Journal of Biology and Life Sciences, Vol 2, No 2 (2011)

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Current Understanding of the Alaska Marmot (Marmota broweri): A Sensitive Species in a Changing Environment

Jason A Hubbart

Abstract


 

Increasing interest in mammalian species conservation necessitates synthesis of diffuse sources of information to supply useful synopsis to land managers. The Alaska Marmot (Marmota broweri) is arguably one of the most sensitive of Marmot species to anthropogenic distur-bance, including climate change. Marmota broweri is endemic to an isolated range in the Brooks Mountains of northern Alaska, United States, but home range may extend to the Ray Mountains, and Kokrines Hills of northern interior Alaska. Marmota broweri inhabits the per-manently frozen grounds of mountain slopes, boulder fields, rock slides, and rock outcroppings by utilizing the subsurface space provided by the rocks and boulders to create a living space by burrowing into the permafrost soil. Tundra vegetation that grows on the sides of mountains is the primary source of nutrition available to M. broweri. Due to general lack of knowledge of this species, little can be contributed in terms of improved management and/or preparedness for future natural and anthropogenic change, suggesting an immediate need for studies result-ing in improved planning and population related management strategies of this sensitive species.

 

 


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