At this point, the impact cannot be predicted. 1990. Permission for the use of the photo on the cover page was granted by Jared Hobbs. Most colonization events occurred within 1 to 2 km of previously existing natural colonies (Bryant 1998), and most new colonies became much larger than those in adjacent natural habitats (COSEWIC 2008). 109 pp. Thermal influences on the activity and energetics of yellow-bellied marmots. A fourth facility, the Mountain View Conservation and Breeding Centre in Langley, British Columbia, housed and bred Vancouver Island Marmot from 2000 to 2013. 2014. History of habitat and the decline of the Vancouver Island Marmot (Marmota vancouverensis). 2000. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Vancouver Island Marmot Marmota vancouverensis in Canada. Lacy, R.C., and J.P. Pollak. Vancouver Island Marmot was assessed as endangered by the IUCN. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 43:258 to 268. A population viability analysis suggests that there is a high probability of extinction if there are extended periods of low adult survival, as observed during previous and most recent declines, and there are relatively few captive-bred animals introduced into the extant wild colonies. Can. 2014. 2000; Bryant 1998), about 58% of the Vancouver Island Marmot population was found in clearcut habitats. B-39 (Victoria, BC). 2015). The identified threats affect all locations, but the severity varies. A smaller starting population would achieve extinction earlier and 100% extinction greatly exceeds the 20% probability required to meet the criterion for endangered. Dispersing marmots have in the past created colonies in clearcuts, as early successional forests mimic alpine meadows. The Vancouver Island marmot is a unique species of mammals, found wild in the hilly areas of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. = 37, max. Bryant, A.A. 1996. Bio.,Unit Head, Species Conservation Science, BC Ministry of Environment), Sean Pendergast (R.P. Vancouver Island marmots have been isolated from mainland forms for a length of time (10,000 to 100,000 years) sufficient to show specific evolutionary adaptations to their Vancouver Island environment. Using these same occurrences, the index of area of occupancy (IAO) based on a 2 X 2-km grid was 248 km2. In addition to colony visits, marmots with radio transmitters were monitored using telemetry both from the ground and air for spring emergence, movements and survival, and entrance into hibernation (Vancouver Island Recovery Team 2017). Bryant (1998) suggested that these high local densities attracted predators. Bryant, A.A. 1998. vii + 29 pp. Nearly eight marmots (7.8) were released for every marmot brought into the captive population. Another is that marmots appeared more recently, during the Cordilleran glaciation some 10,000 years ago. 2017. Compared to other species of marmots, Vancouver Island Marmot has atypical skull morphology (Cardini et al. September, 2016. A new water reservoir is planned for Mount Washington. J. Mammal. 96:810 to 826. The stochastic intrinsic growth rate (r = -0.144; Table 3, Jackson et al. Mass gain is influenced by local conditions and reproductive status, but an average adult female gains 15 to 18 g per day (COSEWIC 2008). Their scientific name is Marmota vancouverensis. 47 pp. This may have drawn more deer and elk and their predators closer to marmot habitat, where the predators opportunistically preyed on marmots. The behavior of Vancouver Island Marmots (Marmota vancouverensis). Criterion C (Small and declining number of mature individuals): Meets endangered C2a(i) as there are fewer than 2500 mature individuals and a continuing decline with no population having more than 250 mature individuals. The Vancouver Island marmot is about the size of a large house cat and is Canada’s most endangered mammal. 2005). 2016. Fish and Wildlife: This small WMA contains vital habitat for the critically endangered Vancouver Island Marmot.As of 2008, there were believed to be only 85 to 100 of this marmot species … 2015. Post-logging succession decreases the quality of that habitat and with the eventual ingress of trees it can also create a greater risk of predation. It is notable for its chocolate brown fur, unique vocalizations, atypical skull characteristics, and highly social nature. Cover illustration/photo: Vancouver Island Marmot — Photo by © Jared Hobbs. In 2016, two pups were removed from cut-blocks and taken into captivity and another dispersing marmot was trapped in a cut-block and translocated to natural habitat (Jackson personal communication 2016a). 10 pp. U.S. Small population size that increases risk posed by stochastic events; evidence Vancouver Island Marmot may be susceptible to Allee effects The marmot population grew considerably between 2007 and 2012/2013, at which time the population in the wild was estimated to be approximately 300 marmots distributed among at least 25 different mountains. However, the population decreased by 78 or 66% over the past generation (2012 to 2017), again representing exponential and linear growth, respectively. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Vancouver Island marmot Marmota vancouverensis in Canada. This uniquely Canadian species is one of 15 species of marmots found worldwide, and is the only marmot native to Vancouver Island. It is easier to count small numbers of radio-tagged marmots at a given colony than to count greater than 30 untagged marmots, or to read ear-tags using a spotting scope (Bryant 1996). = 86, max. Yan, J., H. Chen, G. Lin, Q. Li, J. Chen, W. Qin, J. Su, and T. Zhang. Ongoing predation remains high and there are potential threats from inbreeding and climate change. There have been no known instances of marmots being killed by vehicles on roads to date. Recovery efforts by the Foundation and our partners have been restoring the population. The primary immediate threat to Vancouver Island Marmot is predation, largely by Cougar, Grey Wolf (Canis lupus), and Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). The reservoir could be designed and constructed to ensure that marmots could escape if they entered the reservoir, thus, reducing the risk greatly. B.C. It is unlikely, but not impossible, that a Hoary Marmot could reach Vancouver Island through similar means. If these predators are drawn to high elevation by their primary prey, Columbian Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) and Roosevelt Elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti), they will opportunistically prey upon marmots. There are two groups of workers that would frequent marmot colonies - marmot researchers and employees of the Mount Washington ski resort. ): Re-introduction News. Habitat The natural habitat of Vancouver Island marmots consists of sub-alpine meadows, usually at 900-1500 metres above sea level. Min. Parks, Parksville, British Columbia. There are four limiting factors for Vancouver Island Marmot: low rate of reproduction, small population size, limited suitable habitat within dispersal distance of current colonies, and genetic isolation (Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Team 2017). Conservation Genetics 17:1157 to 1169. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, Victoria, British Columbia. Porter. Journal of Mammalogy 92:1028 to 37. Vancouver Island marmots live in small colonies in the subalpine parkland. Climate change is expected to reduce the amount of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island Marmot with an estimated threats impact of High to Low. Vancouver Island Marmot is also held at the Calgary Zoo, the Toronto Zoo, and the Tony Barrett Mount Washington Marmot Recovery Centre for captive-breeding purposes. Typically 30-45 cms across, burrows range in size and purpose. = 142), of which 91 (min. McAdie, M., personal communication 2018. Van Vuren, D., and K.B. B.C. A marmot with a radio transmitter was excluded from the count if it was detected alive during the year, but its transmitter subsequently emitted a mortality signal prior to hibernation. Reproduction and persistence of Vancouver Island Marmots (Marmota vancouverensis) in natural and logged habitats. 2018. Between 1997 and 2016, captive marmots lived to an average age of 6.4 years for males (range = 0.1 to 11.5) and 8.2 for females (range = 0.1 to 14.6; McAdie personal communication 2017). Succession following logging poses a threat to Vancouver Island Marmot with an estimated impact of Medium. Captivatingly cute, they are easily distinguishable from other marmots by their chocolatey dark brown coat with contrasting white patches. Vancouver Island Marmot population and habitat viability assessment workshop final report. 2011, Kerhoulas et al. Werner, J.R. 2005. Through the mid-late 1990's (Janz et al. Systematic annual population counts began in 1979 (Munro et al. This trend has also been observed in the wild population (Bryant 2005). 2014. Marmota vancouverensis. Update COSEWIC status report on the Vancouver Island marmot Marmota vancouverensis in Canada. Alarm calling in three species of marmots. Hopefully, they will have several more new-borns to replenish the population. 83:674 to 682. Behaviour 136:731 to 757. Munro, W.T., D.W. Janz, V. Heinsalu, and G.W. In 2004, fewer than 30 remained in the wild. Small, simple burrows may be used for a quick escape from a predator and larger more complex burrows are used for hibernation and birthing and may have numerous passages and exits. Physiological Zoology 63:803 to 820. B.C. Vortex: A stochastic Simulation of the Extinction Process. This movement of marmots between colonies is called dispersal. comm., 2016), but this has not been observed in other current and historical colonies (Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Team 2008). Mark-recapture results from 5 colonies that were intensively studied from 1987 through 1997 were used to calculate correction factors with which to estimate “probable” marmot abundance (Bryant 1996b). Journal of Wildlife Management 78:1394 to 403. Recently logged habitats may also negatively affect the population if dispersers settle and create colonies in these habitats. COSEWIC status report on the Vancouver Island marmot Marmota vancouverensis in Canada. = 39) were pups (Marmot Recovery Foundation, unpublished data). The captive population was decreased in recent years for fiscal reasons; existing facilities are at capacity and produce 13 to 22 pups annually. They are designated as “Identified Wildlife” by the Province of British Columbia (Province of British Columbia 2004), which means they are given special management considerations under the British Columbia Forest and Range Practices Act. The extent of occupancy quadrupled in area over that period. 2015). Family: Sciuridae Article content. squirrel family and are about the size of a large house cat or small dog. SARA establishes COSEWIC as an advisory body ensuring that species will continue to be assessed under a rigorous and independent scientific process. It might be possible for Hoary and Vancouver Island Marmot to hybridize as they are sister species and there is evidence of past genetic introgression of Hoary Marmot DNA in Vancouver Island Marmot. To maintain the initial population size under the declining population model, mortality rates would have to be reduced by 40%, or the population would require augmentation with 25 effective releases (that is, captive-born releases that survive to the spring following their release) per year (Jackson et al. Ottawa. Archaeological evidence of faunal remains indicates past use, although contemporary ATK was unavailable during the time the COSEWIC status report was in preparation. Colonies in logging cut-blocks have become locally extirpated within 5 to 19 years; these anthropogenic habitats function as an ecological trap. Fax: 819-938-3984 All 2017 values may be an underestimate. Between 1972 and 2006, population surveys resulted in an estimate of the minimum numbers of adults, yearlings and pups at 49 colonies over 1569 colony years. Although there could be negative effects of avalanches on some marmots, avalanches also remove trees, thereby improving habitat. Greig Ridge marmot population supplementation phase IV– Strathcona Park 2010, Project # 10.W.CBR.02. Since at least 2010, wildlife cameras also were used to monitor marmot presence at colonies (MacDermott et al. Vancouver Island Marmot is on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), and is also listed as endangered (Schedule E) under the British Columbia Wildlife Act. Prepared for the B.C. For the counts of the total population and mature marmots, the minimum and maximum values averaged 13.1% (SD = 6.1%, n = 8) and 15.2% (SD = 5.6%, n = 8) below and above the reported count, respectively. Each colony will have an adult male, one or more adult females and several sub-adults such as yearlings and new-borns. (Species at Risk Public Registry). The minimum number detected would include only the four pups, while the maximum number would include all six. Milko, R.J., and A.M. Bell. The Vancouver Island Marmot. A minimum of 235 marmots was counted in 1984, but it is likely that the population numbered 300 to 350 at this time, with most of the population in meadow-like habitats created by human activities. If there is a negative effect, it is unknown if it would affect only the marmots currently residing there or if marmots in the future would also use these hibernacula and be negatively impacted. Vancouver Island Marmot bones from subalpine caves: archaeological and biological significance. Pp 159 to 166 in R. Ramousse, D. Allaine and M. Le Berre (eds). Kenagy, C. Zawadzki, R. Robles, E.A. 2005. Of the 63 animals brought into the captive population, 38 have contributed genetically to the population, although the degree of contribution varies considerably (Carnio 2017). Annual survival rates declined between the 1980s and 2000s (COSEWIC 2008) and were much lower than during the population increase from 2011 to 2013 (Jackson et al. Habitat selection of a re-colonized cougar population in response to seasonal fluctuations of human activity. The maximum straight-line dispersal distance recorded for a wild-born marmot is 31 km although in 2015 an untagged adult male Vancouver Island Marmot was trapped in Bamfield, greater than 60 km from the nearest known colony (Marmot Recovery Foundation 2015, Pendergast personal communication 2015). These different colour stages of coat development make it easy to identify pups from yearlings and older adults in the field. 129 pp. Vancouver Island marmots are easy to recognize by their rich chocolate brown fur with contrasting white patches on their nose, chin, forehead and chest. B.C. Ottawa. Long-term shifts and alteration of habitat caused by climate change is predicted to pose a threat to the species. Species designated at meetings of the full committee are added to the list. PhD dissertation, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Annually, backcountry hikers and Vancouver Island residents report marmot sightings to provincial biologists and the Marmot Recovery Foundation (Jackson personal communication 2017a). Like other marmot species, Vancouver Island marmots are highly social; they live in colonies, rub noses in greeting and play fight like boxers. Werner (2005) reported that the mean date of marmot immergence into hibernation was almost three weeks later in 2002 to 2004 compared with 1973 to 1975 (but see also Bryant and McAdie 2003), which means they were susceptible to predation for a longer period. 2005) and a unique vocalization (Heard 1977, Blumstein 1999). Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. 2015, Graham personal communication 2018); all would facilitate the maintenance of genetic diversity in the captive and wild population. Email communication to Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Team. 360 pp. Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield, Illinois. About the size of a house cat and weighing around 5 kg pre-hibernation, the Vancouver Island Marmot is the largest member of the squirrel family. Population size of captive Vancouver Island Marmot. Marmota is divided into two subgenera, each of which represents a monophyletic lineage. The Vancouver Island marmot is closely related to the hoary marmot but is only found in the small pockets of mountainous areas on Vancouver Island. Senior Wildlife Biologist, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Government of British Columbia, Nanaimo. These meadows are the first to become clear of snow and produce the early grasses and sedges the marmots rely upon when they emerge from hibernation. British Columbia’s most famous marmot, and Canada’s most endangered mammal, the Vancouver Island Marmot can be found only on Vancouver Island. In 2017, there was high Cougar predation at the Nanaimo Lakes subpopulation. Predation is the proximate cause of mortality in the majority of wild and captive-release marmots (McAdie 2018) and is believed to be the proximate cause of population declines of the 1990s (Bryant and Page 2005). The increase in population size was accompanied by an increase in the number of mountains with marmot colonies from ~ 15 in 2008 to at least 25 sites in 2017. Kingdom: Animalia xii + 405 pp. Between 1972 and 1995, marmots or fresh burrows were reported from 15 mountains (Bryant and Janz 1996). Mount Washington does not use herbicides but there is a contaminated old mine site at Mount Washington. Vancouver Island marmots have five distinct whistles or trills used for different purposes. The British Columbia Park Act affords habitat protection to marmots living in Provincial Parks. A successful captive-breeding program and resulting population supplementation has been reduced. Records based on tagging (Bryant 1990, 1998), radio-telemetry (Bryant and Page 2005) and genetics (Kruckenhauser et al. 1989. 1996. The natural habitat of Vancouver Island Marmot consists of subalpine meadows, usually at 900 to 1500 m above sea level. Senior Biologist, TimberWest, Nanaimo, British Columbia. Lindsay, D., personal communication 2016. April or early May. With the exclusion of Mount Washington, in 2013, there was an average 10.0 (SD = 10.3, range = 1 to 46, n = 29) marmots on each mountain where marmots were detected. 2013. Ethology Ecology and Evolution 21:209 to 223. Purpose: Management of critical habitat for the Vancouver Island Marmot. Endangered 2019. Marmots are more likely to be seen in early morning or late afternoon than during the heat of the day. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. The proximate cause of the decline was increased predation. Thanks to recovery efforts, the wild population has been increasing in recent years. The presence of workers near marmot colonies probably benefits marmots because marmot predators may avoid areas of high human use. Previous report(s): COSEWIC. Genetic variation within Vancouver Island Marmot is low (Kruckenhauser et al. Morphometrics and body condition indices and their health implications in captive, captive-release, and wildlife Vancouver Island Marmots (Marmota vancouverensis). Size: 300 hectares. Since at least 2007, annual surveys have focused on occupied and recently occupied mountains, but high public awareness of Vancouver Island Marmot and its identifiable physical characteristics means that marmots typically are detected if they establish outside the survey areas. Female marmots are induced ovulators (Keeley et al. 2017a. Environ. In 2017, five marmots (one adult female and four yearlings) in cut-block colonies and one dispersing marmot were trapped and moved to natural colonies (Jackson personal communication 2017a). UNIQUE SPECIES We don't know when the first marmot ancestors arrived on Vancouver Island. J. Anim. They concluded that marmots depended on Timber Oatgrass (Danthonia intermedia) and sedges (Carex spp.) In 2003, there were fewer than 30 Vancouver Island marmots in the wild. Spreading the marmots around in several smaller colonies guards against a total collapse of the species if any one colony should suffer a catastrophic event. The detection probability of marmot colonies is relatively high, as the species is large, vocal, diurnal, and the burrows are easy to identify. Social “meltdown” in the demise of an island endemic: Allee effects and the Vancouver Island Marmot. The population at Schoen lake is very small and may be extirpated; this would result in three locations. In addition, individual predator behaviour can vary among locations. November, 2017. It is notable for its chocolate brown fur, unique vocalizations, atypical skull characteristics, and highly social nature. B.C. The unique call is a frequent, short (0.29 ± 0.02 second) “kee-aw” call not used by other species of marmot (Heard 1977). Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Team. Park Act. K1A 0H3, Tel. 2004. 2003). The disease risk associated with release of captive born marmots into the wild is minimized through quarantine at Mount Washington and health checks prior to release. They concluded that for colonies visited once, observers probably counted 40 to 60% of adults present, depending upon time of year. They grow to lengths of 28 in (70 cm) and weigh upwards of 7-16 lbs (approx 3-7 kg). [accessed December 2017]. 2000, Armitage 2014). Recovery efforts for Vancouver Island Marmots, Canada. This rate includes the recruitment of captive-released marmots into the wild population, so the rate of decline based on reproduction and survival of marmots in the wild population was even greater. W.T., D.W. Janz ( eds. ) Elk habitats in Coastal of. Cut-Blocks, with distinctive white patches on the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation, Nanaimo, British Columbia Vancouver... Removal of these small, furry animals were thought to remain in wild. 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