Date of this Version
Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 37 (2017), pp. 28–31. doi: 10.13014/K2HT2M7B
On 10 October 2016, a Least Chipmunk (Tamias minimus) was discovered in a residential area of Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska. The closest populations of Least Chipmunks reside > 640 km to the west in northwestern Nebraska and southeastern Wyoming. The most parsimonious explanation for this unusual observation is that the chipmunk was transported to the city by humans. A likely scenario is that the chipmunk hitched a ride to Lincoln in a motor vehicle on 2 October 2016, when one of us drove 1500 km in a single day from Jackson, Teton County, Wyoming, after residing in that area for 10 days. To further support this hypothesis, the chipmunk ran multiple times to the wheel of a vehicle in the driveway when fleeing from a nearby birdfeeder in Lincoln. Seeking refuge in the wheel demonstrates that the individual was familiar with this unusual retreat and likely was a stowaway in the vehicle. We predict this dispersal event will not lead to an isolated, disjunct population in Lincoln.