Recovery Efforts

Recovering a Wild Population
The mission of the Marmot Recovery Foundation is to recover the wild population of the Vancouver Island Marmot. Significant progress has been made, but much work remains before this species will be secure in the wild.

After the population crash in the mid 1990s, the vast majority of the few Vancouver Island marmots remaining in the wild were located on private lands owned by forestry companies. Immediate and decisive action was needed to save our unique marmot from the threat of imminent extinction!

In response, a cooperative model for responsible species stewardship was formed between government, the forest industry and the public to answer that call to action.

The Marmot Recovery Foundation

Formed in 1998, the Foundation is a registered public charity working to save the endangered Vancouver Island marmot from extinction. The Foundation provides a direct link between government, industry and the public to ensure the long-term commitment necessary for species recovery. This is a strong innovative model of species stewardship, with each partner accountable to the other, unique in species recovery. Public donations are an essential piece of the funding puzzle and the keystone that holds the coalition together.

We depend on your help to:

  • actively manage the captive population as a safeguard for the species and produce animals for reintroduction
  • reintroduce captive-born marmots to the wild to increase the wild population
  • improve mate selection and rebuild historic populations through transplanted or reintroduced marmots
  • monitor, protect and support marmots in the wild
  • test alternative methods and conduct research to determine how best to help the marmots become sustainable

Major Partners

The Province of British Columbia who retain ownership and legal responsibility for all Vancouver Island marmots and their progeny under the BC Wildlife Act of 1980. They provide marmots to the captive breeding program by permit and are ultimately responsible for the species welfare.
Recognizing the imminent threat of extinction, the Mosaic's predecessors agreed to create and support a Landowners’ Partnership Fund. The Landowners’ Partnership Fund provides the Marmot Recovery Foundation with core funding to help implement the annual Recovery Strategy work plans. They also set aside land containing marmot habitat at Haley Lake Ecological Reserve and other locations still on private land that are home to marmot colonies.
Mount Washington Resort provides the land to house the Tony Barrett Mount Washington Marmot Recovery Centre and in-kind logistical support to keep access to the facility open during winter and the snow loads manageable.
BC Parks protects much of the core habitat of the Vancouver Island Marmot, including areas such as Haley Lake Ecological Reserve, Strathcona Provincial Park, and Clayoquot Plateau Provincial Park. BC Parks works with the Foundation to implement on the ground actions to recover the species within these protected landscapes.
The Calgary Zoo is one of our captive breeding partners. They provide providing animal technicians and quarantined, segregated housing for the marmots in their care. They also lead research into successfully reintroducing marmots back to the wild.
The Toronto Zoo is one of our captive breeding partners. They provide providing animal technicians and quarantined, segregated housing for the marmots in their care. They also lead research into marmot care and reproduction in captivity.
The Public
Individual Public Donors provide over half of the recovery funding needed to carry out the work to recover our Canadian marmot. The recovery efforts depend on the participation of thousands of caring members of the public. Their support also keeps the Landowner Partners at the table, ensuring their accountability to seeing the recovery efforts through to a successful conclusion.

Additional Funding provided by:

In the past year, additional funding has been provided by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Forest Enhancement Society of BC, and Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program for our work re-introducing Vancouver Island Marmots to Strathcona Provincial Park.