Another real issue is that we have been seeing a lot of adult females not breeding. Why? Well, as they say, a shortage of good men. Some groups had all the male marmots die and there was nobody to mate with at the end of a long winter. Interestingly, the first litter to emerge was one where the male hibernated with two adult females...they didn't have to emerge through 3 meters of snow to mate (they lived in an avalanche corridor and Julien was watching them earlier in the year as an avalanche approached them...they ducked out of the way!).
I'm sure we'll have more pups soon, but the wait is killing me. I'm concerned that the whole valley will pop at the same time (typically the lower elevation sites emerge about a week or so before the upper elevation sites emerge)...which will create some challenges to trap them all at emergence.
Ahh, life in the mountains...unpredictable yet still exciting.