Woodchuck

Marmota monax

About This Animal

SIZE: 16-27 inches; Weight: 4-14 lbs

RANGE: East central Alaska south to northern Idaho and across southern Canada as well as throughout the eastern United States

HABITAT: Edges of forests where there is open land, along fence rows, heavily planted gullies or stream banks, farmland, grassy pastures, woodlots

DIET: Primarily herbivores grazing on grasses and forbs (any non-woody flowering plant that is not a grass) and clovers

ON EXHIBIT: Classroom and Encounter Animal

Woodchucks, also known as groundhogs and whistle pigs, are the largest members of the squirrel family in their geographic range. They have ever-growing incisors that must be worn down by chewing to prevent serious health issues. They are true hibernators, which means they enter the burrow in the late fall and sleep until spring. Their burrows have multiple entrances, may have 45 feet of tunnels and go as deep as five feet. 

When green vegetation is not readily available, woodchucks will eat buds, bark, twigs, fruits (i.e. apples and pawpaws) and occasionally insects, snails and bird eggs.