The Alpine Marmot Project

Welcome to the Alpine Marmot Project


Since 2017, the Alpine Marmot Project has taken up residence at the col de lautaret straddling the regions of Isère and Hautes Alpes. This new study site was chosen for its exceptional situation which makes it possible to follow three populations of marmots under very contrasting environmental conditions while remaining in a small geographical area. Moreover, in the heart of the Zone Atelier Alpes, the unparalleled research facilities of the Jardin du Lautaret and the support of the Ecrins National Park offer ideal conditions for the pursuit of our research on the Alpine marmot.

But, the adventure of the Alpine Marmot Project began in 1990. At the time, the Vanoise National Park applied for scientific monitoring of the alpine marmot to gather information to help resolve the conflict between farmers and marmots, over the damage caused in hayfields. Discussions were initiated between a research team at the University Claude Bernard-Lyon 1 made up of M. Le Berre, R. Ramousse, J. Coulon, and D. Allainé. and the nature protection organization, and quickly, the Grande Sassière Natural Reserve was chosen for studies based on the abundance of marmots and the presence and accessibility of a chalet. In the spring of 1990, the research team initiated their studies at the Santel chalet. A mark and recapture program and an observation protocol were immediately developed. These protocols and the research that has taken place since are the basis of our understanding of the ecology and biology of these Alpine marmot populations.