Marmota marmota 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Sciuridae

Scientific Name: Marmota marmota (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Alpine Marmot
French Marmotte des Alpes
Spanish Marmota Alpina
Mus marmota Linnaeus, 1758

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-02-18
Assessor(s): Cassola, F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Herrero, J., zima, j. & Coroiu, I.
Global and European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
EU 28 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

The species is listed as Least Concern because it is not threatened at present. Subspecies marmota is common within at least parts of its range and has no major threats. However, subspecies latirostris has a restricted range and small population, and should be monitored and protected.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Alpine Marmot is endemic to Europe. Its core range extends through the Alps of France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Slovenia. Isolated subpopulations are found in the Pyrenees, Massif Central, Jura, Vosges, Black Forest, Apennines, High Tatras, and Romanian Carpathians. A number of these isolated subpopulations (those in the Pyrenees, Massif Central, Jura, Vosges, Black Forest, and Apennines, and eastern Alps) are the result of introductions. The marmot has inhabited the Alps and High Tatras continuously since the end of the last Ice Age, and was reintroduced to the Romanian Carpathians (three attempts in 1973, the third attempt was successful). It occurs as two subspecies: M. m. marmota in the Alps (and most introduced subpopulations) and M. m. latirostris in the High Tatras. A hybrid population exists in the Low Tatras, the result of introductions of both subspecies. Likewise populations in the Apennines are hybrids of both subspecies. It occurs at altitudes of 600-3,200 m (Preleuthner 1999).
Countries occurrence:
Austria; Germany; Italy; Liechtenstein; Poland; Slovakia; Slovenia; Switzerland
Andorra; France; Spain
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):600
Upper elevation limit (metres):3200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:M. m. marmota is abundant in at least parts of its core range in the Alps, although some subpopulations may be under threat (e.g. in the Jura and in Germany). Reported population densities for M. m. marmota range from 24-36 individuals per 100 hectares (Gran Paradiso, Italy) to 40-80 individuals per 100 hectares (Tessin, Switzerland). In Romanian Carpathians, the population is estimated at 1,500 individuals. It is known from three areas in Romania: Retezat, Fagaras and Rodna. In Retezat and Fagaras the populations are stable; in Rodna the population is very small and is threatened by poaching (Popescu and Murariu 2001, Botnariuc and Tatole 2005). Subspecies M. m. latirostris has a restricted range (it occurs at higher elevations in a small region of the High Tatras) and is considered to be rare and threatened (Preleuthner 1999).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits alpine meadows and high-altitude pastures, typically on south-facing slopes from 1,200-3,000 m (although it is occasionally found at lower altitudes). Colonies inhabit deep burrow systems in alluvial soil or rocky areas (Preleuthner 1999). It has a herbivorous diet, primarily composed of green parts of grasses, sedges, and herbs (Krapp 1978).
Generation Length (years):6-7
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Marmots were previously hunted for meat, fur, and fat (which was used for cosmetics and medicines). Hunting continues today, but is primarily a leisure activity (Preleuthner 1999). In Slovenia and Austria, hunting levels are sustainable, but in Austria at least populations living below the timberline are threatened by loss of open habitats through abandonment of high-altitude cattle grazing (Spitzenberger 2002, B. Kryštufek pers. comm. 2006). Hybridisation with introduced M. m. marmota is a potential future threat to remaining pure-bred populations of M. m. latirostris in the High Tatras.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in a number of national parks within its range. It is listed under Appendix III of the Bern Convention. Subspecies latirostris requires strict protection in Slovakia and Poland.

Citation: Cassola, F. 2016. Marmota marmota. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T12835A510082. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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