Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Parental Drama

Alex took this photo of So Happy nursing her pups while having a visit from Lambda--the male we think is likely the father of her litter. DNA will ultimately be required to sort this one out but Lambda is having a really interesting (as in 'we live in interesting times...') year. His neck is scarred from fights with his father--Dandelion--and he has vocal exchanges with both So Happy and Mrs. B. Here, they're doing just that--squealing at each other--while So Happy nurses. And, let's not forget that we RARELY see nursing after the pups emerge from the burrow (we assume that they are mostly weaned). So this fascinating photo captures two things--a squabble and nursing! Great photo Alex!!!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Zia's revenge!

Zia is one of the 'phone shed friends' who lost her mom to a fox kill when RMBL was still under a deep blanket of snow. billy saw the end--where the female fox had 'little man with a mohawk' by the neck and beat her against the snow until she was dead. Shocking.

Today, Zia got her revenge.  From Gina's notes:

At 09:41 on 15 July 2019, Zia was perched and enjoying her day on Doctor's Log when the mother fox in town approached from down the road. Zia noticed the fox and rather than retreating back into her burrow, jumped off the perch, moved towards the fox, and crouched down in the vegetation waiting.  The fox noticed her movement and began to slowly approach Zia. The fox then charged Zia and Zia charged the fox resulting in a fight. The fight was fast, lasting about 5 seconds and ended by the fox whimpering while retreating away from Zia.  Zia returned to her perch, and signaled her victory with 256 alarm calls!

Moral of story: don't FOX with marmots!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Thanks CBMBA/CC!

The other day we had help from Nick and Alex digging out our traps from the wreckage that is now Marmot Meadow. The traps were beneath timber that had to be cut away and were packed in dense snow. Nick and Alex work for the Crested Butte Mt. Bike Association and the Conservation Corps maintaining trails and while they were there we collected data for an avalanche study. This year had an epic number of huge slides and by getting 20 slices from trees that were felled by the Avery slide, we provided data to the study documenting the interval between slides (this was at least a 200 year slide). The traps were not too smashed...

Welcome Andrew!

Hi I’m Andrew Evans and I’m a third year undergraduate student at UCLA with Team Marmot. I flew off from LA immediately after finals and found myself in the middle of nowhere Colorado. Although it is immensely beautiful, being from Hawaii and going to school in LA, I’ve found myself quite out of breath. And cold. 

However, it’s a fun change of pace from intensely watching marmot videos back on campus! In these first weeks here, I’ve gotten to see cute marmots playing, I’ve watched marmots alarm call for thirty minutes at seemingly nothing, I’ve felt marmot fur, and I’ve gotten to hold a cute little marmot pup named Teef. I’ve also plopped in a freezing cold river, I’ve gone to a square dance, and I’ve gotten to sit back and watch everyone play cricket in a parking lot.

Here I’m working with Dana on social transmission in the marmots, putting out puzzle boxes and seeing which ones figure it out. Although not many have figured it out, I squeal watching them so confused. I’m excited to see into these marmots’ lives and see who they are, who they know, who they hate, and figure out what exactly they’re looking at all the time!