AN INVESTIGATION INTO MARMOTA MONAX BURROWS AND THEIR ROLE AS SHELTERS FOR MULTIPLE SPECIES**
Groundhogs (Marmota monax) exist throughout the Appalachian Mountains, Canada and Alaska. These large rodents are often trapped or hunted due to their garden infestations and excessive burrowing which often causes infrastructure issues. However, their underground burrow networks play an important ecological role by providing vital shelter for foxes, possums, and raccoons. New information relating to groundhog lifestyle and characteristics could be useful for their continued success and the conservation of their potential cohabitating species. In this study we have been observing groundhog behavior within proximity of their burrow entrances by placing trail cameras at select burrows throughout the Lumpkin County, Georgia area. We have recorded several behaviors (i.e. marking, chewing, mating, etc.), GPS coordinates for burrow locations, sex, ambient temperature, time and date of observation, cohabitating species, and plant species consumed or chewed on by groundhogs. To date, our observations include multiple species in or around burrow entrances, mating or territorial grunts that are unique to the groundhogs more well-known “whistle” call, mating rituals, and relocation of pups. Due to the lack of recent data, this research could lead to a considerable advancement in the further understanding of groundhogs and the important ecological role they play for their biotic and abiotic environment.
Szabo, Nicolas; Barding, Erin; and Patterson, Jessica
"AN INVESTIGATION INTO MARMOTA MONAX BURROWS AND THEIR ROLE AS SHELTERS FOR MULTIPLE SPECIES**,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 79, No. 1, Article 53.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol79/iss1/53