Yellow Bellied Marmot 2010

Yellow Bellied Marmot 1997

First Image 1997

Yellow Bellied Marmot 2000

Thief @ Emigrant Meadow Lake

Yellow Bellied Marmot 2008

Tioga Road Close-up

Yellow Bellied Marmot 2010

Up on Mt Hoffman

Emigrant Wilderness, Emigrant Meadow Lake 1997 (First Image)

The Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris), also known as the Rock Chuck, is a ground squirrel in the marmot genus. It lives in the western United States and southwestern Canada, including the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. It inhabits steppes, meadows, talus fields and other open habitats, sometimes on the edge of deciduous or coniferous forests, and typically above 6,500 feet (2,000 m) of elevation. Yellow-bellied Marmots usually weigh between 5 and 11 pounds (2 and 5 kg) when fully grown. They get fatter in the fall just before hibernating. A marmot's habitat is mostly grass and rocks with few trees. Their territory is about 4 to 7 acres (2 to 3 ha) around a number of summer burrows.

Marmots choose to dig burrows under rocks because predators are less likely to see their burrow. Predators include wolves, foxes, and coyotes. When a marmot sees a predator, it whistles to warn all other marmots in the area (giving it the nickname "whistle pig"). Then it typically hides in a nearby rock pile.

Marmots reproduce when about 2 years old, and may live up to an age of 15 years. They reside in colonies; a colony is a group of about 10 to 20. Each male marmot digs a burrow soon after he wakes up from hibernation. He then starts looking for females, and by summer has 1 to 4 females living with him. Litters usually average 4-5 offspring per female. Marmots have what is called "harem-polygynous" mating system, which means the male defends 1-4 mates at the same time.

Yellow-bellied Marmots are diurnal like most mammals. The marmot is also an omnivore, eating grass, leaves, flowers, fruit, grasshoppers, and bird eggs.

Marmots are not hunted for sport but are sometimes killed by farmers.Yellow-bellied Marmots include "toilet rooms" in their burrows as well as living rooms, bedrooms and eating rooms.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow-bellied_Marmot

Yellow Bellied Marmot Range

Range Map

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