Author Archives: marmots

Comox Valley Visitor’s Centre Features Rarest Marmot In The World!


If you’ve never seen a Vancouver Island marmot here’s your chance.

Just opened, this state of the art Visitor’s Centre will feature interactive alpine, ocean, agricultural and forest related displays including a life-sized marmot burrow

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Uniquely Canadian

Found only in Canada, the Vancouver Island marmot is one of the most rare and endangered animals in the world.

Easy to identify from other marmots by their chocolate brown coats with contrasting white patches on their muzzles, chest, and forehead, Vancouver Island marmots differ from other marmot species in behaviour, genetics and ecology. 

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Critically Endangered

Once distributed in alpine meadows throughout Vancouver Island, the marmot population rapidly declined in the 1990’s. By 1998, only 70 marmots were recorded in the wild.  (Read more)

Emergency Measures Needed

It was clear only emergency intervention could save the Vancouver Island marmot from extinction. A captive breeding program was established to safeguard and maintain the genetic diversity of the species. And provide animals for annual release back to the wild to support and rebuild the wild populations.  (Read more)

You Can Help

Vancouver Island marmot numbers are making a come-back in the wild thanks to our captive breeding and release efforts. But the populations are still too small and fragmented to continue to recover on their own.

An important part of our Canadian diversity  –  their only chance for survival is with our help. (Find out more)

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Time for another round of Spot the .. well, not a marmot! Can you find, and identify, the little fellow our monitoring camera caught? ... See MoreSee Less

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Melissa Hafting captured these wonderful photos of Eowyn at Mt Washington earlier this month.

Eowyn was named by Toronto Zoo staff after a character in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of Rings book. The character in the books is a fierce warrior, but we hope our marmot understands that discretion is the better part of valor. Marmots should "take on" predators with a brave whistle to warn the rest of the colony, followed by sensibly ducking into a nearby burrow, dug for just such an occasion.

Eowyn was released to Mt Washington on July 5th. She is just 1 year old, but hopefully in couple years she will have pups to share with us.

Thank you Melissa for the amazing photos!
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These marmots aren't fighting, they are "pair-bonding." While they push and pull, you can also see them touch noses throughout the video; a classic Vancouver Island marmot "love you boop".

These marmots are on Flower Ridge in Strathcona Provincial Park. Marmots were extirpated from the Park by the 1990s, but with the funding from the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program, and the support of donors like yourselves, we've been able to re-introduce the marmots back to a number of their historic colonies sites, including this one!

Their survival in the Park, and the wild, is still fragile, but if the romance continues between these two, perhaps we'll see a population boosting litter of pups next spring!
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