Species of the Week: The Groundhog

Photo by Simon Lunn

This week, our #SpeciesOfTheWeek is the Groundhog (Marmota monax). Also known as Woodchuck, Marmot, or Whistle-pigs, these weather-predicting mammals are members of the squirrel family! The Indigenous name for Groundhogs is “wuchak” which roughly translates to “the digger”. So the name Woodchuck has nothing to do with wood at all! Groundhogs are diurnal which means they are most active during the day. They like to eat clovers, dandelions and other plants, but also eat insects, mollusks and bird eggs as well. Groundhogs are well known for building very elaborate burrows which can have multiple levels, different bathrooms, and eating areas. These mansions don’t go to waste because when a groundhog abandons their home, another animal will move in! Foxes, weasels, otters and chipmunks are well known for doing this. Sometimes while a groundhog is hibernating in its burrow, raccoons, rabbits or skunks might move in for the winter. Have you ever seen a Groundhog at Murphys Point?

This entry was posted in Friends of Murphys Point, Murphys Point, Murphys Point Provincial Park, Species of the Week. Bookmark the permalink.

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