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Ground Squirrels


The Northern Idaho ground squirrel was listed as a threatened species in April 2000. Populations of this subspecies can only be found in Adams and Valley Counties of western Idaho. It is estimated the population of squirrels has declined by 80% from initial surveys in 1985.

In September 2003, a final Recovery Plan was released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), with state of Idaho input. The full version of the Recovery Plan can be read below (Northern Ground Squirrel Recovery Plan).


The Southern Idaho ground squirrel is a federal candidate species and has not been listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This subspecies has a limited range in the Weiser River Basin. Current information indicates that the species has been declining throughout its range since 1985.

As the majority of squirrel sites reside on private lands, a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) has been developed with landowners to conserve the species without the need for listing. Landowners who participate in the CCAA agree to implement conservation practices on their lands to remove or reduce threats to the squirrels. In return, the USFWS assures the landowners that no additional regulatory restrictions will be placed on their land management practices in the future should the species be listed under the ESA. The Southern Idaho Ground Squirrel CCAA can be downloaded below.

Efforts are underway to develop other CCAAs in the area, as well as habitat conservation plans for other species.


Northern Ground Squirrel Recovery Plan [PDF] - 78 pages

Southern Ground Squirrel CCAA [PDF] - 41 pages

Staff Contact:

Jon Beals

(Northern) photo courtesy: U.S. Fish & Wildlife

(Northern) photo courtesy: U.S. Fish & Wildlife

(Southern) photo courtesy: U.S. Fish & Wildlife

(Southern) photo courtesy: U.S. Fish & Wildlife