|Image from Simply Wild Canada|
Being a rodent of smallish stature (the standardized size comparison seems to be "a large house cat") predation is a fact of life for the Vancouver Island Marmot. Cougars, Wolves, and Golden Eagles all find the Marmot to be a tasty treat—no wonder it spends most of its life underground. Also being rodents, they have a high reproduction rate, where babies made in May are out of the burrow by July. A single female can produce about 15 young in her life.
This high reproduction rate may save the species. Man-made habitat changes decreased their naturally low population numbers almost to the point of genetic collapse. It was estimated that there were 21 wild Marmots in 2003, the rest (75 or so) in breeding programs in zoos and conservation centres. That breeding program has been remarkably successful, as they have released a total of 223 Marmots since then. Yes, some of them have fallen victim to predation and other natural deaths, but the wild population is up to about 120 now, and the captive population is steadily growing.