Himalayan Marmot

Himalayan marmot, is a marmot distributed in Himalayas at an altitude of 300-4500 meters. They are about the size of domestic cats and live in groups. They are closely related to marmots, marmots and marmots. They are dark brown with yellow spots on the face and chest. It mainly feeds on herbs and likes to eat young grass with dew drops, such as stems, leaves, twigs or roots. It is distributed in Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, India, Nepal, Sikkim, Kashmir and other places in Asia and China.

Morphological character


Himalayan marmot has a strong body. The length of male is between 47-67 cm and that of female is between 45-52 cm. The weight of male is about 6000 g and that of female is about 5000 G. Himalayan marmot is fat, similar to a round bar. The head is short and wide, the ear shell is short and small, the neck is short and thick, the tail is short and the end is slightly flat, and the length is not more than 2 times of the hind foot. Female individuals have 5 or 6 pairs of nipples. The limbs are short and thick, the front foot has 4 toes, the back foot has 5 toes, the toe end has claws, the claws are developed and suitable for digging.

Coat color

From the nose to the front of the two ears, there is a triangle like black hair area, that is, “black triangle”. The closer the black triangle is to the nose, the narrower the color is. Around the mouth are yellow white, light brown yellow or orange. The eyes are black, and the cheeks of the face to the lateral base of the ear are yellowish brown or brownish yellow. Obviously different from the “black triangle”. The ear shell is dark brown yellow or dark yellow. The back of the neck and the back of the body are the same color, which is sand yellow. The hair base is dark brown, the middle part is grass yellow or light yellow, and the hair tip is black. From back to buttock, the black hair tips are more prominent, and irregular black fine stripes are often formed. The body side is black, and the anus and vulva are stained with dark brown or dark brown yellow. The upper part of the limbs and feet is light brown yellow or sand yellow, and the lower part is the same color as the abdomen. Paws and claws black. The color of the hair on the back of the tail is the same as that on the back, about 1 / 4 of the hair end is black or dark brown; 1 / 2 of the belly of the tail near the base is brown or brown yellow, and 1 / 2 of the end is black brown. Hair color varies with age and region. The hair color of larva is more gray yellow or dark than that of adult, and there are a few albino individuals.


The skull is thick and strong, slightly triangular, with developed supraorbital process and slightly curved downward. The inter orbital area is shallow and flat, and the posterior part of zygoma is obviously expanded. The posterior orbital process at the anterior and inferior margin of scaly bone is very small and invisible, and the sagittal ridge is low. [4] the anterior edge of the foramen magnum is semi elliptical. The palatal arch is long and narrow, and its posterior margin is longer than that of the jaw. The posterior edge of the coracoid process of the mandible is almost vertical, not significantly bent backward, and the notch between the coracoid process and the articular process is deep and narrow. There are 22 teeth, large upper teeth and no longitudinal groove on the lip.

Ecological habits

Himalayan marmot inhabits the alpine meadow grassland between 2500-5200 meters above sea level, the sunny slopes, mountain AIDS, slopes, terraces, valleys, piedmont plains and other environments. It is the representative animal of alpine grassland, which is not found in forest, desert and semi desert landscape types. This is the most general rule, not affected by the altitude of different places. Its number does not change significantly due to different vegetation communities on the meadow grass source, mainly affected by the terrain, of which the density of the piedmont plain and the lower edge of the mountain sunny slope is the largest, followed by the terrace and mountain. It is also common on flat beaches with open slopes and valleys. The distribution area of marmot is mostly from the valley (terrace, piedmont plain) to the sunny slopes on both sides of the mountain to avoid the shady slopes, so the habitat of marmot seems to be double serrated. Each family consists of adult female, male and 1-and 2-year-old cubs. They live together in a cave family, and separate when the cubs are mature. Each family cave is divided into temporary cave and dwelling cave, and dwelling cave is divided into winter cave and summer cave. There is thick hay on the inside. The temperature in the cave is relatively stable, and the temperature in the nest is kept above 0 ℃ but not more than 10 ℃. Himalayan marmot mainly feeds on herbs. It likes to eat young grass leaves, twigs or grass roots with dewdrops, especially the green parts of sedge, Gramineae and legumes. Occasionally, it also feeds on some insects and small rodents. In the farming area, it often steals the seedlings, stems and leaves of highland barley, oats, rape, potato and other crops. In early spring, when the grass has not sprouted, you can also dig and eat the grass roots. Because there are many kinds of natural enemies, its temperament is extremely alert, and its vision and hearing are very sharp. Whenever there are wolves, bears, foxes, lynxes, eagles, eagles and mongooses and other natural enemies entering the territory, they stand up and make sharp calls. It belongs to diurnal animals, especially in the morning and dusk. The time of going out of the hole in the morning varies with seasons, generally determined by the sun shining on the hole. Every time before going out of the hole, I always look around first. When I feel safe, I will show half of my body first, and then I will grill in the hole to bask in the sun, and then I will make a sound. At this time, the neighboring peers immediately respond and call together. Soon after that, he began to eat. Except in case of any enemy, he would not make any sound for the next day. Enter the cave before sunset to rest, no longer come out at night.


Himalayan marmot has hibernation habit, and it has accumulated fat for overwintering physiological needs since spring. The time of dormancy in and out depends on the local phenology, generally from September to the middle of October, and from April to the end of April the next year. The time of entering and coming out depends on the time of withering and turning green.

Growth and breeding

Himalayan marmots breed once a year, and soon after they hibernate, they enter the breeding period, and begin to mate, lasting for about one month. Their individual activities are extremely frequent. They often string holes and chase, mainly for sexual activities. They eat for a short time, rarely alert, and have a wide range of activities. Among them, adult males are the most active. Pregnant females can be found in the middle of April. The gestation period is about 35 days, with 1-9 offspring per fetus, and 4-6 are the most common. After the cub was born, the time and range of female feeding increased gradually, and the warning and warning for protecting the cub increased, while the number of holes and communication decreased significantly. At the end of June, we can see the activity of babies going out of the cave, which is very active and frequent. The cub and the mother lived until July of the second year, and they lived independently. Reach sexual maturity at age 3. But only 50-60% of the total number of sexually mature females participate in reproduction every year.

Geographical distribution

Marmots are distributed in Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, India, Nepal, Sikkim, Kashmir and other places in China. It is the most common and largest rodent in the Qinghai Tibet Plateau.

Living condition

The damage of marmots to Himalayan marmots is a large number of harmful animals on the alpine meadow grassland in Tibet. It is also called snow pig, Tibetan “Qibin”, and pastoral area “quwa”. It likes to eat Cyperaceae and Gramineae, which is destructive to grassland. In addition, Marmota is the natural host of Yersinia pestis, and its external parasite is the disseminator of Yersinia pestis, which directly endangers human health.

Main value


Himalayan marmot has good fur quality, solid and flexible skin board, elastic, flat and fluffy needle hair, which is suitable for clothes and hats; tail hair and needle hair have good rigidity, which are superior raw materials for making high-grade paintbrushes; marmot has tender and delicious meat, high protein content, and the taste of oil is similar to that of pig oil, which is edible and can also be made into high-grade lubricating oil.


The meat, oil and bone of Marmota himalayana can be used for medicine:

1. Marmot meat: treat rheumatism arthralgia, swelling pain of feet and knees, hemorrhoids and fistula;

2. Marmot oil: it can cure rheumatism arthralgia, itch sore, pruritus, tinea corporis and canker sore.

3. Marmot bone: take the limb bone, dry it for standby, remove rheumatism, treat the muscle pain and limb numbness.