Wildlife on WiFi
Our vision is to connect Pennsylvania residents to their state’s wildlife from anywhere. To achieve this, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s award-winning
Wildlife on WiFi program provides innovative online learning opportunities, virtual lessons and educational resources about wildlife and its conservation.
Tell us what supports or services you need to help you teach about Pennsylvania wildlife and conservation? Let us know at email@example.com.
WINTER IS COMING! How is wildlife preparing? In Pennsylvania, bears, bats, woodchucks and some mice hibernate.
ACTIVITIES and VIDEOS:
Woodchucks hibernate during winter. They eat heavily throughout summer and early fall to accumulate body fat and prepare to shelter in their burrows all winter. Woodchucks begin denning up with the hard frosts of October. Few remain active past the first of November. A hibernating animal goes into a deep sleep, or a dormant state: its body temperature, heartbeat and other metabolic processes fall off drastically as the animal lives over winter on its body fat. A woodchuck's body temperature drops from more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit into the low 40s; its heartbeat slows from more than 100 beats a minute to only four. Learn more in the Woodchuck Wildlife Note.
- Have short, powerful legs and sturdy claws to excavate a burrow with two to five entrances and several chambers
- Bark a sharp whistle when sensing danger, chatter their teeth if challenged, and dash down den entranceways to escape predators
- Can swim and climb trees
- Frequently raise their heads to check for danger while eating
- Have strong, chisel-shaped, ever-growing incisors for nipping grasses, legumes, and low-growing crops and fruits
- Hibernate during cold winter months by entering a state of torpor where their heartbeat and respiration slow and their body temperature drops; males generally emerge before females in spring
- Spend most of their time alone, though females often share their winter den with offspring
- Have three musk glands, which give off an odor and help woodchucks recognize each other and communicate
Remote Learning Resources
Explore more than 100 online and DIY wildlife lessons, activities, story time readings, videos and livestream animal webcams. Game Commission educators are also available for free virtual lessons!
Wildlife on WiFi resources support Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology.