Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Lynn Chamberlain
Photo Copyright Lynn Chamberlain

The yellow-bellied marmot, Marmota flaviventris, is a large (five to ten pound) rodent that occurs throughout much of the western United States and in parts of southwestern Canada. The species is common in Utah, where it is often considered a pest due to the damage it inflicts on crops. Yellow-bellied marmots prefer meadows near forested areas. They dig burrows under rocks and logs, and retreat to those burrows to hibernate during the cold winter months.

Mating occurs soon after hibernation ends, and a litter of three to eight young is born about one month later. Young remain in the burrow for an additional month, emerging during the late spring or early summer. The yellow-bellied marmot is an herbivore that eats a wide variety of plants, especially grasses and forbs.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.