The Marmot Recovery Foundation is seeking summer wildlife technicians. We are looking for enthusiastic, hard-working individuals that have a passion for wildlife conservation, love to work outdoors, and want to contribute to the success of our exciting recovery program for the endangered Vancouver Island Marmot.
Number of positions: 6 full-time, short-term positions. Contract length: May 2 – August 31, 2016, with some possibility of extension through September. Project base: Nanaimo, Vancouver Island.
Main tasks and responsibilities include:
Hiking for several hours a day on steep, rugged, mountainous terrain with a 10-40lb backpack.
Precise and consistent collection of inventory, survival, and reproduction data based on radiotelemetry detections and visual observations.
Accurate and timely data entry.
Live-trapping and care of Vancouver Island marmots under the direction of the project veterinarian.
Driving 4×4 trucks on active logging roads, and occasional use of ATVs and/or snowmobiles.
Willingness to camp on trips of up to 10 days in length (sites often accessible only by helicopter).
This project is based in central Nanaimo. Meeting times can start as early as 4am and field days can be very long. In the past, we have hired exceptional individuals that lived outside of Nanaimo; however, all candidates MUST expect to drive to Nanaimo for the start of each field day. No reimbursement for personal fuel or mileage will be offered. Due to the short length of the field season and the high likelihood of weather-based scheduling changes, candidates must be available to work each day within the contract period.
“The Force Awakens”, but hopefully the Vancouver Island Marmots sleep through Christmas! Meet Luke & Leia, Han Solo (hopefully not “solo” for long – we need them Marmots breeding!), Jabba,& Yoda. These captive bred marmots are “A New Hope” for the species. At the Calgary Zoo, these Star Wars theme named pups will be part of the next generation of Vancouver Island Marmots released into the wild in 2016.
Our Marmot of the Month is Alan The ocean is lovely, but it is not marmot habitat. So when we received a phone call in 2015 from the seaside Bamfield Marine Science Centre about a marmot at their facility, we were skeptical. It made no sense. There are no marmot colonies, no marmot habitat, and no reasons we could fathom for a marmot to be anywhere near Bamfield. We requested evidence. To which Dr. Reynolds and his students responded by sending us a photo. Of a marmot, on the beach. It’s hard to say whether this mystery marmot was enjoying his visit to the shore, or confused about the lack of alpine flowers, but regardless, he was there, and we figured he might need some help getting back to mountains. With the help of Dr. Reynolds and his students, we were able to trap the marmot now dubbed “Alan,” and release him to the colony at Haley Lake Ecological Reserve.
At this point, you may have some questions. Where did Alan come from? We don’t know. How did survive the minimum of 50km (and probably much more) of forests, rivers, and inlets between the nearest marmot colonies and Bamfield? We don’t know that either. Does he enjoy surfing and nibbling on eelgrass? Please stop.
Why did Alan travel all that way? Well, yes, we don’t strictly speaking know that either, but we can guess at this one. At 2 years old, many marmots, particularly males, leave their birth colony to look for new potential mates. Sometimes, they get lost or pick the wrong direction. When you consider the vast mountain wilds and the relatively small and hidden marmot colonies, it is remarkable that marmots ever manage to find another colony, though many do. Our guess is that Alan however picked the wrong direction and then just kept going.
Alan has continued his adventures, though thankfully choosing to stay in marmot habitat. After a three year tour of the Nanaimo Lakes region, he returned to Haley Lake, and is currently hibernating with Muffin. Hopefully, in the summer ahead Alan will finally try out being a Dad! ... See MoreSee Less
Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in the Marmot Technician and Marmot Keeper positions. We received over 350 applications for the positions, and will be reading all of them over the next couple weeks.
While we would love to hire everyone, unfortunately we only have a few positions available. Your enthusiasm for the marmots and our work warms our hearts during these cold winter months. ... See MoreSee Less
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! The marmots are sleeping right now, but marmot love is still in air. Here are a few of the things we’ve observed as we watched the marmots from afar.
That “Marmot Kiss”. We regularly observe marmots touching noses. It is almost always pups with a parent or between a pair of bonded adults. We call this pair bonding – an activity that strengthens the relationship between a pair of marmots. It is just as sweet to see in the wild as you expect.
Marmots who Sleep Together Stay Together. Marmots who hibernate in the same burrow often become a pair (hopefully with pups). We’ve observed a number of occasions when seen two marmots who couldn’t stand each other in the fall, but hibernate in the same burrow, have a change of heart when they wake up. Sometimes they even go on to raise pups together. (It must be noted that this is always what happens. Some marmots are just not compatible, no matter what!)
A marmot is never too old for love. This winter, two of our favorite marmots are hibernating together, and our fingers are crossed for pups in the spring. One the of the remarkable things about this pair is that the female is Muffin. She is 12 years old – one of the oldest wild marmots ever!
Sometimes you to have go looking for love. That marmot hibernating with Muffin? That’s Alan the Bamfield Marmot! Alan is quite the traveler, having found his way first to the coast. Then after we relocated him to Haley Bowl, he had to explore alllllllll the nearby colonies before coming full circle last spring and falling in with Muffin at Haley Bowl! Will he settle down? We think so, as he and Muffin have spent a lot of time together this past summer. ... See MoreSee Less