Tassel-eared (or Abert's) Squirrels get their name from the large furry tufts. They are fairly common residents on the Navajo Nation. They can be found nearly exclusively within the ponderosa pine forests within the Chuska Mountains and Defiance Plateau. Abert's Squirrel depend on ponderosa pine trees for nesting and avoiding predators. Most of their herbivorous diet comes from these pine trees too. They mostly on the seeds, bark, cones, and buds of this pine tree.

Abert's Squirrel is named "Tsin dit'inii bidee'í" in the Navajo language. This squirrel was culturally important as a food source for the Navajo People in earlier times. Some Navajos believe that expectant parents should not eat the squirrel after a ceremony is done for them.