E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Marmota flaviventris (Audubon and Bachman, 1841)
Groundhog; Yellow-Bellied Marmot; Yellow-Bellied Marmot
Family: Sciuridae
Photo of species

© David Shackleton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #126508)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Marmota flaviventris in British Columbia
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The Yellow-bellied Marmot is a small, diurnal species of marmot (ground squirrel) that usually weighs between 5 and 11 pounds (2 and 5 kg) when fully grown. It is brown on the back and tan to yellow on the front. The head is black, with a light-coloured white or tan area in front of the eyes. It has a slightly bushy tail similar to other marmots.

Yellow-bellied Marmots construct three types of burrows—a home, an escape from predators, and a hibernaculum (Nagorsen 2005). They generally require suitable soil for digging, a steep slope, and rocks or tree roots at the entrance to the burrow for support (Nagorsen 2005).

The Yellow-bellied Marmot is found in the western Cordillera from southern British Columbia and Alberta south to California (Nagorsen 2005). In British Columbia, the Yellow-bellied Marmot is found in the south-central part of the province, in the Fraser and Thompson plateaus, and the southern mountains, including the Cascades, Monashees and Selkirks (Nagorsen 2005). In this region, it is generally found east of the Fraser River, north to Williams Lake—there is one historical specimen from Prince George (Nagorsen 2005).

Occasional sightings of this species are reported in the lower Fraser Valley and elsewhere outside of the main range. One population was reported established in North Vancouver (Nagorsen 2005), and there are periodic reports of sightings in Richmond, Vancouver and other municipalities (photo documentation, various sources). Additionally, there are several recent observations on SE Vancouver Island and a recent observation on Quadra Island (Nagorsen 2010 pers. Comm.).

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS5?YellowNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Bloomstein. D. T. 2002. The Marmot Burrow. University of California. Available online.

Nagorsen, David W. 2010. Rodents and Lagomorphs of British Columbia. Royal BC Museum, Victoria.

Nagorsen, David W. 2010. Personal Communication.

University of Washington. 2010. Nature Mapping Program. Available online.

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-07-23 1:53:30 AM]
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