Yellow-bellied marmots abundant in Kamloops park | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Yellow-bellied marmots abundant in Kamloops park

Yellow-bellied marmots are abundant in Kamloops.
Image Credit: Lyn MacDonald
February 02, 2020 - 7:00 PM

A Kamloops resident has captured many yellow-bellied marmots on camera around the city, and is sharing her photos for Groundhog Day.

Lyn MacDonald posted photos of a large group of marmots to a popular Kamloops Facebook group. The photos were taken at McArthur Island Park in the summer.

This variety lives anywhere from south central B.C. to California and New Mexico and always live around large rocks, and sometimes near grasslands and valley bottoms.

Marmots eat lots of green plants, and will sometimes eat dead animals, according to the Sierra Club of B.C.

"They sun themselves in the morning to warm up, and disappear into their rock burrows to keep cool during the day. They have a loud whistling chirp that will sound if they are alarmed, and sit on their hind legs, showing their yellow belly," the Sierra Club reports.

"Three to eight young are born in June in the mother’s burrow, because each adult marmot has a separate den. All the marmot dens are usually in a similar area, and the marmots living there are called a colony. Marmots hibernate in the winter, and marmots who can’t find good winter dens won’t make it through the cold."

That said, this time of year, some of their cousins tend to venture out and are tapped for seasonal prognostication.

Van Isle Violet, one of the endangered Vancouver Island marmots,  delivered her Groundhog Day weather proclamation today, Feb. 2.

"Though deep in hibernation, secure in a burrow beneath meters of rock and snow at Mount Washington, Van Isle Violet still managed to see her shadow early this Groundhog Day morning. It seems Vancouver Island will have to wait a bit for spring," the Marmot Recovery Foundation reported.

"For the marmots, this may not be a bad thing. Violet for one may get to sleep-in this year. Plus a later winter may help more snow stick around. In summer, that melting snow keeps the marmots’ meadows green, and the plants nourishing, longer. While more winter may not be the news you were hoping for, there has been some good news for us marmot-lovers: the wild marmot population increased by about 17 per cent in 2019. The population increase was thanks mostly to a large number of pups being born, particularly in the Nanaimo Lakes area. There good news from Strathcona Park too, where a new colony of marmots was discovered by hikers."



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