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 .
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:IUCN
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.
- 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.
- South Asia or the Indian Subcontinent is home to the Himalayan Marmot .
PREY AND PREDATOR
- 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.
SERVICES TO ECOSYSTEM
“Marmots play a very important role in Himalayan ecology.
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!
SOURCES:THE HINDU | Marmots | UPSC