15 comments on “Understanding the Survival of Captive-bred Vancouver Island Marmots

  1. I like how this study looked at various aspects of mortality. Very interesting! Do you know if the captive-bred marmots would have a higher chance or survival if they were raised with wild marmots? For example, are the wild marmots able to influence and “teach” the captive-bred ones how to survive better? Learning by association?

  2. It’s cool that they can only be found on Vancouver Island. It’s interesting that wolves caught more wild marmots than captive ones.

  3. I used to live on the island — I remember there was a giant “Save the Marmots” effort back in the early 2000s…

  4. I hadn’t heard of this guy before. I like Moneet’s idea about raising the captive marmots with wild ones. Could be interesting to see if that would have an affect on their survival. I think that captive breeding programs should expose their subjects to predators. I guess this can be tricky though.

  5. I’m interested to know the specifics of the captive-bred program & how the marmots are bred and raised. There was a paper in Animal Behaviour last semester (which made me quite angry), about captive-bred salmon and their survival rates post-release into the wild. Our method of raising them was essentially what doomed them in the wild. Might be a similar situation here?

  6. I like the idea of exposing the captive bred marmots to predators…maybe not directly exposing them or course, because we don’t want a smorgasbord of marmot served to the eagles. But there has got to be ways to “teaching” them to be afraid.

  7. I agree with Alyssa and Rolena, it seems that whenever individuals are raised in captivity that they suffer in the wild. Maybe it is time to re=evaluate how we feed and treat captive critters. Maybe a bit more “tough love” could benefit them in the wild.

  8. Perhaps trying to expose the captive bred marmots to predators somehow could teach them to be more wary when in clearcut as to avoid being eaten by predator birds for example, however I feel like that behavior would be moreso influenced by genetics than by environmental factors. But this study does seem to suggest otherwise. Just a thought.

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