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Marmota monax

Common Names: Woodchuck, Groundhog
Marmota monax
Marmota monax

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Marmota
Species: Marmota monax

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

Woodchucks’ are a medium size rodent with brown coats. Their tracks are 2" long and show 5 toes in the back and 4 in the front. Their burrow openings are between 6 and 10" wide.

Habitat & Range

Woodchucks are common throughout the Northeast and Midwestern United States, with the southern end of their range reaching into the Southeastern US. To the North, woodchucks can be found throughout much of Canada.

Woodchucks prefer open areas and can be found in a variety of fields, meadows, and forests.


Woodchucks forage for a variety of vegitation including leaves, flowers, grasses, berries, and bulbs. They are diurnal and can often be seen above ground foraging.

In the fall they begin their hibernation, and will awaken in the spring. While hibernating, woodchucks will lose between 30 adn 40 percent of their body weight.

Life Cycle

Woodchucks mate in the spring after emerging from hibernation. Young are born in late spring to early summer and in litters of around 4-5 young. By mid summer the young leave their mother and the burrow. They reach maturity at 2 years old.

Featured image by Erin Silversmith.


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