Program Overview and Results of 2010 Field Season
Summer 2010 saw the kick-off of the Olympic marmot monitoring program. Over 80 volunteers in 35 different groups traversed survey units in high-elevation meadows and rock-fields, looking for marmots and marmot burrows.
Although unusually heavy snow cover limited access to many areas in July and early August, volunteers successfully surveyed more than 260 units and partially or visually surveyed another 42. Of the units that were thoroughly surveyed, 124 were classified as occupied (either saw marmots or fresh marmot sign) , 71 as abandoned (saw signs of past but not recent marmot use), and 65 as without sign of marmots. In addition, 7 were classified as abandoned and 35 as without sign of marmots following a visual or incomplete foot survey.
It is important to remember that the survey units were selected to include a high proportion of habitat patches that we thought contained marmots – so these numbers do not reflect the distribution of occupied marmot habitat park-wide.
The great value of this data, however, is that it is the foundation against which we will track changes in the percentage and distribution of units occupied by marmots over time.