Hoary Marmot

photo by J Brew CC BY-SA

Hoary Marmot live in the mountains at or above the treeline. They are large, bulky ground squirrels (18-22 in long, up to 16 lbs) with a thick fur coat that is white over the upper back and shoulders.

Hoary Marmot live in colonies with a dominant male, several breeding females, young, and sometimes a few subordinate males. They build a burrow, often under a boulder, with several chambers, tunnels, and multiple entrances. They are active during the day and eat grasses and plants. In most areas, they hibernate from September to April.

Could it be? Hoary Marmot are larger than Yellow-bellied Marmot and live at higher altitudes. Pika also live in the mountains above the treeline, but they are much smaller than Hoary Marmot.

Did you know? Hoary Marmot are also known as Whistlers and Whistle Pigs because of the high-pitched sound they make to warn other marmots in their colony of predators.

See Also: 13-lined Ground Squirrel, Bushy-tailed Woodrat, Least Chipmunk, Marten, Pika, Red-tailed Chipmunk, Richardson's Ground Squirrel, Squirrel, Weasel, Yellow-bellied Marmot, Yellow-pine Chipmunk