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Muskrats are among the most wetland-dependent of all freshwater mammals, spending nearly their entire lives within the confines of a marsh.  They eat, sleep, breed, rear their young, and spend the winter months in wetlands.  They normally leave a marsh only for two reasons.  One is during a period of spring or fall dispersal, when young muskrats may strike out from crowded habitat, looking for a vacant patch of water.

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