Spring 2016 Marmot Trapping

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Spring 2016 Marmot Trapping

May 10, 2016

Gus Seward, Dan Stone, and Alan Ramsey share insights and images from 2016 marmot trapping efforts.

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Spring dens get fresh grass after a long winter.

We trapped marmots at the areas outlined on this map. Some of these areas have burrows without additional cover (blue). Other areas have wood piles with burrows under them (green), or wood piles without burrows (red).

During the summer, marmots venture away from their primary burrows. We observe them at the Pump Slough, the Orchard House greenhouse, Partridge Alley, the Clubhouse, and Lower Tongue Creek.

We switched from ear tags to Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags because most of the ear tags fell out. We use a tool to inject PIT tags under the skin between the shoulder blades (lower left). We will check marmots for tags with a scanner placed at a den entrance.

This year, we caught 10 marmots from March 23 to April 1 using apples and carrots as bait. We recaptured 5 marmots from previous years and PIT tagged 5 new ones. We collected hair samples from all marmots captured for DNA analysis.

We have trapped the Grumpy Marmot of the cliffs, FB9C5, for 3 years: fall 2014, spring 2015, and spring 2016. He has scars on his face and is missing hair.

We trapped this marmot (FB9F1, ear tag 461) in fall 2014, spring 2015, and spring 2016.

We trapped marmot FBA05 (tan ear tag 194), as a juvenile in spring 2014 and again in spring 2016.

We trapped these young marmots, FBA13 (left) and FB9E5 (right), for the first time this spring. We think they are juveniles born late last year.