Vancouver Island Marmot
The Vancouver Island marmot is endemic to Vancouver Island, Canada—it occurs nowhere else in the world. It is often described as Canada’s most endangered mammal.
Did you know?
Vancouver Island marmots are one of the largest members of the squirrel family measuring about 65-70 cm nose to tail and weighing 4.5 – 7.5 kg — the same size as an average house cat!
Why do marmots whistle? To raise the alarm. Their distinctive whistle is to raise the alarm from lurking predators.
The collaborative research being done through this program received Top Honours for the 2022 AZA Research Award
This research has been essential to improve the management and survival rates of Vancouver Island marmots born at other institutions and at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo after they have been released to their native range on Vancouver Island. This research incorporated separate studies on genetics, animal behaviour, and ecology to align with a novel ‘stepping-stone’ approach that allows released marmots to learn wild behaviours in a safe, interim site, before being released to their final wild home. Thank you to all the collaborators, co-authors, and supporters who helped make this research possible.