If you like marmots, don’t photograph them

Nature lovers who have the chance to encounter marmots in the mountains almost all have the same reflex: grab the camera and immortalize the scene. As we understand them… However, this a priori neutral and impactless gesture is a habit that is better to give up. Why ? We explain it to you.

Aurélie Cohas is an evolutionary ecologist and researcher at the Laboratory of Biometrics and Evolutionary Biology of the University Claude Bernard-Lyon 1. For several months she studied the impact of tourism on the behavior of marmots in the Hautes-Alpes. And his verdict, presented in 2019 in an article by Science and futureis final.

“When photographed, marmots are alert. They get up and look at us. This time spent watching us is also less time eating. As a result, they lose weight and become more vulnerable, especially as winter approaches.”

Aurélie Cohas, in Sciences et Avenir

But as you can imagine, if photography harms marmots, other human activities must necessarily harm them.

“We are investigating the extent to which hiking and other high-altitude sports activities affect marmotsWe’ve found that people who do rock climbing are the ones most concerned about disturbing mammals. However, this sport has much less of an impact on them than hiking or electric mountain biking, which we are keeping a close eye on.”

Aurélie Cohas, in Sciences et Avenir

Knowing that, in addition, the marmot is disturbed by global warming, when we come on or near its territory, let’s not add more, let’s make ourselves very small.

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