mikeh22's picture

Himalayan marmot

Observed: 19th July 2008 By: mikeh22mikeh22’s reputation in Mammalsmikeh22’s reputation in Mammals
Himalayan marmot
Description:
Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

the naturalist man's picture

Marmot

It's probably a Himalayan marmot, however you are on the edge of the known range for long-tailed marmot (Marmota caudata). As far as I can tell the only way to tell them apart is by tail length and size. The H. marmot is the largest marmot, the size of a tom cat and has a relatively short tail. The LT marmot is more of a golden brown colour (also known as golden marmot) and is slightly smaller with a longer tail, however, we are talking 15cm compared to 18-20cm so you probably could not tell in the wild or from a photo unless you were used to seeing them.

Apparently, the H marmot also has two subspecies but at least the ones in your area are the M. himalayana robusta and the nominate race, M himalayana himalayana, are found more into China and Tibet.

Do you have any photos that show the tail? Do you have any local knowledge that they were H marmot or could they have been the LT marmot?

In pictures I have in books and on the web they both look the same; one photo on the web has H marmot looking more grey than golden but that could be the light or misidentification; there is a grey marmot.

Sorry I can't be any more accurate with an identification.

Graham Banwell

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mikeh22's picture

Got no more pictures i'm

Got no more pictures i'm afraid and not got any idea of subspecies or distribution.
I went to India after I had finished school in 2008 and just managed to get this distant shot on max zoom on my camera.
I knew it was a marmot and Himalayan seemed appropriate so I id'd it as such.
Thanks for your observations but I can't be of any more help, sorry.

the naturalist man's picture

Marmot

That's a shame, and unfortunately I have no direct experience of these Himalayan species of marmot; I do like to get an animal to species when I can.

So we have an ID for anyone visiting in the future, put up an ID of marmot (sp) and I'll agree to it. Perhaps someone in the future who knows more about the area will find this and confirm the exact identification.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411