The Vancouver Island marmot is named for the island it inhabits. Vancouver Island is a moderatley sized island in the southwest portion of Canada, that is forests and mountains. The marmots used to live all over the island, but have been reduced to living in the southern quarter of it now due to hunting, weather conditions, etc. There are now less than 100 Vancouver Island Marmots left, including some that are in captivity.
Vancouver Island Marmots (Marmota vancouverensis) are distinguished from omaby their dark-brown color, white patches, and distinctive sound. The Vancouver marmot is the world's rarest marmot, and it was put on the endangered species list in 1980. Since being put on the endangered species list, their numbers have dwindled even more.
Being the largest member of the squirrel family, marmots can grow to be the size of a housecat. Roughly five to seven kilograms. Marmots, like their cousines the squirrels, hibernate in the winter, but do not live in trees or eat nuts. They live off flowers and grass, and live in elaborate underground tunnels built into mountains. the term marmota actually Latin for "mountain mouse".
There are 14 different kinds of marmots in the world, 6 of which live in North America, and 4 that live in Canada. The Vancouver Island Marmot is the only one on the endangered list. They can live up to 10 years, and are very sociable. They comunicate using high pitched whistles. You can hear these whistles when entering http://www.marmots.org.
The plan for getting the marmot population back up to a safe level, mainly includes captive breeding, and reintroduction. The target number of marmots is around 400 to 600, and it is not just a government affair. You can help too! You can adopt a marmot (I know I'm going to!), buy a special plush marmot, and just help spread the word. Remember, marmots are your friend!