Thursday, July 1, 2021

Olympic Marmot

During our visit to the Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge on 22 June 2021, the only vertebrate wildlife we identified was a lone Olympic Marmot. This large, burrowing rodent lived in a den in a meadow in front of the visitor’s center. Although known to screech at intruders, this individual was quiet. This species is endemic to high elevations in the Olympic Peninsula. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Olympic Marmots declined because of predation by coyotes and drier weather conditions due to global warming. Marmots eat a variety of wildflowers, including lupine and Yellow Avalanche-Lilies. They also eat roots and can double their weight in the summer before hibernating for seven to eight months (NPS.gov).

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