The Bergen County groundhog or as is otherwise known, the woodchuck, is not as most people think a rodent, groundhog's
are marmots, overall there are 14 species of marmots. This species of animal live a lifestyle that doesn't
seem to be very desirable, the experts call it a feast or famine existence. During the spring and summer and
into fall the animal gorges itself to build up large reserves of fat, they do this because of the first frost
they retreat underground to hibernate, they hibernate from first frost to early spring, their only sustenance
during hibernation is from their body fat. Groundhog hibernation has given rise to the popular American custom
of groundhog day which is 2 February each year, tradition dictates that if a New Jersey groundhog sees his shadow that day
then six more weeks of winter will ensure.
In the spring the female New Jersey groundhog will have a litter of up to six babies which will stay with their mother for several months.
Groundhogs are herbivores and average about 20 inches long with a tail about 6 to 7 inches long, they tip the scale up to 13 pounds
and live from 3 to 6 years in the wild. They generally have Brown fur, a round body with a bushy tail. They have short strong front
legs with curved claws that are designed for borrowing, as small round eyes and ears located on the top of a flat head.
Groundhogs are found mostly in the central and eastern United States, all of Canada and some parts of Alaska. Groundhogs prefer to
live in what are called transitional Bergen County areas, this is where forests and wood lands meets open fields and grasslands or meadows. They
spend most of their time in a complex burrow system which they spent a lot of time digging and maintaining. The surprising thing about
groundhogs dietary habits is they need approximately 1/3 of their own weight in vegetation every day, they will eat anything that is
vegetation including bark off trees but their absolute favorite is fruit.
Some other facts about New Jersey groundhogs, they are the largest species of the squirrel family, other names for groundhogs are woodchucks,
whistle pigs and land beavers, surprisingly groundhogs are very good climbers and very good swimmers, things they use against less
skilled predators, some groundhog burrows are so complex that they have their own bathroom chamber. An easy way to tell the groundhogs
tracks are the five toes on the front with the distinctive claw marks and the four toes on the back feet.
To learn more about our services, visit the Bergen County wildlife removal home page.