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Endangered Island marmots to be relocated for recovery program

The relocation of some Vancouver Island marmots will be possible thanks to funding from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program.

According to the program, $12,685 in funding has been approved to support the Marmot Recovery Foundation in its work to reintroduce the Vancouver Island marmot to Strathcona Park.

The marmots were removed from the area in the 1990s, and there were fewer than 10 marmots in the colony when the foundation began its work in 2007.

The program says between two and six marmots will be moved from Mount Washington to support the growing colony in the park and benefit the ecosystem.

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“Marmots are an at-risk species and they make a valuable contribution to alpine ecosystems,” said program Coastal Regional manager Julie Fournier.

“The efforts of the Marmot Recovery Foundation are helping the FWCP fulfil its mission to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife in watersheds impacted by BC Hydro dams.”

So far, the foundation’s efforts have resulted in the release of 587 captive-bred marmots into the wild, and a total of $556,112 has been contributed to marmot recovery efforts on the Island.

The program is a partnership between BC Hydro, the province, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations and public stakeholders, according to the program. They add its board approved $2.4 million for 28 projects in 2023–24.

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