Q:

What is the difference between a groundhog, a gopher and a woodchuck?

A:

Quick Answer

According to WildlifeDamageControl.net, the terms gopher, whistle pig, groundhog and woodchuck all refer to the same species, Marmota monax. Woodchucks are stocky, four-legged animals that may weigh up to 10 pounds. Woodchucks have a reputation for being troublesome pests that are hard to eradicate. They consume foods grown by farmers and gardeners, while their burrowing habits can undermine homes, decks and porches.

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What is the difference between a groundhog, a gopher and a woodchuck?
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Full Answer

While many people use the term gopher to describe woodchucks, some people refer to the 35 species of rodents of the family Geomyidae as pocket gophers. Pocket gophers live a subterranean lifestyle as woodchucks do, according to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web, but they are smaller than woodchucks are. Large pocket gopher species may reach 2 to 3 pounds in weight. Pocket gophers derive their name from the pockets inside their cheeks, which the tunneling rodents use to carry food.

According to Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center, woodchucks primarily subsist on a diet of grasses, fruits and berries, but they will also eat grubs, insects, snails and other small animals. While these animals only live to about 6 years of age in the wild, captive woodchucks have been known to live up to 22 years.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you catch a groundhog?

    A:

    The best way to catch a groundhog is to use a live capture trap by mounting it over the groundhog's home hole or placing it near the hole, and then adding the bait inside. When the groundhog goes into the trap to get the bait, the door will close and he or she will be trapped inside.

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  • Q:

    What is the woodchuck's habitat?

    A:

    A woodchuck's habitat is prairie, fields and lightly wooded areas such as trees edging open farmland. The woodchuck feeds in the meadows or fields and retreats to its burrow, usually located at the base of a tree or near brush. This animal is native to North America, specifically the eastern United States and east and central Canada.

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  • Q:

    What sound does a groundhog make?

    A:

    Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, hiss, growl, bark, shriek and chatter their teeth loudly. Most of their vocalizations are used for communicating with other woodchucks. Groundhogs live in highly social societies, and individuals use their vocalizations to mark their territories, warn each other of predators and conduct other social rituals.

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  • Q:

    What time does the groundhog come out?

    A:

    There is no specific time as to when a groundhog will come out from hibernation. However, it is known that these creatures, also known as woodchucks, sleep until spring.

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