Siberian Chipmunk

Tamias sibericus


  • Tamias sibericus     

  • Common Names: Siberian chipmunk

  • Habitat: Woodland, forests, sub-urban woodlands and parks, urban areas

  • Description: The Siberian chipmunk is a small striped squirrel with a long bushy sandy grey tail, sandy grey fur and two black stripes running from head to tail.

  • Origin and Worldwide Distribution: It was introduced into Europe as a pet in the 1960s. Since then, individuals have most probably escaped or been deliberately released from captivity. So far, isolated wild populations have been recorded in woodlands, suburban forests and urban parks in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands.

  • Potential or Known Impacts: It is suspected to compete with native rodents and may have a local impact on ground-nesting birds, although the numbers of studies investigating its potential impact on biodiversity are currently limited. It can also cause significant damage to crops, gardens and orchards and it is a potential host for various infectious diseases, such as Lyme disease or rabies, and parasites.

  • How did it/could it get here? The species was kept as a pet, and some individuals escaped or were released intentionally from captivity.

  • If already present in Ireland where? Present in Ireland

  • Methods for Prevention: A sales ban, the phasing out from zoos, collections and any other ownership, a rapid eradication of any newly emerging populations and the management of established populations should prevent the species from becoming a wider problem.

  • Current Legislative Position (Listed on 03 August 2016)
    This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment.
    For further queries, you can contact the Non Native Invasive Species Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558.

Species Related Files:

Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland