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Save the marmots of the Alps

About the project

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 most 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, they 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?
  • Evolutionary processes. Can marmots adapt quickly to new conditions?

By collecting these data, our objective is to develop appropriate conservation plans in close collaboration with the National Park of Vanoise.

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.

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

What are the funds for?

Today, more than ever, our ambition is to participate actively in the knowledge and protection of mountain ecosystems by exchanging mutually beneficial information between ecological research and the general public.

With this funding of € 6,000, the Friends of Alpine Marmots association will equip the Grande Sassière study site with a weather station.

This weather station, equipped with a solar panel, will record the temperature of the site at different heights (5cm below the soil, the soil surface, 30cm, 2m), 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.

About the project owner

The non-profit organization "Friends of the Alpine Marmots" is the only French organization that acts to safeguard the Alpine marmot. We conduct our activities in close collaboration with the "Alpine Marmot Project" conducted over 20 years by researchers at the Université Claude Bernard - Lyon 1 and the internationally recognized CNRS.

Our mission is to help researchers understand how and why changes in climate affect marmot populations in order to develop appropriate conservation plans. In the meantime our actions will safeguard this keystone species who, in the alpine ecosystem, is a vital link in the food chain (golden eagle, red fox and bearded vulture).

Our scientists are seeking and finding! So without further ado, find their articles to learn more about marmots (, and follow us on Facebook.

Learn more:

The Alpine marmot project

The Alpine marmot project on Facebook