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, and those errors have been perpetuated through the literature. Published distribution maps for Marmota broweri and M. Hoary marmots can be found north of the Yukon River in the Oglvie Mountains in Yukon Territory.Montane and alpine-restricted small mammals, including marmots, were among the 1st taxa suggested as being particularly sensitive to climate change (Mc Donald and Brown 1992), and alpine marmots are increasingly recognized as potential harbingers thereof (e.g., Krajick 2004; Parmesan 2006). In their original description of , including lighter coloration on the feet, lack of a white patch on the forehead, and the shape of the ventral margin of the mandible.In contrast to the lack of knowledge surrounding their distributional stability, Alaskan mammals appear to be responding to climate change via changes in body size, as suggested by recent studies on Alaskan shrews (—Yom-Tov et al. As the only mammal species purportedly endemic to the Brooks Range (the northernmost mountain range in North America), and given its apparent reliance on rocky alpine tundra habitat, the Alaska marmot may be uniquely susceptible to the ongoing upslope and northward encroachment of the tree- and shrubline in Alaska (Sturm et al. Because of this lack of diagnostic characters distinguishing , many published keys have relied heavily on locality (e.g., Frase and Hoffmann 1980).2001) and the pronounced effect recent climate change has had on Arctic ecosystems (reviewed by Parmesan 2006). Two specimens in the University of Alaska Museum confirm the presence of alpine marmots in the Kokrines Hills and Ray Mountains of central Alaska, discontinuous from and far to the south of the Brooks Range.Extractions were performed in the Ancient DNA Laboratory at the University of Alaska Museum (UAM; a polymerase chain reaction-free building).A small subsample (approximately 25 mm) was removed with flame-sterilized forceps and scissors from the ventral incision of the study skin (UAM 15044). tube with 600 ul of Cell Lysis Solution (Pure Gene Genomic DNA Purification Kit; Gentra Systems, Minneapolis, Minnesota), 10 ul of proteinase-K (20 mg/ml), and 30 µl of dithiothreitol (100 m M) for 24 h with shaking at 55°C.Approximately 20 mg of maxilloturbinal bone was removed from the nasal cavity of the cranium specimen (UAM 15043) as described in Wisely et al. The bone sample was digested in 600 ul of Cell Lysis Solution, 20 ul of proteinase-K, and 30 ul of dithiothreitol for 72 h with shaking at 55°C, with the addition of 20 ul of proteinase-K every 24 h (60 ul total).After digestion, both extractions proceeded according to the Pure Gene Genomic DNA Purification Kit protocol for DNA purification from 5-10 mg of fresh or frozen solid tissue with the following modifications: RNAse treatment was omitted and all reagent and solution volumes were doubled (protein precipitation solution, isopropanol, ethanol, and DNA hydration solution).
broweri (Hoffmann 1999)., Hall and Gilmore (1934) cite Point Lay as the type locality.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.However, the relative isolation and inaccessibility of the Alaska marmot's range has served to hinder research on its distribution and natural history, and it remains the most poorly studied marmot species in North America. These 2 alpine areas lie directly north of and adjacent to the Yukon River, between the Alaska Range and the Brooks Range.In a 1st step toward ameliorating this, we have conducted extensive field surveys across much of northern and interior Alaska and have reviewed literature accounts, examined museum specimens, and conducted limited mitochondrial DNA (mt DNA) sequencing on putative extralimital specimens of . A skin and skull were collected from the Kokrines Hills (UAM 15044), which had tentatively been identified as based on pelage characters and locality.
Brower from Native residents of Point Lay and Cape Thompson on the northwestern coast of Alaska. As a consequence of the original description of has frequently been portrayed as including all of the Brooks Range in northern Alaska, although it is not known from north of the Yukon River (see below).