The Vancouver Island Marmot ( Marmota Vancouverensis )
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VANCOUVER ISLAND MARMOT
Endemism is the notion of a certain species being completely confined to a specific geographical location that limits its range (MacDonald G. pg387). Having been restricted to a certain area, the species would have developed and changed over the years to be adapted to its permanent surroundings. A species that falls under this category is the Vancouver Island marmot (Marmota vancouverensis). M. vancouverensis is a highly unique mammal to British Columbia. This is due to its current, native range being entirely confined to specific clusters on Vancouver Island. Through evolutionary incidences M. vancouverensis became the only species of marmot to be isolated…show more content… Secondly, both current rising temperatures and human intervention has caused this species to be battling with extinction which has cause it to be placed on the endangered species list. Finally, there is a major improvement and ongoing rehabilitation to restore the marmot’s loss in numbers.
As mentioned in the section above, M. vancouverensis has a geographic, current, and native range that only encompasses select areas of Vancouver Island. The areas that are faintly occupied are Green Mountain, Mount Moriarty and Heather Mountain, while the largest collection of these mammals are at Mount Washington (Brashares, J., Werner, J., Sinclair, A. 2010) As determined by their habitat only occupying mountain ranges, it is safe to say the marmot likes to be in semi high elevations. A second aspect that all these areas have in common is that they are all subalpine areas (Figure 1). The M. vancouverensis normally reside on the south-east and west facing aspects for a few important reasons (Bryant, A., 1999). As recently learned, south-facing slopes are warmer than north facing slopes. This allows less snow to be gathered along the aspects, which allocates a suitable to gather food after hibernation. If there were snow late through the summer months, than this can lower the vegetation rate causing there to be minimal food (Bryant, A. 1999, Bryant, A., Janz, D. 1996).
There have bene many different hypothesises to how M. vancouverensis because