Scent-deposition Behaviour in Alpine Marmots (Marmota marmota L.): its Role in Territorial Defence and Social Communication


Istituto di Psicobiologia, Corso di Laurea in Psicologia, Via Saffi 15, I-61029 Urbino, Italy.


Scent-deposition was investigated in Marmota marmota L. at Gran Paradiso National Park. 448 h of focal and scan sampling were performed on 22 marmots in four subsequent years. Results show that: (1) 97.4 % of the scent-deposition is done within 25 m of the edge of the territories or of the main burrows (X2 = 100.4, df 9, p < 0.001); (2) being a reproducing adult is the most prominent factor in scent-deposition (X2 = 32.4, df = 18, p < 0.002). The role of factors affecting scent-deposition in territorial defence and social communication is discussed.