Fun Tarbagan Marmot Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Oct 20, 2022 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Check out these interesting and fun tarbagan marmot facts to know more about this fuzzy rodent.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

The tarbagan marmot (Mormota sibirica), is a kind of rodent that is found in Mongolia, China, and Russia. It can also be called a Mongolian marmot and Siberian Marmot because of the places it's found in. This marmot has brown or light brown fur and has a remarkably bushy tail. The main habitat of this species is open steppes, mountain slopes, and valleys. These marmots have two subspecies, Marmota sibirica sibirica, and Marmota sibirica caliginosous, which are found on different levels of elevation within Mongolia. These rodents are known to vertically migrate within their range in search of untouched vegetation during hot weather and thus, can climb mountains for 2,600-3,300 ft (800-1,000 m). This species is one of the many animals that go into hibernation in the winters in order to use less energy. They go into hibernation in the fall in September, after sealing their burrows with dirt, feces, leaves, and urine, and emerge out in the spring in April.

The population of this species has reduced by 70% in the past few decades because it was, and still is extensively hunted for its meat and skin. These activities have, in the past, led to human plague outbreaks, as the marmots can carry diseases when infected with ticks or fleas who carry them. Thus, when humans eat them, they can pass them on to them as well.

If you want to check out more interesting and surprising facts about other mammals, check out our woodrat fun facts and Syrian hamster facts pages.

Tarbagan Marmot Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a tarbagan marmot?

A tarbagan marmot (Marmota sibirica) is a type of rodent.

What class of animal does a tarbagan marmot belong to?

This species of Mongolian marmot belongs to the class Mammalia, order Rodentia, and genus Marmota.

How many tarbagan marmots are there in the world?

The exact number of tarbagan marmots is currently unknown. However, 70% of its population is suspected to have declined in the 1990s due to extensive hunting and is still said to be decreasing.

Where does a tarbagan marmot live?

The tarbagan marmot (Marmota sibirica) is found in the mountain slopes and steppes of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In Mongolia, it is found in the Khentii mountain range in the east and other mountain ranges in the northern, western and central parts of the country. In China, it is found in Nei Mongol and Heilongjiang. In Russia, it is very rare and is only found in Siberia, Tuva, and Transbaikalia.

What is a tarbagan marmot's habitat?

The Mongolian marmot is known to prefer grasslands, shrublands, mountain and forest steppes, river basins, and valleys. They inhabit places where there is enough vegetation available for them to feed on. These marmots live inside deep burrows and are most commonly found in altitudes ranging from 1,968-12,467 ft (600-3,800 m) above sea level.

Who do tarbagan marmots live with?

Tarbagan marmots are very social animals and are often found living in groups or families of 13-18 marmots, which can also be referred to as colonies. However, the number of marmots living in a family can vary depending on the conditions of their habitat and availability of food. Better conditions will likely foster long-lasting families of more individuals. These families also care for all the young ones together rather than just the parents taking care of their own offspring. The Mongolian marmots have also been sometimes found coexisting with other species of marmots found in their range, such as the gray marmot.

How long does a tarbagan marmot live?

The lifespan of tarbagan marmots is currently unknown, but other species of marmots are known to live for approximately 13-15 years.

How do they reproduce?

The Mongolian marmots (Marmota sibirica) usually mate with individuals within their families or colonies and thus, form monogamous or polyandrous relationships in order to reproduce. This behavior is common in other marmots as well, such as the alpine marmots. The tarbagan marmots do not reproduce every year but rather do so every other year, giving birth to a litter of four to eight offspring. They breed in the month of April, give birth in May after a gestation period of 40-42 days, and the offspring are seen out of their burrows by the month of June.

What is their conservation status?

Due to being hunted in the past for their meat and skin, their population has been severely affected and still continues to decline. They have also been once exterminated in the past due to fear of an outbreak. Thus, this species has been classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List.

Tarbagan Marmot Fun Facts

What do tarbagan marmots look like?

The tarbagan marmots (Marmota sibirica) go through seasonal changes in the color of their fur. They mostly have dark brown fur on their head, around their eyes and tail, and light brown or rust-colored fur on their backs with yellow tints. They have bushy tails that can be half the length of their bodies. This species of marmots will likely have grayish-brown fur in the spring and reddish-brown fur in the fall.

The tarbagan marmot has brown and gray fur and lives in burrows.

How cute are they?

These gray and brown furry rodents of the squirrel family can surely be considered extremely cute!

How do they communicate?

The tarbagan marmots are famous for their alarm call, which they use to communicate with other members of their colony if there are predators nearby and they are in danger. The alarm call of this species is so unique that it can even be distinguished from the calls of marmots of other species.

How big is a tarbagan marmot?

A tarbagan marmot (Marmota sibirica) is a fairly large rodent with its length ranging from 19.7-23.6 in (50-60 cm).

How fast can a tarbagan marmot run?

There is not much data available regarding the speed with which the Mongolian marmot runs but it is said that they can dig their burrows extremely fast.

How much does a tarbagan marmot weigh?

A tarbagan marmot (Marmota sibirica) can weigh up to 13.2-17.6 lb (6-8 kg) and thus, is more than 60 times heavier than the Indian palm squirrel, which is another rodent species in the squirrel family and is commonly found in India.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no special names for the male and female marmots of this species.

What would you call a baby tarbagan marmot?

The young ones of this species of tarbagan marmots have no specific names and are simply referred to as their offspring. When they grow a little older, they may be called juveniles. These juveniles do not grow enough to separate from their colonies before their first hibernation period and thus, have to spend the winters with them.

What do they eat?

These Mongolian marmots are herbivorous animals and feed on grasses and herbs of some kinds. During their active period, they may eat both grasses and herbs, or only herbs. That is why they need to live in a habitat that consists of both of these. They may even climb mountains to a higher altitude in order to look for untouched and fresh vegetation for them to feed on.

The tarbagan marmot has many predators which can attack them or their burrows, such as wolves, red foxes, buzzards, brown bears, eagles, and snow leopards.

Are they dangerous?

Like many wild animals, this species of marmots would not usually harm a human being when unbothered. It is only when humans approach them and the rodents feel that they are in danger, that they might be moved to attack them. Hence, you need not worry about your safety around the Mongolian marmots if you plan to leave them alone in the wild.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not known whether the tarbagan marmots will make a good pet but it should be kept in mind that these rodents may not be suitable for life in captivity as they are creatures that are used to living in burrows and hibernating in the winters.

Did you know...

Juveniles of this species have delayed dispersion, which means that they do not separate from their parents and colony even after they have matured into adults. This is because they have to spend their first hibernation with their colony, which integrates them into a part of the family. When they are ready to separate from their family, they are three years old.

How many babies do tarbagan marmot have?

The tarbagan marmots can have litters of four to eight babies. However, this species only reproduces once every other year in April and the young ones emerge out of the burrows in June.

Is a marmot a rodent?

Yes, this species of Mongolian marmots are rodents and belong to the order Rodentia and the family Sciuridae of squirrels.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our rice rat fun facts or Chinese hamster surprising facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Tarbagan marmot coloring pages.

Tarbagan Marmot Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Grasses, herbs, and plants

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

13.2-17.6 lb (6-8 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

grasslands, forest steppes, and mountain slopes

Where Do They Live?

mongolia, china, and russia

How Long Were They?

19.7-23.6 in (50-60 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Marmota sibirica

What Do They Look Like?

Grayish brown and light brown

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?


What is their Conservation Status?

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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