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Wisconsin Ground Hogs

By: Tanya Rothe

Ground hogs are a very special animal in our country and goes by many names including Wood Chuck, Whistle Pig and even Land Beaver. They gave us one of our funnest national holidays; Ground Hog's Day. If the ground hog sees his shadow then we get to look forward to a longer winter season. Many humans are discouraged when they see ground hogs because that means a yard full of holes. Ground hogs are known for abundance in digging. They dig very large burrows with many holes. Did you know that there is an albino ground hog? This type of ground hog unfortunately has a problem with predators. More Wisconsin Wildlife!

Wisconsin Wood Chucks

The albino tends to fall easily to predators and danger. One big benefit for the Wisconsin Wood Chucks is that they spend most of their time underground so lurking predators have a hard time getting to them. An interesting fact about the ground hog is they have some sensory organs located at the top of their head that give them the ability to sense danger lurking around. This in turns tells them when to poke their heads up out of their burrows to see what is trespassing. If you get the chance to see a ground hog burrowing area (that isn't in your yard), enjoy the sight. It can be great entertainment.

Wisconsin Whistle Pig

Ground Hogs | Wood Chucks | Whistle Pigs | Land Beavers

Scientific Name: Marmota Monax

Measurements: weight: 8-14lbs, length: 15-25in, tail length: 15in

Habitat: mostly underground in excavated soil, open woodlands, thickets, fields, meadows, and pastures.

Diet: all vegetables, clover, alfalfa, weeds, grass, fruits.

Behavior: get fatter close to fall, hibernate during winter, escape from danger by hiding in burrows, and grow rapidly.

Reproduction: babies born in April-may, gestation period of 30 days, 4 offspring, eyes open after 28 days.

Predators: humans, dogs, foxes, bobcats, babies snatched by large hawks or owls.

Life Expectancy: 4-5 years old in wild, 10+ years old in captivity.

Extra Facts: can dig up to 700lbs of soil to create 25ft burrow w/ multiple chambers, also called a wood chuck.

Part of Wisconsin it generally resides: found all throughout Wisconsin.

Marmota Monax

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Wisconsin Land Beaver

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Wisconsin Ground Hog

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