There were as few as 30 wild marmots on Vancouver Island just over a decade ago. But today, thanks to protective legislation, reintroductions and the hard work of non-profits, the endangered rodents are closer to a stable population.
In 2003, the unique Vancouver Island marmot was designated endangered. The usual suspects were to blame: habitat alteration leading to increased predation and accidental death. But by employing non-lethal predator control measures for the last several years, the small population of marmots was protected.
Today there are approximately 300 of the social rodents on Vancouver Island, and the Marmot Recovery Foundation hopes to see those numbers rise to 400-600.
The Fur-Bearers were invited to watch as five captive-bred marmots from the Calgary Zoo were introduced into their new homes for the first time.
The Fur-Bearers are especially happy to note that rather than attempting to lethally control predators of the endangered marmots, experts utilized non-lethal control measures including recordings of dogs barking and olfactory deterrents.
Hopefully, as the marmot populations stabilize, the government will learn that non-lethal, science-based approaches truly do work in protecting wildlife.
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