Yellow-bellied Marmot

Marmota flaviventris

Yellow-bellied Marmot

Appearance

This marmot has a yellowy-brown back with light tips on all the hairs. Its feet and legs are dark brown and there are white-grey patches across its head and nose. It has short little round ears and a dark brown tails. The belly is a reddish-yellow colour. It has sharp front teeth and claws, and can grow to about 60 cm long.

Range & Habitat

They are found from south central BC to California and New Mexico. They always live around large rocks, and sometimes near grasslands and valley bottoms.

Diet & Behaviour

Marmots eat lots of green plants, and will sometimes eat dead animals. They sun themselves in the morning to warm up, and disappear into their rock burrows to keep cool during the day. The have a loud whistling chirp that will sound if they are alarmed, and sit on their hind legs, showing their yellow belly.

Lifecycle & Threats

Three to eight young are born in June in the mother’s burrow, because each adult marmot has a separate den. All the marmot dens are usually in a similar area, and the marmots living there are called a colony. Marmots hibernate in the winter, and marmots who can’t find good winter dens won’t make it through the cold.

Status

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Blue

More Information

www.animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu

Photo: J N Stuart