Vancouver Island Marmots (Marmota vancouverensis) Consume Plants Containing Toxic Secondary Compounds

Jeffery R. Werner


I report 68 sightings of Vancouver Island Marmots (Marmota vancouverensis) feeding on Green False Hellebore (Veratrum viride), a plentiful but highly poisonous plant. Possible explanations for this novel foraging behaviour are presented.


Vancouver Island Marmot; Marmota vancouverensis; plant alkaloids; foraging behaviour; diet; plant defensive compounds; Veratrum viride; False Hellebore; marmot foraging

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