Current Understanding of the Alaska Marmot (Marmota broweri)

Marmota broweriThe Alaska marmot (Marmota broweri) is distributed in the north of Alaska, in the system of the Barrow Range; recently it was considered a subspecies of gray-haired groundhog. The Alaska marmot is closer to the Palearctic than to the gray-haired one, but at the same time it differs from the black-caped marmot no less than the Eurasian marmots from each other. The fur coat is one-color, gray-colored (including the belly), with soft and relatively short hair. It is relatively short-tailed, lacking the characteristic white-haired marmot, with a black-colored upper surface of the head. The axial skull is relatively high in its middle and posterior regions.

The Alaska marmot lives in the northern part of Alaska, settling between large piles of rocks on the slopes of which the animal digs its holes and finds refuge. Cracks in rocky cornices or niches under boulders give them a certain degree of protection against grizzly bears who would like to dig and get them. Wolves prey on the Alaska marmots, while eagles prey on young marmots. If the eagle makes a circular motion or another predator is found nearby, the marmots warn each other with loud cries and run away through the safe tunnels away in a safe hiding place.

In these harsh conditions, the soil is constantly frozen. Marmots live in small colonial settlements close to areas with productive vegetation. The nutritional value of Arctic plants is quite low, and therefore animals should consume them more to meet their needs and to prepare for hibernation. The Alaska marmots disappear into subterranean dwellings with first snowfalls in September, and are in hibernation until June.

Body length: Medium: 605 mm males; 579 mm females
Range: 582-652 mm males; 539-599 mm females
Weight: Average mark: 3.6 kg males; 3.2 kg female
Range: 3-4 kg males; 2.5-3.5 kg of a female.

Category: General