Vancouver Island marmot

Marmota vancouverensis

Distribution. Restricted to alpine meadows of Vancouver Island.


The Vancouver Island marmot is a critically endangered species; fewer than 100 are known to exist and the remnant populations seem to be declining. A captive breeding program has been started, in collaboration with the Toronto Zoo. Its goal: to provide marmots for future reintroductions aimed at expanding their range. A tremendous amount of information about this species' behavior, ecology, and status can be found on the The Vancouver Island Marmot home pages, as well as heaps of fantastic photos, and information on how you can help save the Vancouver Island marmot. Vancouver Island marmots have a rich vocabulary of alarm calls and communicate in a sophisticated way. Like their close relatives, the Olympic and hoary marmots, Vancouver Island marmots have ascending, flat, and descending single note alarm calls. When highly aroused, they also trill. They diverge from all other species in their fifth somewhat unique vocalization, the kee-aw.


Photo: K.B. Armitage

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