Photo of Marmot

The Alpine Marmot is found only at high altitudes in the mountainous regions, and is not commonly seen. it is also a timid animal, although its curious 'whistling bark' may be heard, as one marmot warns the others of impending danger.

The Alpine Marmot lives at the upper limit of the treeline, where they survive on a diet of leaves and seeds.

They reach a length up to 50cm, plus 20 cm for the tail (thus they are the largest member of the squirrel family), with a weight of about 5kg.

Marmots live in underground burrows, where they may pass up to six months of each year in hibernation - before hibernating, the marmots block the entrance to their burrow with earth, stone and grass.

Their main predators are eagles and foxes.


The Marmot in the USA is known as the Groundhog, after which Groundhog Day (February 2nd) is named, and the weather for the spring is forecast according to whether the Marmot / groundhog can see his shadow on that morning.

See more wildlife in France.