False colour satellite image of Nanaimo, BC

2016 Winner

Larissa Thelin

Larissa Thelin won the 2016 Carto Cup competition for her map showing the current potential habitat range of the Vancouver Island marmot. This map was part of her Geography 491 independent research project titled "The Potential Effects of Climate Change on the Habitat Range of the Vancouver Island Marmot."

I am very interested in the impacts of climate change, especially the impacts it may have on animal species. Knowing that the endemic Vancouver Island marmot is already in such a vulnerable state due to predation and its small and fragmented habitat, I wanted to use this species in order to further my understanding of how climate change may cause animals’ habitats to alter over time. My project included creating two maps: one of the current potential habitat range of the Vancouver Island marmot, which I am submitting here, and one of the projected change in marmot habitat in the 2080s due to the impacts of climate change. The reason why I have chosen to submit the current habitat map is simply because even though a lot of research has been done on the Vancouver Island marmot, a map showing its habitat range had not yet existed. There are many maps of known or past known marmot colonies on the island, but no maps of where their available habitat occurs throughout the island. - Larissa Thelin

Current Vancouver Island Marmot Habitat Map

Current VI Marmot Habitat Map