mmava-2011-2133The Vancouver Island marmot (Marmota vancouverensis)

Listed as Endangered under the federal Species At Risk Act (SARA) and the Committee on the Status of Endangered Species (COSEWIC), the Vancouver Island marmot is one of the most rare mammals in the world.

It is a Priority 1 species under the BC Conservation Framework and classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Endangered Species.  

Thanks to recent recovery efforts, the population has increased from a low count in 2003 of less than 30 wild marmots living in a handful of colonies to an estimated 320-370 marmots on 28 mountains in 2011 (counted at hibernation).

Other Marmots

There are 14 marmot species in the world; all are found in the northern hemisphere. The Vancouver Island marmot  is the only uniquely Canadian marmot and the only marmot specifically found on Vancouver Island.

Three other marmot species are found in Canada. The Hoary Marmot (Marmota caligata) is found in alpine elevations throughout the coastal mountains on the mainland of British Columbia and in the United States. The Yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris) is found in the lower slopes and grasslands of  British Columbia, Alberta and the United States. Finally, the common woodchuck or groundhog (Marmota monax) is found in the valley bottoms, lowlands and lower slopes throughout North America.

See Daniel Blumstein’s website:  The Marmot Burrow for a list and description of all 14 marmot species found in the world.