Distribution and population of Himalayan Marmot Marmota himalayana (Hodgson, 1841) (Mammalia: Rodentia: Sciuridae) in Leh-Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India

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Vipin Chaudhary
R. S. Tripathi
Surjeet Singh
M. S. Raghuvanshi


The Himalayan Marmot Marmota himalayana is one of the largest rodents of cold desert habitats, found mainly between 3,500–5,200 m above the timberline.  It is regarded as an ecosystem engineer and constitutes part of the diet of some globally endangered carnivores in the Trans-Himalayan region.  Being one of the least studied rodents, a survey was carried out in different habitats of Leh District along the altitude gradient to assess the status and distribution of Himalayan Marmots.  A total of 110 individuals of Himalayan Marmots were sighted in the surveyed stretches of Leh District with a maximum mean count of encounter of 2.71 in the Tangtse-Chushul sector.  The grasslands were the most preferred habitat (41.67% activity observed), whereas, cultivation area being frequently disturbed for agricultural operation were least preferred by the marmot.  Most of the population of marmot was found between 4,000–4,500 m altitude and the steep slopes (42.05%) where loose soil was available for excavation of burrows.

Article Details

Short Communications
Author Biography

Vipin Chaudhary, ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342003, India

Principal Scientist (Agril. Entomology)

All India Network Project on Vertebrate Pest 


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