A generally solitary species (3) (4), the Mohave ground squirrel is only gregarious during the mating season in early spring, when the male and female will enter a burrow within the male’s territory for several hours to mate (3). After copulation, the female usually stays within the male’s territory the following day, then leaves to establish its own home range (3). In March or April (2), the female gives birth to a litter of between 4 and 9 young, after a gestation period of 29 or 30 days. The young ground squirrels are usually weaned after around 32 days (3) (4). In years of drought, the Mohave ground squirrel may not reproduce (2) (3).
In spring and early summer (5), the Mohave ground squirrel is active above ground, coinciding with the growing season of green plants (3). During this time, seeds, fungi, fruits and forbs are most abundant, which are the primary components of the Mohave ground squirrel’s diet (2) (4) (6) (9). However, this species is omnivorous (3), and arthropods such as caterpillars are also taken (4). The late winter months and early summer are spent accumulating fat for aestivation (9), with some individuals gaining up to 200 grams in weight (3). During the time the Mohave ground squirrel is active, it is diurnal, and although it is a ground squirrel, it is occasionally known to climb Joshua trees while foraging (3) (4).
Aestivation begins in August and ends in February or March (2) (3) (4), with males generally emerging up to two weeks earlier than females (3). The Mohave ground squirrel occupies three different burrows: a home burrow used to sleep in during the active period, an accessory burrow which is used for social interactions and thermoregulation, and an aestivation burrow, where it spends six or seven months aestivating (3). The burrows built by the Mohave ground squirrel are usually around 5.5 metres long and 1 metre deep (3) (4).