2019 Marmot Monitoring Results

 
Marmot on hind legs eats a plant

Photo by Ken & Mary Campbell (c)

Program Overview and Results of the 2019 Field Season

2019 was the 9th year of the program, and our third year back after taking a year off to analyze the data and evaluate the program. We added a new survey area to the survey panel in 2019 – a trip to the Hayes Ridge area – to monitor the long-term effects of fire on marmot occupancy. Many thanks to the volunteers who agreed to try out an area that was not previously road (or trail) tested!

In 2019 the survey frame increased to 389 survey units grouped into 74 clusters. We still had 30 clusters in the core area- areas that should be surveyed every year, and that we have been able to survey pretty consistently since 2010. The remaining clusters, including the new ones in the Hayes fire area, are designated to be surveyed occasionally, as resources permit.

In 2019 we were able to survey for marmots at 277 units in 59 clusters; all of the 30 core clusters were surveyed and 29 in the occasional group. In the core, 84% of the units were completely surveyed, and 16% had either an incomplete survey or no survey. In the units that were completely surveyed in the core areas, 66% were classified as occupied by marmots (Figure 1). Park-wide, the overall marmot occupancy was 51% (Figure 2).

 
Core Sites showing completed marmot surveys
Figure 1.  Annual trends in naive Olympic marmot occupancy in core survey units, Olympic National Park, 2010-2019. The core consists of the same 151 units each year, but not all are completely surveyed every year due to access constraints or other factors.

NPS

 
2019 Survey Results map showing signs of marmot around Olympic National Park
Figure 2. Results, by unit, from the 2019 marmot survey.

NPS

 
Acknowledgements

2019 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 81 volunteer citizen scientists who donated over 3400 hours!

Last updated: February 7, 2020

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