And yes, Moehrenschlager is proud of their progress.
“I think it is one of the most dramatic recoveries for an endangered species in such a relatively short time anywhere,” he said.
At the instigation of the provincial government, spurred by a small group of Island conservationists, a handful of marmots was taken from the wild and paired up under the watchful eyes of scientists there and in a few other locations.
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.
Numbers thus far have been relatively stable, but remain vulnerable.They are social animals and will stray, but are most successful with a steady partner.Scientists work hard to find compatible pairings and bypass a marmot tendency to mate with cousins and siblings. But that hasn’t helped the little guy much in the singles scene.Neither has the new wardrobe, those daily visits to the gym, nor the constant scouring of the internet for the latest dating tips from e-Harmony and GQ.