Alpine marmots live in alpine meadows and scree of boulders in the Alpine, Pyrenean and Carpathian massifs. It uses to live from 800 to 3200 m, with a particular abundance around 2300-2700 m. The southward exposed and more or less steep (15 to 45 %) slopes are prefered to northward slopes.
Social Life
Alpine marmots live in territorial family groups. A family includes a pair of dominant breeding adults, their litters born during the two former years. Social relations are very strong among the members of the group.
The alpine marmot is a monogamous mammal. Intra pair copulation is usually the rule. Marmots can reproduce from the second year but females usually bred only from the third year. Mating occur late in April, two weeks after the end of hibernation. It seems that females are pregnant only each second year. The female should be receptive (oestrus) only during one day. Pregnancy lasts 5 weeks and there is usually 4 young marmots in a litter (end of May, beginning od June). They will live 40 days inside the burrow before discovering sun light.
Alpine marmots are mainly herbivore. In spite of the floristical richness of the alpine environment environnement, its food diversity is reduced including usually around ten dicotyledones, showing a hight food selectivity. More over, alpine marmots prefer flowers to stems or roots. Sometime the marmots eat animals such as worms, insect larvae, grasshopers when abundant. hey do not drink and prefer morning foraging when plants are covered by dew.
The golden eagle is the main predator of alpine marmots which can contribute up to 90 % of its menu, during some moments of the year. They are captured when flying near the ground, the most part being young or hill animals. Red fox is also an important predator of alpine marmots which contribute to 10% of its food intake.
Other predators : lynx, crows.