Monday, May 2, 2011

Signs of marmots!

I just made it to RMBL, and apparently I'm joining the rest of Team Marmot here just in time! Despite all of the snow--6 feet still on the ground--the marmots are telling us that spring is finally in the air. Although we have yet to see a marmot, they are providing us with clues that they are starting to emerge from a long winter of hibernating in their burrows.

Photo by Adriana Maldonado Chaparro
of Jenn Skiing

At this point
in the game, us biologists and the rest of the crew at RMBL must use our field skills to play detective (check out my detective hat)!

First, we saw marmot tracks...note the quarter for size reference.

Photo by Shayn, Winter Caretaker

Check out this a diagram of typical marmot footprint.

Then, these tracks lead Shayn to the following marmot hole!

Photo by Shayn, Winter Caretaker

Finally, Caitlin Wells, from the ground squirrel project, just documented another active marmot burrow...

Photo by Caitlin Wells,
Ground Squirrel Project

So, perhaps tomorrow Team Marmot will finally get to see one of these marmots above ground and wandering around during our morning observations...stay tuned!

Photo by Adriana Maldonado Chaparro

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