They are locally abundant and generally occur in loose communities (Bee and Hall 1956). Prior to the research presented here, the only locality on the south side of the Brooks Range from which a specimen had been collected is Arctic Village (Rausch 1951). Raymond Hall in the 1950s and 1960s, there has been no focused effort to collect new specimens or to determine the distributional limits of this species.was 1st described by Hall and Gilmore (1934) based on 4 specimens collected by Charles D. It has often been speculated that occurs in the British and Richardson Mountains of northern Yukon Territory (Anderson 1946; Rausch 1951; Rausch and Rausch 1971; Youngman 1975) and perhaps as far east as the Northwest Territories (Hoffmann et al. Many observational records can be found in the literature citing in areas outside their known distribution or from new localities in the Brooks Range (Bailey and Hendee 1926; Bee and Hall 1956; Howell 1915; Juday 1984), but none has been revisited to verify the presence of marmots. The geographic distribution of Alaska marmots therefore remains poorly understood.We report the 1st confirmed records of this species outside of the Brooks Range and a commensurate range extension of 400 km southward. The northern- and easternmost specimens were collected at Lake Peters, 160 km west of the Alaska–Yukon border (Bee and Hall 1956; this study).
Each extraction included a negative control to test for contamination that might result from the extraction procedure.
Since its description, the taxonomy and distribution of this marmot have been the subject of much debate and confusion. The distribution of the hoary marmot is much broader than that of the Alaska marmot.
With relatively few voucher specimens available for morphological analyses, the taxonomic status of M. caligata (taken directly from Ho well 1915), including M. Hoary marmots are found from their southern extent in Washington, northern Idaho, and Montana, northward through the White Mountains of interior Alaska. Currently, hoary marmots in Alaska are known only from areas south of the Yukon River, whereas Alaska marmots occur north of the Yukon River.
is vague at best and completely erroneous at worst. Prior to our study, 86 voucher specimens had been collected to verify the occurrence of Alaska marmots at 15 locations in the Brooks Range (see Appendix I for a list of all known specimens).
Through a review of all museum specimens and published accounts of this species, field surveys, and the identification of previously unidentified marmot specimens, we have determined that the current distribution of the Alaska marmot includes not only the Brooks Range, but also the Ray Mountains and Kokrines Hills of northern interior Alaska. Many of those specimens ( = 34) came from the central Brooks Range at Anaktuvuk Pass, 520 km east of the putative type locality (Rausch 1951, 1953), or were captive animals from Anaktuvuk Pass stock maintained by Rausch at Barrow, Alaska.