Four species in the genus Marmota live in British Columbia. The hoary marmot, yellow-bellied marmot, the Vancouver Island marmot, and the groundhog. Marmots (scientific name Marmota) are the bulkiest in the family of ground squirrels and are well suited for life in cold environments. A marmot’s appearance is similar to that of a large squirrel or even a large version of a prairie dog. They may be blonde, reddish, and dark gray, also having plump sturdy bodies with blunt muzzles and prominent teeth. The hoary marmot, on the other hand, has reddish-brown fur all over its body, a white patch on its muzzle, and black and gray fur on its head and feet. Used for sleeping, rearing young, and hibernating, a marmot burrow can stretch up to 65 feet long and 65 feet deep. Each burrow has one main entrance hole with a characteristic mound or fan of dirt nearby. /SANDRA JAMES