Marmots are critically endangered. (submitted)

Critically endangered: learn about marmots in Duncan

This Vancouver Island endemic is critically endangered.

On Tuesday, April 18, Adam Taylor and Sally Leigh-Spencer will speak about Groundhog Day: Marmot Recovery and Prognostication at the Cowichan Valley Naturalists meeting in Duncan.

Leigh-Spencer and Taylor will give an introduction to the Vancouver Island Marmot and an update on its recovery. This Vancouver Island endemic, the only large burrowing mammal of the alpine and sub-alpine, is critically endangered. Recovery efforts have made significant progress towards the goal of a sustainable wild population.

Taylor is the executive director of the Marmot Recovery Foundation. Prior to joining the foundation in late 2015, he worked on conservation and endangered species with Habitat Acquisition Trust, and as a nature interpreter at Goldstream and the Freshwater Eco-centre, among other places.

Leigh-Spencer has been a member of the Marmot Recovery Team since its inception. She has worked as a biological consultant for the past 43 years and much of her work has involved the conservation of species at risk. Leigh-Spencer has been a board member of CVNS and is a long-time member of the club. She represents the club on the Marmot Recovery Team and is the co-author of the Recovery Strategy. The VI Marmot Recovery Team was founded by CVNS members, in particular, the now deceased Betty McKinnon.

Cowichan Valley Naturalist Society’s evening programs are held on the third Tuesday of each month, September to May, at 7:30 p.m., at the Freshwater Ecocentre, on Wharncliffe Road in Duncan.