ground up; their feces spreads a fungus that enriches the soil and helps trees and other plants absorb water and nutrients.

Bird in birdbath, enjoying a humane backyard

No matter how big or small your outdoor space, you can create a haven for local wildlife. By providing basic needs like water, food and shelter, you can make a difference in your own backyard.

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