Contracts and agreements
Project duration: 
Feb 2008 to Dec 2013

Impact assessment of Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota) expansion on Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) population


Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) is a protected, endangered, and catalogued as very sensitive species that, in Catalonia, establishes in the highest altitudes of the Pyrenees, preferently from 2000 m on. Its population, which is in regression, is estimated on less than 500 individuals. On the other hand, alpine marmot (Marmota marmota), a rodent species that disappeared from most Europe at the end of the Pleistocene, was introduced in the Pyrenees by the french administration between 1950 and 1988. The preference of alpine marmots for southern slopes and the lack of abundant natural predators, facilitated the colonisation of the catalan territory. Some estimations calculates a population of around 10,000 marmots in the Pyrenees, still in an expansion process.
The main objective of this project is evaluating the effects of marmots presence on ptarmigans. Our working hypothesis is that, given the probable higher competitive status of alpine marmots, their presence has negative effects on ptarmigans.


  • marmota