Their daily routine can be observed as they are up with the sun and busily foraging along well-worn paths. By midmorning they can be found basking in the sun. After noon, they retreat to their burrows appearing again late in the afternoon basking again atop boulders. Then a final round of foraging late in the afternoon occurs before they retire to their burrows for night. Various whistles have been identified which appear to alert others in the colony or to maintain spacing between colonies. Marmots are hibernators entering their burrows in September or early October, emerging in spring in April or May.
Breeding occurs in spring soon after hibernation ends. Gestation is four to five weeks with litters of three to eight young. As yearlings, both males and females disperse from their birth colony. During this time they are especially susceptible to predation.
Did You Know?
This Rocky Mountain Parnassian butterfly is a strong flier, even on the windy alpine tundra at 12,000 feet. More...