WOODCHUCK

Woodchuck
Photo by Bob Gress

 

Woodchuck
Marmota monax

Measurements:
Total Length: 22-26 inches
Tail Length: 4-8 inches
Weight: 5-12 pounds

  • Comments:   Woodchucks, sometimes called "groundhogs," are the largest member of the squirrel family in Kansas. Their gnawing activity wears down their constantly-growing incisor teeth. They live in underground dens, where they hibernate in winter. While hibernating, their heart rate, breathing and body temperatures are greatly reduced for 4-6 months. They may lose up to half their body weight during this period. In spring, females produce 3-4 kits. Longevity is up to 6 years.
  • Distribution:   Woodchucks are found throughout the eastern half of the United States and from southeast Canada into Alaska. In Kansas, they are found in shrublands, woodlands and uncultivated croplands.
  • Food:   Woodchucks feed primarily on wild forbs, but also eat alfalfa, grain crops, bark and buds.

Other Kansas Rodents

AMERICAN BEAVER ORD'S KANGAROO RAT 13-LINED GROUND SQUIRREL
EASTERN CHIPMUNK EASTERN GRAY SQUIRREL SOUTHERN FLYING SQUIRREL
PRAIRIE VOLE EASTERN FOX SQUIRREL BLACK-TAILED PRAIRIE DOG
DEER MOUSE PLAINS POCKET GOPHER NORTHERN GRASSHOPPER MOUSE
EASTERN WOODRAT HISPID COTTON RAT WESTERN HARVEST MOUSE
COMMON MUSKRAT HISPID POCKET MOUSE NORTH AMERICAN PORCUPINE

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Mammal's Den
Text: George Potts and Bob Gress
Design: Jim Mason