In search of Boone County, Missouri chipmunks

Tamias sciurus is commonly encountered in Jefferson City and MOFWIS ( indicates they occur in Boone County. But I've never seen one here, and we have no observations on iNaturalist for the county. I know it's a little thing, but I thought I'd reach out and see if any of you have seen them in the county. I won't try to establish this as a precedent for trying to fill in the full biodiversity information holes for the county, but this one bugs me for some unknown (and probably silly) reason.

Also, thanks to all of you for your contributions to biodiversity information in the county and beyond.

Posted on October 24, 2020 02:38 PM by lfelliott lfelliott


Hi @lfelliott! This bugs me and others on this list too! You're not alone. I've had this same conversation with @cnaturejoy. In my years here in Columbia and around Boone, I have never seen a chipmunk. I've seen them in Jeff City and osage beach and further south into Arkansas. I haven't been north of Boone to look around, but it feels like Columbia/Boone county is some weird dead zone for chipmunks. They have to be somewhere. I'd think CANS or Bonnie View and certainly Grindstone Nature area or Rock bridge SP would have them, but nothing. I've even paid special attention at the lake of the woods golf course - perfect place I'd think for chipmunks! Sorry I couldn't be more help! Good luck! Hopefully someone on this list has caught a glimpse.

Posted by rebekahh almost 3 years ago

Hi, @lfelliott ! Thanks for all you do as well! This is an oddity and I hadn't paid that much attention to it but will try to find some records in Boone now that you bring it to mind. I know that I've seen them in Midwest states north of here so I'm not sure why Boone would have an ecological reason for not having them. I'll keep my eyes and ears open and hopefully my camera ready if I do find one.

Posted by nlmurray over 2 years ago

Well, look for loess? is the I-70 bridge over the MO River in Boone County? There are loess deposits pretty thick on the S side of the highway.

Posted by ddiamond over 2 years ago
Posted by lfelliott 10 months ago

I've been in Peace Park at least two dozen times over 25 years and have never seen one. Good find. Someone said the loess on the S side of the river where I-70 crosses. I've thought it would be a good place to look. I, too, have always found it strange that I have never seen one in Boone County in the 26 years I have lived here, even though they are in Jeff City, and they are not that cryptic. I sort of wonder if the observation in Peace Park is from a release.

Posted by ddiamond 10 months ago

I went to Peace Park on 11/23/2022 in search of the elusive critter with no luck. I spent about an hour there and saw abundant fox squirrels, but no chipmunks. It's your basic highly manicured urban park, mulch around the tree bases and mowed wherever possible. The small drainage through the park has some cover and rock piles.

Posted by lfelliott 10 months ago

I tried Peace Park again on 12/2/2022 with temperatures in the low 60s. Still no luck. It looks like the original observation may have been taken in front of a white fir and I could only see one in the park, so I staked it out for about 30 minutes, but saw nothing but fox squirrels.

Posted by lfelliott 10 months ago

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