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Poland 2006 Endangered Species - Alpine Marmot Ground Squirrel 2 Zlote Nordic Gold Proof-Like BU

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A family of friendly alpine marmots (ground squirrels) inhabits this animal coin from Poland!

Sold out at the Mint!The 2006 entry in the Endangered Species of Poland series features the alpine marmot, a species of ground squirrel that lives in the Tatra Mountains of southern Poland. The alpine marmot is a large rodent that inhabits in the higher elevations, between 3000 and 10,000 feet. Adult marmots generally weigh between five and ten pounds, and measure about two feet in length, including tail.

MARMOT BURROWMarmots are herbivores which prefer young and tender shoots to old and tough grass, but will eat almost any available vegetation to get by. They bulk up during the fall and hibernate during the winter in burrows lined with dry, soft hay. When they emerge from hibernation they have generally lost about half their body weight. They have a trait of standing on their hind legs to survey their surrounds for enemies, including foxes, lynx, and eagles. When disturbed they emit a piercing warning whistle, and are often heard but not seen.

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MARMOT HILLIn the Tatra Mountains of central Europe, the marmot constitutes a separate subspecies, Marmota marmota latirostris. Here the marmot is rare and threatened, with an estimated population of only 200 in all of the Polish Tatras, making it the rarest of all Polish mammals. Man is of course a foe to the marmot, which in times past was hunted for its fat, considered a folk cure for colds, rheumatic pains, and other ailments. Nowadays global warming and the reduction of thick snow cover is believed to disturb its hibernation and allow lowland species to move into its elevation, competing with the marmot for scarce natural resources.

The alpine marmot ground squirrel is the 2006 program in the ongoing Endangered Species of Poland series, and is available in 2 Zl Nordic Gold (base metal) and 20 Zl silver proof versions.

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A realistically-rendered adult ground squirrel stands on its hind legs, while nearby a young marmot sits still on a rock. They are shown in their native alpine environment, with the high mountains depicted behind them. The legend SWISTAK in Polish translates as "Marmot", while the scientific (binomial Latin genus and species) name MARMOTA MARMOTA also appears above.

By law, the reverse of every Polish coin includes the crowned white eagle, the national emblem of Poland. Its legs are flanked by the white and red national flag. The year of issue, the denomination and the legend RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA ("Republic of Poland") are also indicated.

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Country Poland
Year of Issue 2006
Issuing Authority National Bank of Poland
Face Value 2 Zl
Weight 8.15 g
Diameter 27.00 mm
Mintage Limit 1,400,000
Finish Proof-Like Brilliant Uncirculated
Composition Nordic Gold, a four-metal alloy composed of copper, aluminum, tin and zinc, that looks like real gold and does not tarnish
Edge Lettered. "NBP" (for “National Bank of Poland”) is repeated eight times around the edge, each time rotated 180 degrees from the previous “NBP”.

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