Woodchuck, Marmota monax
Also called Groundhog or Whistlepig
Sciuridae or Squirrel Family

Adult eating

A large ground squirrel, brown to silvery gray, with a relatively small, fat tail. Active in the daytime, spring to fall, but hibernates through the winter. Despite its fat appearance and waddling gait, it climbs and swims well. Prefers semi-open areas, such as woodland edges and suburban yards. Sleeps in burrows which it digs. Eats a variety of green plants, especially those found in gardens, as well as nuts, insects and snails. If alarmed whistles to warn others, hence the name whistlepig.

A native of the eastern United States, across Canada and into Alaska. Its closest relatives, the marmots, are native to the high mountains of the west. Common in Wildwood; even more common in yards and gardens outside the Park.

Easily identified since almost everyone has seen them. Our only other ground squirrels are Chipmunks which are much smaller and have distinctive stripes.


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