Conclusions and Plans for 2019
Data from the first 6 years of the program were analyzed and interpreted in the Natural Resource Condition Assessment for Olympic National Park (McCaffery and Happe, 2018). It was determined that although marmots have disappeared from 40% of the colonies that were monitored from 1957-2015, most of that decline happened prior to 1990. From 2010 to 2015 the marmot occupancy remained relatively stable (between 50 and 60%). However, occupancy rates varied between regions of the study area, with occupancy being highest in the northeast (mean=69%) and lowest in the southeast and south west (<40%). Occupancy was also most stable in the northeast, and more erratic (e.g. greater turnover) in the southwest and southeast. In 2019 we are going to continue the monitoring effort, and put more emphasis in areas of greater concern, such as the southeast.
In 2018 this project was supported by a continuing grant from Washington's National Park Fund. This whole endeavor would not have been possible without the hard work of the volunteer citizen scientists!