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Yellow-Bellied Marmot

Yellow-Bellied Marmot

Yellow-Bellied Marmot

Latin Name Marmota flaviventris
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location S W Canada to W USA
Colour Yellowish/Brown/Tawny
Length 34 - 50 cm (13.4 - 19.7 inches)
Tail 12 - 22 cm (4.7 - 8.7 inches)
Weight 1.5 - 5 Kgs (3.3 - 11 lbs)
Life Expectancy Up to 15 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Yellow-Bellied Marmots are ground squirrels in the marmot genus. They have a body length between 34 and 50 cms (13.4 - 19.7 inches), a tail length between 12 and 22 cms (4.7 - 8.7 inches) and they weigh between 1.5 and 5 kgs (3.3 - 11 lbs).

They are yellowish/brown in colour and their hair has a pale tip. They have distinct yellow markings on the sides of their neck and their underside is reddish/yellow. They have a broad head with a short muzzle and small, furred ears.

They are mainly diurnal and terrestrial but they have been know to climb shrubs and trees. They hibernate each year from September to May but this can vary depending on the elevation of their habitat.


Yellow-Bellied Marmots prefer open habitats such as alpine meadows, steppes, pastures and the edges of forests. They usually occupy elevations at around 2,000 m (6,560 ft) but in the Rocky Mountains they can be found at altitudes up to 4,100 m (13,450 ft).

They construct their borrows in well-drained soil and they are usually over 1 m (3.3 ft) in depth with several entrances and tunnels, although the burrows that they use for hibernation can be 5 - 7 m (16.4 - 23 ft) in depth.

They live in small groups that consist of a single adult male and a harem of 2 - 3 adult females. Several of these groups can be found together in a colony. The adult males are territorial but the females behave amicably towards each other.


Yellow-Bellied Marmots feed on grasses, flowers, herbs and seeds. They usually feed in the morning and late afternoon.


Yellow-bellied marmots have a single breeding season which begins after they have emerged from hibernation. After a gestation period of approximately 30 days, 3 - 8 young are born in a grass-lined nest.

The youngsters begin to leave the nest at around 3 weeks old and they are weaned by the time they are 5 weeks old. They reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age.


Predators of the Yellow-Bellied Marmot include wolves, foxes, coyotes and humans. When they see a predator they whistle to warn others in the area, then they take cover under a pile of rocks or in their burrow.


There are no subspecies of the Yellow-Bellied Marmot.

Interesting Facts

Yellow-Bellied Marmots are also known as:
Rock Chuck
Whistle Pig

Similar Animals

Hoary Marmot
Olympic Marmot
Vancouver Island Marmot
Himalayan Marmot
Bobak Marmot
Grey Marmot
Black-Capped Marmot


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