Distribution of long-tailed marmot, Marmota caudata in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan

Document Type : Research articles


1 Department of Biology, Education Faculty, Badakhshan University, Fiazabad, Afghanistan

2 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

3 Department of Geography, Education Faculty, Samangan University, Samanghan, Afghanistan


The current survey was conducted on occurrence and distribution of long-tailed marmot, Marmota caudata, in Badakhshan Province, situated in the northeast of Afghanistan. Marmota caudata is one of the largest rodents in the cold desert habitats, and an important prey for endangered carnivores. Line transect method was used to collect specimens in the study area. A total of 761 individuals of long-tailed marmot, were observed in this region during 2020 and 2021. The presence of marmots was recorded by direct observation and their symptoms. The results indicate all individuals were occurring in the areas between the snow line and the timberline to near livestock grazing area. The maximum number of observations was in Arghanjkhah with 56 individuals (7.3% of all observations) and the lowest was in Kashim with 5 (0.6%). The highest population density per districts was in Arghanjkhah (11.2±2.5 per Km2) and the lowest was in Kashim (1±0.2 per Km2). Marmots were founded in all regions of Badakhshan with more abundance in eastern part of the province. This study was the first study on this species in the region and in Afghanistan.


Main Subjects