Marmots | UPSC

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Marmots UPSC

Marmots | UPSC


After bats, do not make marmots into villains: Expert

      WHY IN NEWS:

Reports surfaced Marmots may be the cause of bubonic plague outbreak in Mongolia, China .



For PRELIMS it is important to go through the habitat , conservation methods and most important the IUCN status.

For MAINS well since it is Least Concerned , nothing much here.


The rodents have come into focus ever since reports surfaced of a bubonic plague outbreak in Mongolia, China and the Russian Far East

Marmots UPSC

South Asia is home to the Himalayan Marmot. Photo: Flickr South Asia is home to the Himalayan Marmot.

Do not make marmots the new villains after bats, an expert cautioned on July 7, 2020, even as reports emerged of an outbreak of bubonic plague in Mongolia, China and the Russian Far East.


Marmots are relatively large ground squirrels in the genus Marmota, with 15 species living in Asia, Europe and North America.

  • Marmots belong to the rabbit family.
  • Marmots are essentially a type of squirrel and are found on the continents of Europe, Asia and North America.
  • Marmots are active during the day (diurnal) and are almost entirely vegetarian.



These herbivores are active during the summer when often found in groups, but are not seen during the winter when they hibernate underground.

  • South Asia or the Indian Subcontinent is home to the Himalayan Marmot .


The incidents of plague in Mongolia, China and the Russian Far East have been caused largely after locals consumed the Tarbagan Marmot, which is found in the region.-Reports

  • Marmots are eaten in China and Mongolia.
  • High altitude regions lack proteins.
  • Pastoral nomads usually eat these during their days out on the steppe, when they do not have any other means of sustenance.
  • Marmots are also hunted for their fur.
  • They are prey species for predators including the snow leopard, red fox, hawks, kestrels and eagles.
  • Marmots also eat plants.


Every time they dig burrows, they increase aeration in the soil that also increases nutrient circulation and helps different plants to propagate.

“Marmots play a very important role in Himalayan ecology.



      IASbhai WINDUP: 

During hibernation, there can be anywhere from 10-20 marmots in a colony which also helps conserve energy during the colder months.

Another interesting fact about marmots is that during the hibernation period they only need to take one to two breaths per minute!



DISCOVER MORE : Important Flora and Fauna

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