Freitag Anne

Longterm study of a colony of Formica exsecta (Hymenoptera Formicidae) at Il Fuorn, Swiss national park
Suivi d'une colonie de Formica exsecta (Hyménoptères Formicidés) à Il Fuorn (Parc national suisse)

Project Number: CH-1799
Project Type: Permanent/Monitoring_Project
Project Duration: 01/01/1954 - 12/31/2039
Funding Source: other ,
Project Leader: Madame Anne Freitag
Muséum cantonal des sciences naturelles
Place de la Riponne 6
1005 Lausanne
Phone: +41 (0) 21 316 34 68
e-Mail: anne.freitag(at)

related to this project.
for which the project has a relevance.

Research Areas:

general biology

Formica exsecta
long term survey
suivi à long terme

Formica exsecta is an endangered species of ants in Switzerland, but it seems to find very suitable conditions for its development in the Swiss National Park. A colony of about 100 anthills situated in a meadow at Il Fuorn (alt. 1770 m) has been studied by researchers since 1950. Each anthill is geolocated (with a GPS) and tagged, allowing its monitoring survey after survey.
15 inventories were conducted between 1950 and 2012. This long-term study provides invaluable data on the evolution of a colony of F. exsecta in natural conditions without human influence. A new inventory has been conducted since 2014 and surveys should go on every 1-2 years for the next 10 years at least.
Since 2016, photographs of the canopy above each nest have been taken with a fisheye lens to describe the effect of the canopy openness/closure on nest survival.

Leading questions:
  • How does an ant colony evolve during a long period of time (decades), under natural conditions (i.e. without any stress due to human activity)

  • How does the canopy openness affect the development (survival, abandon) of the nests

    Cherix D., Freitag A., Bernasconi C. & Maeder A. (2015). Soixante ans de suivi des fourmis au Parc national suisse. In : Baur B. & Scheurer T. (Eds) Au coeur de la nature. Cent ans de recherches au Parc national suisse. pp. 186-188. Berne, Editions Haupt.

    Cherix D., Freitag A., Maeder A. & Bernasconi C. (2015) Vivre ou survivre au Parc national suisse: le point de vue d'une société de fourmis. Nationalpark-Forschung in der Schweiz 103: 52-55.

    Freitag A., Cherix D., Maeder A. & Bernasconi C. (2013). Formica exsecta. Une espèce à l'aise au PNS. In: Atlas du Parc national suisse. Les 100 premières années. H. Haller, A. Eisenhut and R. Haller (eds). Berne, Editions Haupt. 99/II: 112-113.

    Cherix D. (1994): Etudes à long terme au PNS: L'exemple des fourmis. Cratschla 2/2/1994: 39-44.

    Last update: 5/23/18
    Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2024)
    Update the data of project: CH-1799

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