Expansion of the trail network for skiing and mountain biking is expected to occur at Mount Washington within the next few years. Between 1972 and 1995, marmots or fresh burrows were reported from 15 mountains (Bryant and Janz 1996). Bio.,Unit Head, Species Conservation Science, BC Ministry of Environment), Sean Pendergast (R.P. It is listed as endangered on Schedule 1 of Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA). Humans recreating near marmot colonies probably benefit marmots because marmot predators may avoid areas of high human use. Food addition in the spring has been used to draw marmots away from roads at Mount Washington. Loss of genetic diversity associated with a small population size may increase the susceptibility of marmots to disease, but risk of exposure is unknown. Armitage. The identified threats affect all locations, but the severity varies. Although marmots will colonize cut-blocks, which mimic natural meadows, cut-block colonies persist only 5 to 19 years (Bryant 1996, 1998; Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Team 2008). Journal of Animal Ecology 79:965 to 973. Mount Washington had at least 47 to 58 marmots in 2013; this dropped to 31 in 2017. Vancouver Island marmots are … 2010. U.S. Although there could be negative effects of avalanches on some marmots, avalanches also remove trees, thereby improving habitat. Molecular data resolve placement of the Olympic Marmot and estimate dates of trans-Beringian interchange. Conserv. August, 2017. Anecdotal evidence suggests that predation is less within colonies in the Strathcona location that are adjacent to ski facilities. = 86, max. Vancouver Island Marmot is endemic to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. 2016. Negative effects of habitat alteration, in the form of tree growth, have occurred and are expected to be large on a 20-year time scale (that is, increased forest cover decreases the quality of habitat by increasing risk of predation). Overwinter survival of captive-released marmots in their first winter in the wild is <40% (Jackson et al. There may be some additional housing/cabin development at Mount Washington, but any new development will likely occur at elevations lower than where the marmots are. In April 1978, Vancouver Island Marmot was assessed as endangered by COSEWIC (Munro 1978). Recovery strategy for the Vancouver Island Marmot (Marmota vancouverensis) in British Columbia. Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield, Illinois. It is one of only five endemic species of mammal in Canada. Limited genetic differences among these three species suggest rapid, recent divergence within this clade (Kerhoulas et al. In captivity the probability of weaning a litter varies with age, with two-year-olds producing fewer litters than older adults (Table 1; Bryant 2005). Heard, D.C. 1977. Thelin et al. Fifty-five of these were brought into captivity from 1997 to 2004 and an additional eight wild-born marmots were brought into the captive population in 2016 and 2017 to increase genetic diversity in the captive population. Vancouver Island Marmot - Buttle Lake Supplementation Project - Project # 14.W.CBR.01. Criterion B (Small distribution range and decline or fluctuation): Meets endangered B2ab(v) as IAO (248 km2) is less than 500 km2, the population is restricted to fewer than five locations (a) and there is a continuing observed decline in the number of mature individuals (b(v)). Roughly the size of a house cat, these members of the rodent family are extremely sociable, often seen greeting one another with nose-touching and play fighting. Newborns have a uniformed brownish black coat that fades in summer to a rusty brown at hibernation time. Cortisol and conservation: understanding barriers to the recovery of a critically endangered species using stress physiology. Nagorsen, D.W. 1987. COSEWIC status report on the Vancouver Island marmot Marmota vancouverensis in Canada. Ottawa, ON Annual population surveys since 1979 indicate that marmot numbers at least doubled during the 1980s, with most of this increase occurring in new habitats created by logging of old-growth forests. Journal of Mammalogy 92:1028 to 37. 142 to 147 in Nagorsen, D.W. Rodents and Lagomorphs of British Columbia. Those locations represent four discrete geographic subpopulations that coincide with a single mountain (Schoen Lake and Clayoquot Plateau) or spatially clustered mountains (Nanaimo Lakes and Strathcona). Cardini, A., D. Nagorsen, P. O’Higgins, P.D. Population size of Vancouver Island Marmot. Verbal communication to Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Team. Armitage, and W.P. 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. Compared to other species of marmots, Vancouver Island Marmot has atypical skull morphology (Cardini et al. Poor overwinter survival in Strathcona troubling. M. vancouverensis differs from other species in karyotype, skull characteristics, pelage and behaviour. Although greater than 9 visits were necessary to obtain a near-complete count of marmots in a colony, two to four counts usually detected 65 to 75% of the animals present. Mammalian Species 270:1 to 5. The British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy granted permission to include the 2016 threat assessment in the status report. Based on “worst case” climate change predictions (that is high emissions over the longest period), the model predicts that by 2080 there could be a 97% reduction in the amount of suitable marmot habitat. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017. e.T12828A22259184. Ottawa. This trend is supported by data on tree growth (Laroque et al. B.C. 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). ABOUT THIS WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA. Également disponible en français sous le titre Évaluation et Rapport de situation du COSEPAC sur la Marmotte de l’île de Vancouver (, , in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.” PLoS One 12 (8):e0183375, Species at Risk Act: COSEWIC assessments and status reports, Wildlife species description and significance, Acknowledgements and authorities contacted, Appendix 1. On a much longer time scale, habitat could be altered by climate change. Criterion D (Very small or restricted population): Meets endangered D1 as there are fewer than 250 mature individuals. COSEWIC Secretariat The proximate cause of the decline was increased predation. = 95) were mature individuals (≥ 2-years-old), and 38 (min. Complex history of isolation and gene flow in Hoary, Olympic, and Endangered Vancouver Island Marmots. 2017. Pp. Like many other species of alpine-dwelling marmots, Vancouver Island Marmot has a population structure in which dispersal among high-elevation habitats is important in maintaining gene flow (Armitage 2014). Marmot Ecology. More recently (2017), there was high mortality due to Cougar predation at another location. Even though current inventory efforts focus on known occupied and recently occupied colonies, based on past search efforts (described under “Distribution”), it is unlikely that large colonies of marmots were not counted unless they were recently established colonies in cut-blocks that were not frequented by people. = 95) were mature individuals (≥ 2 years old), and 38 (min. Munro, W.T. This is consistent with the widespread use of other species of Marmota by Indigenous groups across mainland North America (Kuhnlein and Humphries 2017). Since the last assessment, 405 captive-born marmots have been released to the wild population; captive-born individuals released to augment wild populations have successfully weaned wild-born offspring and contributed to population growth. Size: 300 hectares. Vancouver Island marmots are roughly the size of woodchucks — another Canadian marmot. Like other alpine-dwelling marmot species, Vancouver Island Marmot is limited by low reproductive output. 174 to 219 in A.D. MacMillan and D.E. Designations are made on native species for the following taxonomic groups: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, arthropods, molluscs, vascular plants, mosses, and lichens. The Endangered Vancouver Island Marmot: Allee effects and reintroduction success. This species is held at the Calgary and Toronto zoos for captive-breeding purposes. The population at Schoen lake is very small and may be extirpated; this would result in three locations. Marmota is divided into two subgenera, each of which represents a monophyletic lineage. 2017. The primary immediate threats to Vancouver Island Marmot are predation by native predators and ecosystem modification that results from logging and wood harvesting (based on the IUCN-CMP unified threats calculator; Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Team 2017). Jackson, C., personal communication 2016a. Bryant (1998) concluded that natural subalpine meadows comprised ~1% of the ~1000 km2 Nanaimo Lakes core area. Species Summary: Marmota vancouverensis. Stress level, as measured by hair cortisol, is higher, however, for newly released captive-born marmots (Acker 2018). During the active summer period, marmots spend a lot of their time lounging on rocks and watching for predators. 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. The call appears to function as a low-level alarm that is used to communicate uneasiness in response to a disturbance, such as after a predator has left the area. The captive-breeding program has facilitated the release of 4 to 85 marmots to the wild population annually since 2003 (Figure 9). October, 2015. Environmental Research Scholarship Committee, Victoria, British Columbia. These natural meadows are created and maintained by avalanches, slower downhill movement of snow (that is, snow-creep), fire, or a combination of processes. The Vancouver Island Marmot survey. Out of a burrow in the ground a rodent about the size of a housecat, 5-7kg (12-14 lbs), pokes her head. Using these same occurrences, the index of area of occupancy (IAO) based on a 2 X 2-km grid was 248 km2. Sinclair. Despite the positive contribution and success of the captive-breeding program, the captive population was reduced from 177 marmots in 2008 to 49 in 2017, and the number of captive-breeding facilities has been reduced from four to three. 2000; Bryant 1998), about 58% of the Vancouver Island Marmot population was found in clearcut habitats. Humphries. Canadian Journal of Zoology 69:1755 to 1758. Marmots: Social Behavior and Ecology. The extent of occurrence is ~840 sq. B.C. More recently, there was high mortality due to Cougar (Puma concolor) predation at another location. 2015). By 2004, there were no colonies occupying … Canadian Journal of Zoology 74:678 to 687. Only a few hours each day are spent looking for food, eating and interacting with other marmots. Vancouver Island Marmot also uses forested areas as low as 700 m above sea level where clearings that mimic natural meadows are created by anthropogenic activities such as logging, mining developments, and ski facilities. Marmots have large beaver-like teeth, sharp claws and powerful shoulder and leg muscles for digging. 1980. Lindsay, D., personal communication 2017. 109 pp. All 2017 values may be an underestimate. 2009. 2009). It is the largest island on the west coasts of the Americas. The natural habitat of Vancouver Island Marmot consists of subalpine meadows, usually at 900 to 1500 m above sea level. Although genetic variation of the wild population has increased through release of captive-born marmots and translocations, population modelling predicts that in the absence of captive-releases, inbreeding depression occurs (Jackson et al. 1996). British Columbia. 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). Conservation Genetics 10:1759 to 72. There have been no known instances of marmots being killed by vehicles on roads to date. Federal Register. Locations of potential Vancouver Island Marmot habitats within Strathcona Provincial Park. Recently logged habitats may also negatively affect the population if dispersers settle and create colonies in these habitats. vi + 29 pp. It is endemic to Canada - one of only a small handful of mammals to occur in this country and nowhere else. 96:810 to 826. 2018. The Vancouver Island marmot pups were born at the Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre, the zoo announced Thursday. 1999. Each colony was visited 1 to 49 times (median = 6.5, n = 16; Jackson personal communication 2017b). In 2003, there were fewer than 30 Vancouver Island marmots in the wild. There they find the forage they need, deep soil for digging (hibernation burrows need to be deep enough to reach below the frost line) and large boulders to provide convenient lookout spots to watch for predators. size and shape) is measured. Clearcuts are ephemeral habitat that decreases in quality for marmots as trees start to regrow. The population counts included in this report excluded captive-born marmots in the year of their release. Marmots may be more at risk of threats from roads when dispersing, but dispersers are usually young males whose death will have less of an effect on population numbers than if dispersers were females. 2015). Hibernacula are presumably deep enough to reach below the frost line. 1 to 12 pp. Behaviour 136:731 to 757. Hoffmann, and R.W. 2015). Between 2013 and 2017, the population declined every year at an annual rate of 3 to 30%. M.vancouverensis is the largest of the marmot family. Ottawa. 2008. A wildfire burning out of control on Green Mountain southwest of Nanaimo poses a potential threat to Vancouver Island marmots. Habitat selection of a re-colonized cougar population in response to seasonal fluctuations of human activity. 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). Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Re-Introduction Specialist Group, Abu Dhabi, UAE. There is no morphological, ecological or genetic evidence to suggest that individual colonies or collections of colonies (that is, subpopulations) represent evolutionarily significant units. 129 pp. (Species at Risk Public Registry). Journal of Mammalogy 96:810 to 26. The maximum number of individuals also included animals that were believed to be unique individuals, but there was a possibility that they were already counted. Although the captive population has a very young age structure, most captive-born marmots are released as yearlings. Invasive and other problematic species and genes. The negative impact will be minimized for some marmots because they live in areas where there is a spectrum of habitat available and they may move to more favorable habitat. 2008. 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. MSc thesis, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Contenders for the world’s smallest mammals are the Hog-nosed Bat of Thailand and the Etruscan Shrew of Eurasia that weigh in at ~ 2 grams and have body lengths ~30 mm. Marmots live at high elevation on steep mountains, and therefore live in areas of high avalanche risk. The negative effects have and can be mitigated through removal of these trees. Nagorsen, D.W. 2005. Researchers are developing methods of cryopreservation of semen, semen collection, artificial insemination, and hormone treatment to stimulate reproduction in mature females that have not yet contributed pups (Jackson et al. Report on a collection of birds and mammals from Vancouver Island. This uniquely Canadian species is one of 15 species of marmots found worldwide, and is the only marmot native to Vancouver Island. Habitat selection of a re-colonized Cougar population in response to seasonal fluctuations of human activity. Kamloops, British Columbia. Both male and female marmots disperse, usually as two year olds, although males are more common dispersers. Prepared for the B.C. Victoria, Victoria, BC. The reason for the decline varied among years. Herbicides used by forestry companies are specific, mostly on roadside brush or out of control plantations. 2004. Order: Rodentia 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. Bryant, A.A., and D.W. Janz. Logging at high elevation near marmot habitat (that is, >700 m) is therefore an indirect threat to Vancouver Island Marmot. Tree invasion in subalpine Vancouver Island Marmot meadows. Pp. The presence of workers near marmot colonies probably benefits marmots because marmot predators may avoid areas of high human use. 1991 ), and therefore unlikely to be logged 3, Jackson et al Resource management and protection predators., which is a Professor of Wildlife species suspected of being Canada 's most mammal. The Photo on the Island R. Merriman, and challenges it faces if mines! 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