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Woodchuck (Marmota monax)

Marmots often secondarily benefit other animals and plants. Abandoned marmot holes can become homes for other small mammals. In moderation, their digging and defecation loosen, aerate, and improve the soil. Alaska Natives have long relished marmot meat and used its thick coat for warm clothing. Although these wary animals are difficult to approach closely, persistent observers are rewarded by the fascinating sight of a marmot community.