Franklin’s Ground Squirrels in Alberta

Franklin’s ground squirrels (Poliocitellus franklinii) live in parkland habitats in Alberta, preferring habitats with denser shrubs and grass than other ground squirrel species. They have a similar body shape as other ground squirrels, but can be distinguished by their long, bushy tail.

Photo by Sarah Nason.

This species’ status is undetermined in Alberta, meaning there is insufficient data to determine its risk of extinction. However, some naturalists are concerned this species may be in decline. In partnership with Nature Alberta, we are gathering more data on this species to help determine whether it is in decline.

You can help too!

Read more about how to participate in this project on Nature Alberta’s website.

This project was started in 2022 by Nature Alberta. You can learn more about the success of the first year of data collection by reading this article.

You may see us surveying ground squirrels at Provincial Parks and other locations in the province – please say hi and ask about our work! We will post about events and other project updates on our project blog.


We wish to acknowledge that the land on which we work is Treaty 6 Territory. We deeply appreciate all of the people who have already contributed data to this project. This project is a collaboration between Nature Alberta and Drs. Jessica Haines, Josh Miller, and David McFadyen from the Department of Biological Sciences at MacEwan University.

This project has been approved by the MacEwan University Animal Research Ethics Board following guidelines developed by the Canadian Council on Animal Care. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with us.

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