Florida hunters scouting the North Florida woods might keep track of sightings of these diminutive critters.

Eastern chipmunks are thought to live in only a few locations in Northwest Florida, but researchers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are asking anyone who has spotted one to report the sighting.

Wildlife biologist Chris Winchester said information may be recorded here. Smaller than a gray squirrel, the Eastern chipmunk is slightly reddish in color and has white and black stripes running down its back and light stripes above its eyes.

Winchester said researchers are especially interested in new sighting data, but would like information on older sightings as well. He said chipmunks appear to be rare in Florida but historically have been found along the Escambia, Blackwater, Yellow and Choctawhatchee rivers. There are also reports of chipmunks observed in back yards, and in forested lots within urban areas. The species is more common in forested areas in the eastern half of the United States from Alabama north to Canada.

Chipmunks are a species of special concern in Florida. He said the sighting study will be useful for a look at the species’ distribution, abundance and preferred habitat.

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