To better serve site visitors, Government of Alberta ministry web content is being centralized on Webpages on this ministry site will be either relocated to or removed over the next few months. Messaging and redirects will help guide you to updated content during and after this transition. Scheduled completion date for this project is March 31, 2019. Thank you for your patience as we proceed with these changes.

Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris)

yellow-bellied marmot


  • The yellow-bellied marmot is similar in size to the woodchuck, with a total body length ranging from 47 to 67 centimetres (19 to 26 inches).


  • Fur of the upperparts is grizzled buff-brown in color, and the under-parts are brownish-yellow.
  • The bushy tail is grizzled brown.
  • Sparsely distributed in the Rocky Mountain, foothill and grassland natural regions in extreme southern Alberta.
Natural History


  • In Alberta, the yellow-bellied marmot lives at low elevations in talus slopes on mountain sides, and in rock piles under cliffs.
  • Yellow-bellied marmots are more colonial than woodchucks. Many family groups may live together in their rocky habitat.
  • Burrows are located well within the talus, with the older more dominant adults occupying burrows near the centre of the colony.


  • Yellow-bellied marmots eat green vegetation that grows on or near their rock habitat.

When Active

  • Are active from April to about mid-August in Alberta. Autumn and winter months are spent in hibernation.
Reproduction and Growth

Breeding Behaviour

  • Mating occurs after emergence from hibernation in April.
  • Litters of four to five young are born in May.
Conservation and Management


The yellow-bellied marmot is classified as Secure in the current General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:

Similar Species
  • Woodchuck
    Appropriately enough, the yellow belly of the yellow-bellied marmot distinguishes it from the woodchuck. Also, the range of the yellow-bellied marmot is further south in Alberta.


Page Information

Updated: May 13, 2010