Monday, June 20, 2016

Litters are up!

It's not even the first day of summer and we just had a litter emerge above ground!  The pup season has we have to scramble to catch pups in the day or so after first emergence so as to mark them before they get eaten by foxes, raptors, or coyotes. It's a race.

Ana saw 5 pups in marmot meadow playing around 'south pyramid rock'.  We set some traps to catch them and their mother immediately began moving them to another burrow.  Mothers these days...

This is one of the earliest litters ever recorded over the past 54 years of marmot study!  Most of our litters start emerging around the 4th of July (yes, marmots can be patriotic, or perhaps they're interested in the Crested Butte July 4th parade!), and we normally have only 1 or 2 emerge annually much before the 4th.

It was a cold and snowy spring here; based on spring sightings at Marmot Meadow, copulation probably occurred in the ground before the females emerged from hibernation.

Stay tuned for more details...

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