Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris)

Description
yellow-bellied marmot

Size

  • 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).

Appearance

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

Habitat

  • 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.

Food

  • 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

Status

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