The Alpine Marmot Project

Welcome to the Alpine Marmot Project

Support us

Are you worried about our planet? Do you like the mountains, and don’t want to see species such as the marmot disappear? Then help us right away!

Today, climate change is affecting many ecosystems. Polar regions, coral reefs, our mountains and all their dependent species are at risk. In the Alpine Arc, we have seen an increase in average temperatures of 2°C since the late Nineteenth Century; more than twice the average previously observed in the Northern Hemisphere. Warming will not stop since we have predicted an increase of 3°C to 6°C by the year 2100. We have also observed a decrease in winter snow cover and a decrease in summer rainfall leading to a low snowpack and accelerated withdrawal of mof the site at different heights (5cm below the soil, the soil surface, 30cm, 2m)ost glaciers.

Faced with these environmental changes, many of our mountain species will become extinct if we do not act now!

As with the polar bear, the alpine marmot (one of the most emblematic species of the Alps) is suffering from global warming. To better understand why the populations are waning, and thus prevent their disappearance, the “Alpine Marmot Project” brings together biologists from different backgrounds. Each year, since 1990, we have tirelessly studied 26 families of marmots within the Grande Sassière nature reserve, in the heart of the French Alps.

Our scientific missions allow us to understand:

  • How does climate change affect marmot populations? We want to know which climatic factors (temperature, snow cover …) affect the survival and reproduction of marmots.
  • Why do marmots suffer from these changes? Is their physiology or behaviour affected?
  • Can marmots adapt quickly to new conditions?

Our work has helped reveal an important decrease in the number of offspring over the years directly linked to a decrease in the thickness of snow in winter, which foretells a bleak future for our four-legged friends. To understand the mecanisms underlying this worrying trend, we need to install a weather station on our study site.

This weather station, equipped with a solar panel, will record the temperature, rainfall and snowfall in order to better understand which environmental constraints affect our marmots throughout the year. The data will be posted as graphics on our website so that our generous donors can follow in real time the tough conditions that marmots are subjected to. Being closer to our marmots is essential for generating accurate predictions about the survival of this species.

It is for this reason that your support for this project is vital and urgent!