Mid-July is always exciting for us, as we are both releasing marmots to the wild, and seeing the first wild pups of year at the same time.
Despite some minor challenges, we have released 18 captive-bred marmots to the wild so far this year. (You wouldn’t know it at sea-level, but fog has been preventing us from getting marmots into helicopters. Instead we’ve been hiking marmots into the sites where that is possible, and hoping for clear days at high elevations). Fortunately, the all marmots released so far seem to have taken to their new wild homes well. We will be checking on them regularly for the rest of the season.
Right now however, we still have 18 more marmots to release this summer, including a pair that are on their way to Clayoquot Plateau Provincial Park as this post is being written.
At the same time, we are seeing the first wild-born pups of the year! The pup below was the first wild pup we spotted this year, though we were able to spot some siblings shortly after.
These pups likely belong to Loki and a wild-born female marmot. Since then, we have been able to confirm pups at a number of other colonies, and we’re hopeful that we will continuing seeing more pups well into August as we get to more sites, and the pups get more adventurous.