Treehog? Groundhog in a Tree?
Treehog or Groundhog in a Tree? -  By Steve Troletti
Treehog or Groundhog in a Tree? – by Steve Troletti

This one got me by surprise. Although it wasn’t the first time I’d seen a groundhog in a tree, I sure wasn’t expecting to find one on this day. This little juvenile groundhog was a little hard to identify at first due to it’s smaller size. I’m guessing some predator must have made it run up the tree as a last resort. This little groundhog just might have been a little  too far from its burrowRed FoxCoyotes and even Hybrid Fox/Coyotes roam around this area and groundhogs, especially little ones, or on the daily menu.

When I arrived close to the tree the groundhog was still a little scared and frozen. Eventually it picked up the courage to start moving around. Patrolling from branch to branch it scouted the area for additional predators. I’m sure my presence was just not all that reassuring. After taking a few photos I walked away from the tree some twenty feet or so. Once I walked away it didn’t take long for this groundhog to run down the tree and into its burrow just some thirty feet away.

Treehog or Groundhog in a Tree? - By Steve TrolettiTreehog or Groundhog in a Tree? – By Steve Troletti

I’ve returned several times to this site. As a matter of fact, I’ve never seen an other groundhog in this area since. The sad reality is there’s a constant decline of wildlife from birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals in the Montreal area. Even though the groundhog is a successful inhabitant, making its home in burrows along rail roads, highways, and urban nature settings, its numbers have declined drastically. Colonies are often displaced or annihilated to make room for construction projects and infrastructure repairs. Since groundhogs successfully procreate and populate urban areas their decline is an indicator that our impact may have extreme consequences on less prolific wildlife. I hope this little critter made it to adulthood instead of the dinner table.

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