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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).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.
2007) and with the approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Additional details are available in field notes archived at the University of Alaska Museum (UAM). Most, but not all, surveys were conducted by UAM researchers, who kept detailed field notes about observations.
Summary of specimen data (newly reported in this study).
Measurements (in mm) are from skin tags, database, or collectors notes (F = female, M = male, TL = total length, tail = length of tail, HF = hind foot length, EFN = length of ear from notch, and X = not recorded)..—To verify the identity of the marmot specimen collected from the Kokrines Hills and the cranium collected from the Ray Mountains, DNA was extracted and sequenced from each.
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).
Based on cranial morphology and pelage characters, Hall and Gilmore (1934) concluded that those 4 specimens constituted a new subspecies () of the hoary marmot, previously known from southern Alaska, western Canada, and alpine areas of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. In addition, it was previously assumed that marmots of some subspecies of was displayed as including that area (e.g., Alaska Department of Fish and Game 1978; Anderson 1934; Hoffmann 1999).
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No new specimens were collected until 1950 when Robert Rausch made an effort to collect marmots from the central Brooks Range. A marmot cranium (with no associated mandible) was collected as part of a broad environmental survey of the Ray Mountains conducted in 1979 (Farquhar and Schubert 1980).