Meet Murphy the Marmot

Yellow-Bellied Marmots AKA “Rock Chuck” are native to the high mountainous regions of the western United States and Canada. These cute little critters are one of fourteen species of marmots found in North America. Murphy the Marmot agreed to do a photoshoot in effort to share information about his species and natural habitat.

MURPHY THE MARMOT, WILDLIFE IN SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
Don’t judge the hair…I just woke up. Wait, do you smell coffee? I could really use a cup of cappuccino right now.

Marmot Demographics

The Yellow-Bellied Marmot has been spotted as far south as northern New Mexico in the United States and as far north as British Columbia, Canada. Here is a list of the primary places you will find this genus of marmot.

  • Rocky Mountains
  • Sierra Nevada’s
  • Mt. Rainier, Washington State
  • Wyoming
  • Colorado
  • Montana
  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
MURPHY THE MARMOT, WILDLIFE IN SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
I should really invest in one of those tempurpedic beds…after all, I spend 80% of my life sleeping.

Native Habitat

Typically, the Yellow-Bellied Marmot lives in mountainous regions above 6,500 feet. However, on occasion they can occupy regions as low as 5,400 feet or up to 14,000 feet.

MURPHY THE MARMOT, WILDLIFE IN SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
If they are back at the burrow cooking Robin eggs for breakfast without me, I’m going to be so pissed.

Marmot’s Dwelling

It is common for marmots to live in colonies up to 10- 20 individuals. Each colony has only one dominant male. As you already guessed, Murphy is the Alpha. The dwelling of the marmot is called a burrow. Every spring, after a long winter hibernation, marmots dig a new burrow. The springtime is the marmots mating season and they mate in a “harem-polygynous” way. This means that Murphy has a lot of girlfriends and will mate with at least 3 – 4 females at a time. He’s a true player.

MURPHY THE MARMOT, WILDLIFE IN SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
Did you ever get that eerie feeling that someone is watching you?

Marmot Behavior

The daily behavior of a marmot is not unlike a koala bear or a panda. They sleep in their burrow 80% of the day. They are non-nocturnal, so you will see them during the daylight hours foraging for around for food. Marmots are both omnivores and herbivores. Their diet consists mostly of coffee, bird eggs, insects, grass, leaves and flowers.

MURPHY THE MARMOT, WILDLIFE IN SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
I’m going into a food coma.

King of Lake Tahoe

Marmots are creatures of habit and will often occupy a mountain area for their entire lifetime. Murphy has crowned himself the King of Lake Tahoe. This is his domain. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to live on top of a mountain and take in this spectacular view everyday?

MURPHY THE MARMOT, WILDLIFE IN SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
The King of Tahoe’s Castle View

Giant Squirrels

Yellow-Bellied Marmots are quite stout ground squirrels of the marmot genus. They weigh anywhere from 4 – 11 pounds, depending on the time of year.

MURPHY THE MARMOT, WILDLIFE IN SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
Kiss me, I’m Irish.

He’s a ladies man, what can I say?

Marmot Yoga

Even Murphy knows the healing benefits of yoga. With all that sleep, he’s gotta stretch out the spine. Plus, his daily adventures in rock bouldering and foraging for food require limber muscles and cat-like speed reflexes.

MURPHY THE MARMOT, WILDLIFE IN SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
Upward Facing Dog…now that’s a good stretch.

Coat of Many Colors

The vibrant yellow fur on their under belly, side of neck and throat give the Yellow-Bellied Marmot their common and scientific name. Shaking his cute, reddish-black tail, Murphy is off to a hot date.

MURPHY THE MARMOT, WILDLIFE IN SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
That’s all folks!

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Micah Lyn is a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner HHP, Intuitive Healer and E-RYT 500 Certified Yoga Teacher registered with Yoga Alliance and KRI. She offers a variety of private yoga classes in Sedona AZ, yoga therapy and intuitive healing services at Pachamama Yoga ✨ Sedona Healing Center. Visit the YTT Programs & Workshops page to see upcoming Online & Hands-on Intensive Yoga Teacher Training, Virtual Online Yoga Workshops & Transformational Yoga Retreats featured worldwide.

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