The Vancouver Island marmot (Marmota vancouverensis) is an endemic ground squirrel that is native to mountainous regions of that island located off the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. Historical population sizes are not known, although paleontological records suggest that the geographic range of the species apparently declined over the past several thousand years. Populations increased significantly during the 1980s and 1990s, and was manifested mostly, but not exclusively by colonization of new man-made habitats created by forestry. Thereafter numbers declined precipitously, reaching a low of some ~30 individuals during the early 2000s. The proximate cause of decline was excessive predation by naturally occurring predators, which are believed to have responded both functionally and numerically to landscape changes. Present threats to the species include predation, inbreeding depression, possible deleterious effects due to climate change, and random effects due to small population size and geographic range. The current strategy is focused on restoring wild populations through an ongoing captive-breeding and reintroduction program.
Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Team. 2008. Recovery Strategy for the Vancouver Island Marmot (Marmota vancouverensis) in British Columbia. Ministry of Environment. Recovery Plan
Topic: Recovery Planning
Keywords: sara, bc, cosewic, species recovery, recovery planning, species at risk
Scientific Name: Marmota vancouverensis
English Name: Vancouver Island Marmot
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