Yellow-bellied Marmot

photo by Marshal Hedin CC BY-SA

Yellow-bellied Marmot are large ground squirrels (19-26 in long) with a thick furry coat living on lower mountain slopes in the western United States and Canada. Their back and bushy tail are various shades of brown, while they have a lighter yellowish-brown fur down the sides of their neck and on their belly.

Yellow-bellied Marmot often live in colonies but not always. They build burrows under rocks where they raise their young, hide from predators, and hibernate (from September to April in cooler climates and for less time in warmer areas).

The marmots spend their days above ground where they lie in the sun and graze on grasses and herbs. Marmots from the same burrow groom and play with each other but will defend their territory when approached by marmots from a different burrow.

Could it be? Yellow-bellied Marmot are smaller than Hoary Marmot and usually live at lower elevations.

Did you know? Yellow-bellied Marmot use noises to communicate. They whistle to alert the others of danger, scream when they're scared or excited, and chatter their teeth as a threat.

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