Vancouver Island is a large island in British Columbia, Canada. In fact, it is the largest island on the western side of North America. The Vancouver Island Ranges run most of the length of the island, dividing it into a wet and rugged west coast and a drier, more rolling east coast. The climate is the mildest in Canada, with temperatures on the coast even in January being usually above 0 °C (32 °F). The fauna of Vancouver Island is similar to that found on the mainland coast, with some notable exceptions and additions. For example, grizzly bears, mountain goats, porcupines, moose, skunks, coyotes, and numerous species of small mammals, while plentiful on the mainland, are absent from Vancouver Island. The island does support most of Canada's Roosevelt elk, however, and one species — the Vancouver Island Marmot — is unique to the island. The island's rivers, lakes, and coastal regions are renowned for their fisheries of trout, salmon, and Steelhead. It has the most concentrated population of cougars in North America.
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