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on Aug 25, 2010 in Wildlife Photography

There are Three in Alaska

Wildlife isn’t as clear cut as some critter ID books like to make out. This is especially true for critters not recorded or in the public eye. I’ve received a whole lot of emails and comments from folks that they too have photographed the Alaska Marmot. Well, just seeing a marmot in Alaska doesn’t make it an Alaska Marmot.

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This is the marmot 99.9% of Alaskan visitors see and photograph. This is the Hoary Marmot that most photograph at Savage Rock in Denali Nat’l Park. You could also have photographed this same critter in Glacier Nat’l Park or any point in between. It’s range is pretty big and marmots in most locales can become very habituated. This is kinda classic pose and situation for them, on a rock overlooking their small territory for predators.

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This is the Alaska Marmot. The first thing you should notice different between the two is the Alaska has the black face. Next, the Alaska has the rufuos on the hind quarters. The one thing you wouldn’t know is the Hoary is found south of the Yukon River and the Alaska north of the Yukon River.

What’s the third marmot in Alaska? This was a piece of information I didn’t know until we worked this project. The Woodchuck is a marmot and it lives in AK. I’ve never seen or photographed one so if I want them all in my files, darn, I’ll have to go back to Alaska, again!

Photos captured by D3x, 600VR w/TC-20e3 on Lexar UDMA digital film