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Alpine marmot

Marmota marmota


It is spring in the Swiss Alps. Snow is still falling now and then. In the morning light, marmots out of hibernation are carefully leaving their burrows to explore their territory in search of food. Most individuals in this family group are a brood from the previous year. They're most vulnerable with their tawny-brown coat against remaining patches of snow, and move fast. The colony sentinel in the first image watches out and whistles for predators. You can see its teeth and tongue clearly.


Alpine meadow in a rocky area, 1800m ASL


Local predators include eagles, foxes, and humans. Alpine marmots are affected by climate change. Find out more here:

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swain18 a year ago

This is so stinken cute

DanielePralong a year ago

Thank you all. Neil, they whistle, and if you're not familiar with their vocalization you might mistake it for a bird call. I wish one could upload sound bites here as I have recordings from this individual. I have videos with sound but for a different place. Here's a link to what they sound like:

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

Fantastic spotting, Daniele. Beautiful series of this cute little critter. I wonder what song is being sung?

bayucca a year ago

Yes, Daniele rocks!!

DanielePralong a year ago

Soon you will be cooled down by monsoon Sukanya... I hope it won't be too intense! Thank you Sukanya and Zlatan for your kind words. You've both been stellar members of Project Noah over the years, I hope you can be rewarded somehow for your positive and meaningful interactions with the rest of the our community!

Zlatan Celebic
Zlatan Celebic a year ago

Just gorgeous spotting. and thanks for all your efforts with NOAH.

SukanyaDatta a year ago

Daniele, I would be most happy to ship you some sunshine and heat! Weather updates here keep saying things like..temperature 38 C feels 51 C! And Yes, thank you for all the help over the years.Totally second what Tukup wrote.

DanielePralong a year ago

I can totally second your words Tukup ;-) Yet the good days are slowly coming back here (we're not totally out of the cold and snow though), and I shall be looking forward to some upcoming field trips!

Tukup a year ago

Thank you Daniele for all the hard work you do keeping things running. I would imagine it is a sacrifice to give up your time outdoors to help others. I know something about what others would call "sacrifice" and if, as you say, you really enjoy what you're doing, it isn't a sacrifice at all. You are appreciated Daniele.

DanielePralong a year ago

Thanks for your kind comments Greg and Tukup :-) Tukup, I wish I could post more but running this show leaves me little time for my own collection. Even more so, I wish I'd spend more time outside! Now and then I will post to run tests, or just inspire others. My greatest pleasure here is to highlight the contributions of others.

Greg Shchepanek
Greg Shchepanek a year ago

Love this spotting all the photos are great 🙂

Tukup a year ago

No wonder they look so scruffy, they just got up :-) Great shots Daniele. Thanks for providing an example of a good write up too: personal, informative, brief. Good example for me to follow. Thanks.

DanielePralong a year ago

Thanks Brian and mauna. Brian I love the second pic the best, but it won't work in first position as a thumbnail... I shouldn't have zoomed in so close ;-) These pics are a few years old but conditions are very similar right now and I plan to get to the same spot soon. At the moment there's still too much snow and the area is avalanche prone. The marmots are already out though.

mauna Kunzah
mauna Kunzah a year ago

How special!

Brian38 a year ago

Great series Daniele! I love the second pic! Great shot!

Spotted by

Ormont-Dessus, Vaud, Switzerland

Spotted on May 5, 2014
Submitted on Apr 30, 2019

Spotted for Mission

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