The Hoary Marmot is a species of ground squirrel native to North America. They are found in high-altitude and subalpine meadows in the western United States and Canada. They are also known as the “whistler” due to their loud calls.
Olympic marmots are considered a keystone species in the Olympic Mountains, USA. Their burrowing activities help to maintain the structure of the meadows, and their grazing helps to control the growth of vegetation,
Marmots prefer to live in open areas with plenty of sunlight, such as meadows, rock slides, and talus slopes. They also need well-drained soils to construct their burrows for hibernation, and protection.
Climate change is impacting marmots by altering the timing of their hibernation, which can disrupt their breeding cycles. Conservation efforts include habitat restoration, and education and outreach programs.
They are a keystone species and have an important impact on the overall health of their ecosystem. Marmots are important for seed dispersal and they are also a prey species for many predators, providing a critical food source.