Early season arboreal behaviour in Yellow-Bellied Marmots (Marmota flaviventris)
We observed Yellow-bellied Marmots using aspen and spruce trees as forage during a spring with later than usual snow cover. Marmots were seen climbing vertical trees of 10-20 cm in diameter and eating buds and branches. Following snowmelt, tree use declined abruptly. We believe that marmots use trees as an alternative source of forage during years with high spring snow pack. If marmots are emerging earlier and through greater spring snow pack then trees may be an important, but previously neglected, resource.
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