Originating in South Korea, the Siberian chipmunk only found its way into Europe because it was exported as part of the 1960s pet trade. While not a squirrel – it is part of the Sciuridae family – it shares many of the same characteristics. They hibernate over the winter months, and share their burrows with other chipmunks. They-are solitary animals normally, enjoying separate marked territories, but communicate with each other via two types of noise.
The lower of the two is thought to be used for mating. A typical Siberian chipmunk has, a distinctive coat of four white stripes and five black stripes across its back. It will only grow to 25 centimetres (9.8 inches) long, and its weight depends on the time of year. Their small stature makes them an easy target for bigger animals of prey, notably weasels. They breed twice year and the young forage at six weeks.