The Woodchuck Male

Backyard observations of the behavior and role of the male woodchuck (Marmota monax )

Susan C. Sam* and Joseph M. Sam
*Corresponding author –

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Abstract: There are recent and decades past reports in scientific books and in refereed
scientific journals that, for the specific habitat territory observed, the role of the male
Woodchuck (Marmota monax) is primarily limited to reproductive efforts, that male-
female relationships terminate after breeding season, and that the male and female
do not develop long-term relationships with their mates. Reportedly, males are not
paternalistic toward the young. There are differing reports in some books and refereed
journals of male-female social interactions, possibly due to Woodchuck behavior
varying across populations. There is an insufficiency of detailed reports of observed
behavior of specific breeding Woodchuck pairs.

For over 18 years, we have spent countless hours observing Woodchucks within
approximately three acres that surround our rural Michigan home. We document
observations of Woodchucks’ behavior with photographs or videotapes throughout
the season. In the area observed, we found that relationships of mated Woodchucks
typically did not terminate after mating season and that long-term relationships with
females occurred. We also documented some males who took part in raising the young.

Copyright 2022, Susan C. Sam and Joseph M. Sam