- FamilySquirrels (Sciuridae)
- Weightup to 7 kg
- HabitatAlpine meadows and pastures
Marmot families live in deep, meandering burrow systems. Here they mate, give birth to their young and hibernate. In summer, marmots gather grass to dry in the sun to make hay. A family can gather up to 10 kg of hay, which is used to provide soft bedding and warmth during the long winter sleep.
Marmots are particularly afraid of martens, foxes and birds of prey. Living on open mountain slopes they can easily become their next meal. When a marmot sees a predator, it emits a series of loud whistles – similar to bird chirping – to warn the entire colony. The group will then quickly disappear into the safety of their burrow.
During hibernation marmots minimise their energy consumption by only breathing once or twice per minute.