The hoary marmot (Marmota caligata ) is a species of marmot that inhabits the mountains of northwest North America. Hoary marmots live near the tree line on slopes with grasses and forbs to eat and rocky areas for cover.Show More
It is the largest North American ground squirrel and is often nicknamed "the whistler" for its high-pitched warning issued to alert other members of the colony to possible danger. The animals are sometimes called "whistle pigs". Whistler, British Columbia, originally London Mountain because of its heavy fogs and rain, was renamed after these animals to help make it more marketable as a resort. The closest relatives of the species are the yellow-bellied, Olympic, and Vancouver Island marmots, although the exact relationships are unclear.Show Less
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
In zoology, a folivore is a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves. Mature leaves contain a high proportion of hard-to-digest cellulose, less ...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
A burrow is a hole or tunnel excavated into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct ...
A fossorial animal is one adapted to digging which lives primarily but not solely, underground. Some examples are badgers, naked mole-rats, clams, ...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Monogamy is a form of relationship in which both the male and the female has only one partner. This pair may cohabitate in an area or territory for...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
Colonial animals live in large aggregations composed of two or more conspecific individuals in close association with or connected to, one another....
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Hibernation is a state of minimal activity and metabolic depression undergone by some animal species. Hibernation is a seasonal heterothermy charac...
CaCanada Province Animals
Hoary marmots are the largest North American ground squirrels. The word "hoary" refers to the silver-gray fur on their shoulders and upper back; the remainder of the upper parts have drab- or reddish-brown fur. The head is black on the upper surface, with a white patch on the muzzle, and white fur on the chin and around the lips. The feet and lower legs are black, sometimes with white patches on the forefeet. The tail is long, slightly flattened, and covered with dense fur.
Hoary marmots are found in northwest North America. They occur from southern Washington and central Idaho north and are found through much of Alaska south of the Yukon River. These animals inhabit mainly mountainous alpine environments, in rocky terrain or alpine meadows dominated by grasses, sedges, herbs, and Krummholz forest patches.
Hoary marmots are diurnal being active during the day. They live in colonies of up to 36 individuals. Each colony includes a single, dominant male, up to 3 females, sometimes with a subordinate adult male, and a number of young and subadults up to 2 years of age. Hoary marmots hibernate 7-8 months a year in burrows they excavate in the soil, often among or under boulders. Each colony typically maintains a single burrow for hibernation and a number of smaller burrows that they use for sleeping and refuge from predators. Each colony digs an average of 5 such burrows a year, and a mature colony may have over a hundred. Closer to hibernation time Hoary marmots like to socialize through play fighting, wrestling, social grooming, and nose-to-nose touching. These animals use at least seven distinct types of calls, including chirps, whistles, growls, and whining sounds. Many of these calls are used as alarms, alerting other animals to potential predators.
Hoary marmots are usually monogamous, mating with the same partner more than once. However, southern populations are suggested to be both monogamous and polygynous. These marmots breed shortly after hibernation in May and in some areas (such as the eastern Cascade foothills of Washington State) as early as February. Females give birth to 2-5 young between late May and mid-June. The gestation period usually lasts 25 to 30 days. The young emerge from their birth den at 3-4 weeks of age, by which time they are fully furred and are already beginning to be weaned. Subadults remain with their birth colony but typically leave at 2 years of age. They reach reproductive maturity the following year.
There are no major threats to Hoary marmots at present.
According to IUCN, the Hoary marmot is locally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.