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Marmota flaviventris

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA SCIURIDAE

Scientific Name: Marmota flaviventris
Species Authority: (Audubon & Bachman, 1841)
Common Name(s):
English Yellow-bellied Marmot

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G., Koprowski, J. & Roth, L. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern because it is widespread, common throughout its range, although populations often isolated, and there are no major threats.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in Western North America from south-central British Columbia and southern Alberta in Canada to the southern Sierra Nevada and White Mountains in southern California, Nevada, southern Utah, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico in the United States. It is typically found above 2,000 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Canada (Alberta, British Columbia); United States (California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is considered secure in its range (NatureServe). It lives in small colonies, with the density of colonies varying with the availability of foraging areas and den sites. Populations are often separated by areas of unsuitable habitat.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in meadows, valleys, and foothills, often where forest and meadow form a mosaic; occupies open areas relatively free of trees and shrubs. Semi-fossorial; uses one or more burrows; may share hibernation burrow. Burrows open under rocks (or logs or bushes) in areas of well-drained talus, rock outcrops, or scattered boulders. Habitat sizes range from 0.01 to 70 hectare or more (Armitage 1991). Young are born in underground burrows.

Mating typically occurs during two weeks following hibernation Gestation lasts about 30 days. Litters vary in size between 3-8 young per year. Young remain in burrow for 20-30 days (Frase and Hoffmann 1980), emerge from natal burrow late June to mid-July in the mountains of western Colorado. Local reproductive traits vary somewhat depending on the time of snow melt. At the highest elevations, females rarely produce litters in consecutive years (Armitage 1991). Males typically first breed at age three or older (Armitage 1991).

Lives alone, in pairs, or colonies. Colonies typically consist of one or more adult territorial males, 1-5 adult females and their young (usually including yearlings and younger offspring). Virtually all males and slightly less than half the females disperse from the natal colony, typically as yearlings and regardless of population density in males; dispersal distance usually is less than four km but up to 15.5 km for males and 6.4 km for females in western Colorado (Armitage 1991).

May harbour fleas that are vectors of sylvatic plague or tick that transmits Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These marmots are generalist herbivores, feeding on a wide variety of grasses and forbs. They do not store food for the winter.

At higher elevations it may hibernate early September-May; at lower elevations it may emerge late February to mid-March. In the mountains of western Colorado, spring emergence from hibernation begins in late April or early May, emergence for hibernation begins in late August and usually is completed by mid-September (Armitage 1991). In more boreal zones may be active all summer but may begin aestivation in June at lower elevations (Frase and Hoffmann 1980).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is not of conservation concern and its range includes several protected areas.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Marmota flaviventris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
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