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Marmota monax

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA SCIURIDAE

Scientific Name: Marmota monax
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Woodchuck

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G. & Cannings, S.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern because it is widespread, common throughout its range, and there are no major threats.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species ranges from central Alaska in the United States, east through Canada south of the tree line to Labrador; in eastern North America south to Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas; in the west absent from the Great Plains, extending down the western mountains to northern Idaho in the United States (Kwiecinski 1998).
Countries:
Native:
Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland I, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec, Saskatchewan, Yukon); United States (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common. Reported densities are highly variable, ranging from 0.1/hectare in Quebec to 3.3./hectare in Ohio (Kwiecinski 1998). However, populations are loosely structured because burrow systems are not spatially clustered and animals are asocial and territorial.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits low elevation woodland-field ecotones, especially along fields, roads, and streams. It commonly occurs in farmlands and in proximity to human structures. Prefers open areas, such as meadows, pastures, old fields, orchards. Also founds in hilly and rocky areas in open woodlands having fields or meadows adjacent (Caire et al. 1989). For hibernation prefers hedgerows, woods, steep inclines in stony ground, haystacks, or sites with good drainage and a southern exposure (Kwiecinski 1998).

Young are born in a den in an extensive burrow system. Breeding period extends from early March to mid-April. Gestation lasts 31-32 days. Young are born from April to mid-May. A single litter of 2-6 (average four) is produced each year. Sexually mature in one year. Primarily solitary, except during breeding, though limited social interaction may occur at other times. Abandoned burrows are widely used as den sites by other animals (Kwiecinski 1998).

Diet includes a wide variety of herbs, grasses, and the leaves of shrubs; also invertebrates.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species. Sometimes regarded as a pest when causing damage to crops, gardens, landscaping, or structures.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is not of conservation concern, and its range includes several protected areas.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G. & Cannings, S.) 2008. Marmota monax. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 September 2014.
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