Chipmunk looking straight at the viewer while outdoors

How Long Do Chipmunks Live?

If you’ve seen chipmunks around your property, you may wonder how long they live. These little rodents love to burrow, and their digging habits can make them a nuisance.

Investigating the lifespan of a chipmunks can help you tackle pesky problems. From wild habitats to captivity, let’s explore how different elements affect their longevity and give us insight into managing them better.

Key Pest Points:

•  In the wild, chipmunks have a lifespan of around 2-3 years. This can vary depending on things like food availability, predation risks, and the type of species.

•  In captivity, chipmunks can live up to 8 years. This is due to a safer and more comfortable environment with food readily available.

•  The main threats to their existence are hawks, owls, foxes, and other large predators that hunt them for food.

Factors That Determine a Chipmunk’s Lifespan

It’s crucial to consider chipmunks’ natural environment and lifestyle when discussing their lifespan. Here are some key factors that can influence how long a chipmunk lives:

Mortality from Predators: Chipmunks have several predators, such as hawks, owls, foxes, snakes, and cats. These animals hunt chipmunks as food sources. In areas with high predator populations, chipmunk lifespans tend to be shorter.

Omnivore Diet:  A chipmunk’s diet can vary due to its ability to eat plant and animal matter. They eat seeds, nuts, fruit, fungi, insects, and eggs. Access to various foods can help them survive longer in the wild.

Weather: Cold weather can be particularly deadly for chipmunks, making them more vulnerable to predators.

Parasites and Diseases: Chipmunks can contract various parasites and diseases that can reduce their lifespan.

These factors can vary based on the location, so look at the local environment when determining a chipmunk’s average lifespan.

Average Lifespan of a Chipmunk

How long a chipmunk lives depends on numerous elements, such as its environment, climate change, and its predators. Here’sHere’s a comprehensive list of the average lifespan of some popular species:

Siberian chipmunk: These furry critters have an average lifespan of 2 to 5 years in the wild. However, in captivity as pets, they can thrive up to 6-10 years, with some incredibly long-lived reports exceeding 10.

Eastern chipmunk: Chipmunks are resilient creatures, surviving up to two years in their natural habitat and thriving for an impressive eight years as pets.

Townsend’sTownsend’s chipmunkTownsend’s chipmunks have an incredibly wide range of lifespans depending on their environment. While the world record for a captive critter is 9.3 years, some reached over 10.

In contrast, out in nature, they only make it 2 to 7 years, but usually around 5 with sufficient food sources and no other limiting factors impeding their growth. These furry little creatures are fascinating, and their varied lifespans only add to their mysterious aura.

chipmunk side view

Should You Keep a Chipmunk as a Pet?

Chipmunks can make excellent pets, but before taking one home, take some time to consider the implications of keeping one. While they are adorable and entertaining creatures to observe, they require plenty of care and attention.

They need ample food, access to water sources, and regular cleaning. Chipmunks also need time to run and play, so providing an enclosure with plenty of room to explore is essential.

In addition, these mammals are prone to certain diseases like the plague and salmonella, so it’s best to consult a veterinarian before getting one as a pet.

How to Increase a Chipmunk’s Lifespan

It’sIt’s possible to increase a chipmunk’s lifespan by providing them with the ideal environment. Here are some tips to help:

• Provide access to food and water sources in your garden or yard, such as bird feeders and small ponds.

• Keep predators away by creating a safe space with fences and barriers.

• Maintain the temperature in their environment by providing shelter from the cold weather and shade from the sun.

• Keep an eye out for parasites, diseases, and injuries that could affect a chipmunk’s lifespan.

• Provide enrichment activities to keep them entertained, such as creating a tunnel system or burrowing areas.

Living in the wild is challenging for chipmunks, with so many hazards and threats to their safety. But the tips above can help increase their lifespan in captivity.

Chipmunk on concrete with weeds

How to Promote Chipmunk Conservation

Promoting chipmunks’ conservation is vital so that future generations can continue to enjoy these cute little critters for years to come. Here are some ways we can do this:

• Support local wildlife organizations and efforts to protect chipmunk habitats.

• Opt for non-invasive gardening practices that promote sustainable living.

• Practice responsible pet ownership and keep your pets away from wild chipmunks.

• Educate yourself and others about the importance of chipmunk conservation.

• Participate in clean-up efforts to reduce waste and pollution in chipmunk habitats.

• Use natural scent-based repellents to keep chipmunks away from your property to avoid unnecessary deaths.

• Do not approach chipmunks while hibernating, as this can disturb their natural cycle and cause stress.

With just a few adjustments, we can ensure that chipmunks remain a part of our world for generations. By maintaining their habitats and protecting them from dangers like pollution or disease, we can secure the future of these beloved small mammals.

It is also best to connect with a wildlife pest control specialist near you to discuss ways of dealing with or humanely trapping chipmunks invading your home or garden. Taking proactive steps to protect our environment will help ensure the continued survival of these adorable creatures.


What is the life expectancy of a chipmunk?

Chipmunks are resilient creatures, capable of surviving in the wild for a maximum of two years and potentially thriving for up to eight years when kept in captivity.

How many chipmunks usually live together?

Chipmunks are fiercely territorial critters who keep to themselves most of the time. However, during mating season, they become markedly more active and won’t back down from a fight – chipmunks will aggressively vocalize threats at intruders that dare cross their path. With peak activity times in mid-morning and mid-afternoon, it’s best not to tangle with these feisty little guys.

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