Project Description

Groundhog

Marmota monax

Animal Class: Mammal

Length: 16-27 inches

Weight: 4-14 pounds

Lifespan: 2-6 years in the wild, 14 or more in human care.

Diet: Herbivore: grasses, berries, bark, leaves.

Habitat: Open grasslands of Midwestern and Eastern United States; Canada.

Description: Groundhogs spend most of their day grazing and gathering food during the warmer months to put on fat for winter. Groundhogs are one of the few animals that enter true hibernation in the winter, and their body temperature drops, their breathing slows, and their heart rate falls.

Groundhogs are consummate burrowers and often have an extensive system of burrows including a “winter burrow” for hibernation.

Although farmers and homeowners often find groundhog burrows to be a nuisance, they serve as burrows for many other animals and help improve soil by moving it around.

Our Animals: Potawatomi Poppy