Nature Canada

Vancouver Island Marmot

This species of marmot can only be found on Vancouver Island, and the existing population is very small. This makes its protection critical. Save endangered species today by joining one of our campaigns!

Help End the Extinction

Vital Signs

  • Common name: Vancouver Island Marmot
  • Latin name: Marmota vancouverensis
  • Conservation Status: Endangered
  • Range: British Columbia
  • Life span: 10 years in the wild, 14 in captivity
  • Size: 62-72 cm long, weight 3.5-5.5 kg
Map created using MapChart

The Vancouver Island Marmot is a type of ground squirrel. They are usually a dark brown in colour with patches of white on the nose, stomach, and top of the head.

Vancouver Island Marmot Facts

  • Are very social animals
  • Make sounds that are unique to their species
  • Live in burrows in sub-alpine meadows
  • Burrows often get reused, and several of them have been used for over 30 years!
Photo by Troy Wood


One threat to the Vancouver Island Marmot is climate change, which affects them in multiple ways. To hibernate, these marmots need specific conditions. If they’re starting hibernation late or ending it early, they can be left vulnerable to predators—and natural predation is the biggest threat to the Vancouver Island Marmot populations. 

Additionally, climate change affects how much habitat is available to the marmots. Marmots also lose habitat when forested areas are clear-cut.

What’s Being Done

The Vancouver Island Marmot is federally protected under the Species At Risk Act. In British Columbia, two of the marmot’s habitats are protected under the B.C. Ecological Reserves Act and the B.C. Wildlife Act. 

Vancouver Island Marmot – © to Jen Newman on Flickr, used under CC Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0

Canada has committed to the goal of protecting 30% of lands, ocean, and freshwater in Canada by 2030. This goal will help protect ecosystems, restore habitats, and fight climate change. All these things are a step in protecting Canada’s at-risk animals—so let’s hold the federal government to their promise.

How to Help

  • Spread the Word: The more everyone learns about wildlife, biodiversity, and endangered species, the more people will see how much of a difference we can make if we work together.
  • Help Out: Visit the Marmot Recovery Foundation website.
  • Learn: Stay informed about endangered species by signing up for Nature Canada’s monthly e-newsletter.
  • Find out more: Help us end the extinction by taking action for nature today—visit conservation websites like Nature Canada or join one of our campaigns!


Want to Help?

Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.