Yellow-bellied Marmot Pups in Northern Utah

/, Box Elder County, Utah, Yellow-bellied Marmots/Yellow-bellied Marmot Pups in Northern Utah

Yellow-bellied Marmot pup nibbling on greensYellow-bellied Marmot pup nibbling on greens – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/400, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I have been very successful spotting Yellow-bellied Marmots and their pups the past few weeks in northern Utah and it has been a delight for me to photograph and observe them. Not only have I found them but I have found them in decent light which I hadn’t done prior to this year, my only other opportunities with marmot pups have been when the lighting conditions have been horrible.

Clouds over the Promontory Mountain RangeClouds over the Promontory Mountain Range – Nikon D810, f11, 1/640, ISO 320, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 18 mm, natural light

I know that sometimes (a lot) I complain about the light and cloudy conditions I encounter in the field and those can be a problem when photographing birds but there are times when having diffused light helps when I am photographing birds or wildlife against light colored rock surfaces because it helps with the bright highlighted areas on the rocks.

Yellow-bellied Marmot pup climbing down a rock faceYellow-bellied Marmot pup climbing down a rock face – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR, natural light

If it had been really bright and sunny the day I photographed this Yellow-bellied Marmot pup climbing down the rock face the lightest areas of the rocks would have been very bright, blown out and featureless but the diffused light I had actually helped my exposure of the marmot pup and the rocks.

View of the clouds above the Promontory Mountain RangeView of the clouds above the Promontory Mountain Range – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 320, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 18 mm, natural light

I wanted to include a couple of photos of the type of rocky areas where I look for marmots because the combination of rocks and nearby grasses is the kind of habitat the marmots prefer. Of course I am also looking for birds in the same areas so my eyes quickly scan the rocks, grasses, bushes and the sky. At times just a tiny bit of movement catches my eye and I find birds or wildlife.

Yellow-bellied Marmot pup at an opening in the rocksYellow-bellied Marmot pup at an opening in the rocks – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR, natural light

I adore these Yellow-bellied Marmots and their pups and I am enjoying being able to photograph them this year.

I wanted to mention that today is Endangered Species Day around the world and although Yellow-bellied Marmots are not endangered now in the future they could be because of climate change. We are all at risk if we don’t take action on climate change now.

  • More than 23,000 species on the IUCN Red List are threatened with extinction.
  • 41% of the world’s amphibians, 34% of conifers, 33% of reef building corals, 25% of mammals and 13% of birds, are threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN Red list database.
  • 1447 species in the U.S. are on the threatened and endangered species list, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service.
  • 945 plants in the U.S. are on the threatened and endangered plants lists, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

We need to take care of our planet and all of its inhabitants.

Mia

5 Comments

  1. Laura Culley May 20, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Beautiful shots and I too am horrified at the numbers! I just don’t understand why we can’t share this spinning rock and why we don’t GET it that the extinction of other critters is a snapshot of what will ultimately happen to US! DUH!

  2. Elephants Child May 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I am so grateful for your eagle eyes.
    And mourn and rage at the weight of the endangered species list – including vegetation which impacts on the other lists.

  3. Patty Chadwick May 19, 2017 at 9:12 am

    As someone who is feeling more and more like another of the endangered species, I was horrified at those Endangered Species numbers! I love the pictures of the curvy little marmots…have only seen adults…speaking of “disappearing”(?) species, they look so much like our woodchucks. The kids used to count them as we drove along the parkway…we used to see so many….now seeing ONE is very rare (coyotes?)…,

  4. Bob mcpherson May 19, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Beautiful photos , MiA,

  5. April Olson May 19, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Beautiful photos, with all the rain the mountains have greened up. How are the wild flowers, are they plentiful and blooming yet? I hope to get out north this weekend, it has been 3 weeks since I have had a trip. I feel the Spiral Jetty calling, I want to see how the lake level is rising.

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