Hohe Tauern National Park Big five

Hohe Tauern National Park Big Five....Part 1

Petra, our National Park hiking guide, has written an introduction to some of the wildlife that we can anticipate spotting when joining one of the guided hikes in the Hohe Tauern National Park and in the area surrounding MoaAlm Mountain Retreat.

Alpine Marmots

Alpine Marmot Austria
Alpine Marmot

Starting with MoaAlm’s summer season in June we can hardly wait for an especially charming event: marmot families proudly present their small, cute baby marmots! In April after a six months long hibernation the male and female couple emerge and just  34 days later 3 – 7 marmots babies are born. 

So how can these mammals survive such a long period, sleeping 6 months inside their burrows of 3 meters below the ground, 5 meters snow above them and no food? 

Their survival strategy is conserving energy. Cuddled together every marmot reduces the body temperature to 3 – 5°C/37,4 – 41°F, the heart rate to 3 – 5 beats and the breath to 3 – 5 times per minute. For humans a body temperature below 30°C/86°F would be life threatening and below 26°C/78,8°F we would certainly not survive. 

As selective herb eaters, marmots are constantly eating during the summer season. Good for us, because that makes the Alp’s largest rodents very easy to find! But they are very observant: as soon as a family member anticipates danger, an alerted yell makes them rush into their dens. One sharp shout means red alert, a golden eagle is looking for lunch for example! A series of yells means danger from the ground, such as a foxes or sometimes an unsuspecting guest from MoaAlm!

Experience more details about the fascinating wildlife during our Austrian guided hiking tours with Petra and get to see the stunning forested and mountain areas surrounding MoaAlm Mountain Retreat and the Hohe Tauern National Park.

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