Holarctic Marmots as a factor of Biodiversity.
Rumiantsev V.Yu;, Nikol'skii A.A. & Brandler O.V. eds.,
Abstracts, 3d Conference on Marmots (Cheboksary, Russia, 25-30 August 1997),
Moscow ABF 1997, 216p., 82 (Russian), 182-183 (English).


R. Ramousse, O. Giboulet

Laboratoire de Socioécologie et Conservation Bâtiment 403, UCBL1, Villeurbanne Cedex, France

In France, especially in Rhône-Alpes region, the important number of population re-introductions and re-inforcements of alpine marmot stressed the difficulty to follow the evolution of these translocated populations. We propose to use a sampling method of sign indices of these animals and to compare the results obtained in different environments: old colonized environments and new ones following a re-introduction.

Four habitats in protected areas (Nature Reserve or Park) were sampled: three ancient occupied areas (two in Savoy and the 3rd in Hautes-Alpes), the last area was colonized thirty years ago after an introduction.

Quadrates (50x50 m) were localized, every 100 m, along a line. Frequency and position of presence indices were localized in each quadrate. The sampled presence signs were: burrows (depth > 1 m), shelters, external latrines, isolated faeces and soil scratchings.

Frequencies of all marmot signs in ancient habitats were always the highest. However, among these habitats, those under a touristic or/and farming pressure showed a low number of latrines and faeces and a high number of soil scratchings. The new colonized habitat was characterised by a low frequency of burrows, shelters and scratchings and the absence of latrines and faeces.

The tested sampling method gave a characteristic global picture for each habitat, but did not allowed a detailed analysis of their differences. After discussion of the functions of the different signs of presence of the marmot, we suggest that spatial organization of re-introduced marmots is perhaps the result of a low level of social and territorial competition.

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