When you think of animals native to this land, you might picture the majestic moose or industrious beaver. But there's a tiny creature on B.C.'s Vancouver Island in danger of going extinct that you might not know much about. One organization is hoping to save marmots by releasing them into the wild and they're so adorable.
Narcity spoke with Adam Taylor, the Executive Director of The Marmot Recovery Foundation, to find out more.
Helping the local wild population of the Vancouver Island marmot, they're working to "bring the species back from the brink of extinction." It's actually one of the most endangered mammals in the world.
They breed them in captivity to be released and they've helped bring the population up. Right now, there are about 200 of the cuties living on Vancouver Island, but less than 20 years ago there were just 30 of them.
"Releasing marmots to the wild has been the cornerstone of recovery efforts, and it has helped bring the species back from the absolute brink of extinction," said Taylor.
"However, with just 200 individuals in the wild, the species still desperately needs support if it is to survive long-term."
Their recent release on Wednesday, June 24 is a positive step towards bringing the wild population back to a point where it can one day thrive on its own.
This year, the organization expects to release a total of 16 to 19 marmots and they've already done a few in June.
In the video, you can see the team hiking to the release spot carrying them in crates. Then, they set them down and hang back.
You can see them curiously poking their heads out of the crates before leaving to have a new life in the wild.
While most marmots whistle to warn of danger, the Vancouver Island marmots have a special call, that sounds like "keaw," that's only shared between parents and their kids, said Taylor.
"As far we know, this call is unique to the Vancouver Island marmot."
These are the most adorable Canadian animal you've never heard of. They even have a special "marmot kiss" where little ones bond with their parents with little nose-boops.
If they're not already your new spirit animal then don't even talk to us.