Year of 2017

Alpine marmots in Austria

Sorry fellas, not only are you not the right species—groundhogs are Marmota monax while alpine marmots are Marmota marmota—but you live in Austria, near the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which is nowhere near western Pennsylvania. Today Punxsutawney Phil will emerge and tell us if we’re due for six more weeks of winter. Our three alpine marmots should probably get back to hibernating—something they do for as many as nine months.

The alpine marmot is a species of marmot found in mountainous areas of central and southern Europe. Alpine marmots live at heights between 800 and 3,200 metres in the Alps, Carpathians, Tatras, the Pyrenees and Northern Apennines in Italy. They were reintroduced with success in the Pyrenees in 1948, where the alpine marmot had disappeared at end of the Pleistocene epoch. They are excellent diggers, able to penetrate soil that even a pickaxe would have difficulty with, and spend up to nine months per year in hibernation.
Scientific name: Marmota marmota
Lifespan: 15 years – 18 years (In captivity)
Body length: 16.54 inch (42 cm) – 21.26 inch (54 cm) (Without tail)
Tail length: 5.12 inch (13 cm) – 6.30 inch (16 cm) on average
Gestation period: 33 days – 34 days
Height: 7.09 inch (18 cm)