Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yellow-Bellied Marmot

Yellow-bellied marmots live in the western United States and southwestern Canada. They are usually found above 6,500 feet of elevation and are usually found in talus fields, meadows or on the edge of forests. This family of marmots was found in Lyell Canyon, near Tuolumne Meadows, in Yosemite National Park. It is the largest group of marmots I've seen. They are usually solitary.

When fully grown, they weigh between 5 and 11 pounds and they have a territory of 4 to 7 acres. The marmot below was found in Henry Basin near King's Peak in northern Utah.

They live in burrows under rocks and whistle to warn of predators. The following website has the sound of several marmot whistles.

The following marmots were all found in the White Mountains of California. A male marmot has 1 to 4 female marmots living with him and has a litter of 4 to 5 offspring per female.

They are omnivorous, eating fruit, flowers, bird eggs, grasshoppers, leaves and grass.

A researcher at the Barcroft Research Facility near White Mountain told me that he has eaten marmot and it is quite fatty. He says that when they get fat enough they will begin to hibernate, even if the weather has not turned toward fall and winter.

Years ago we found a marmot on the boardwalk near Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. He was very friendly and accepted food from tourists. Otherwise I have found them to be quite wary and difficult to get close to.

1 comment:

  1. I remember that marmot near Old Faithful! I have very distinct memories of watching him. So cute!