Monday, March 06, 2006

Vancouver Island Marmot (Marmota Vancouvernsis)

Originally uploaded by pookie_san99.
One of the species that Wilson mentions in his book is the Vancouver Island Marmot.By 2000 it had fallen to about 70 individuals in the wild making it Canada's most endangered species.With its fluffy chocolate and white fur it is the equivalent of the koala or panda as a charismatic animal.
It lives on the high subalpine meadows of Vancouver Island's Ranges.It was pushed to extinction by the clearcutting of forest below its normal subalpine habitat.Attracted instinctively to what they thought were subalpine meadows the marmots numbers decreased.Firstly, they fell prey to the predators on the lower slopes.Secondly,their hibernation cycle couldnt adapt to the new snow fall patterns or temperatures.
The only way to save the species was thought to be a captive breeding program which if successful might lead to resettlement in protected natural subalpine areas.
As Wilson reports the captive program appears to be going well.For more information check out the website link on the top of my homepage...

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