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It is an industrious and stocky mammal with relatively short legs and elongated claws on its front feet. Males and females are similar in appearance, although men are slightly bigger.
Open woodlands, forest edges, farm pastures, grassland, pastures, fields, suburban lawns, gardens, and grassy rights of way and utility corridors provide habitat for this mammal. They are adept at thriving in human-dominated landscapes.
While they breed typically in their second year, a small percentage may regenerate in the first year. The breeding season starts when it emerges from hibernation in early March.
Groundhogs use their acute vision, keen hearing, and sense of smell to distinguish danger and escape for their safety. Their sensitivity heightens their sense of direction and navigation from a gland in their jaw.
When afraid, they emit a shrill whistle, followed by a chattering, chuck sound. They can become fierce opponents when confronted by predators such as dogs, coyotes, and foxes.
They are excellent diggers and dig both simple and complex burrow systems. Most burrow systems are 25 to 30 feet deep and 2-5 feet.
Groundhogs can cause the following four types of damage:
A highly effective method of controlling this critter is building an extensive fence of at least 3 feet.