Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Marmota vancouverensis

Vancouver Island Marmot

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Marmota vancouverensis
Marmota vancouverensis - right (M. broweri on left)
Click to enlarge. (56 kb)

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered.


Vancouver Island Marmots live only on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. They are the only endangered mammal in Canada, with a population estimated at only 100-200 individuals. Archaeological finds from sites 700-2,500 years old, and museum records, indicate that this species was once more widespread on the island. Why there are so few now is not known: long-term environmental change, hunting, and habitat degradation due to forestry practices may have influenced its decline. Its lifestyle is much like that of other marmots. Although Vancouver Island enjoys a mild climate, the mountains where the marmots live get heavy snows, and Vancouver Island Marmots spend seven or eight months of the year underground, deep in hibernation.

Also known as:
Vancouver Marmot

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Length:
Average: 668 mm
Range: 580-750 mm

Weight:
Range: 3-6.5 kg

References:

Swarth, H.S., 1911.  Two new species of marmots from north-western America, p. 201.  University of California Publications in Zoology, 7:201-204.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Marmota vancouverensis