In some ways, the Island’s marmot recovery effort may have become a victim of its own success.
They are social animals and will stray, but are most successful with a steady partner.
The program’s initial years were about establishing a sustainable colony at the DWCC, an off-site branch of the zoo outside the public eye that is dedicated strictly to species rehabilitation.
There, matchmakers discovered some concrete trends. The most successful breeders were younger, but not the youngest. And they had been paired with their partner for more than a year.
The number of pups delivered in Calgary varies from year to year; four have arrived in 2016.
Once they are a year old, the zoo turns them over to the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation.