We have some sad news to report: Alan, the Bamfield marmot, has passed away. His remains were recovered on Tuesday from his home in Haley Lake Ecological Reserve.
Alan’s story is incredible. He first came to our attention when the Bamfield Marine Science Centre found him on the beach(!?!) in 2015. Bamfield is a long way from any marmot colony, and to this date we still do not know where he came from or how he made it to the West Coast.
With the help of Dr Reynold and students at the Centre, we were able to catch Alan and translocate him to Haley Ecological Reserve. In the years since, Alan frustrated and surprised us with his penchant for suddenly travelling. Though he always stayed in marmot habitat, he visited every colony in the ridge line that includes Haley, and kept our field crew on their toes. Last year, he found his way back to Haley, and appeared to be settling in with long-time resident Towhee. We had been hoping the two would have a litter of pups this spring or next, but sadly Alan passed away before becoming a father (as far as we know).
Below is Alan with the ocean behind him. Photo taken by Dr John Reynolds in 2015.