Which Mammals Live In British Columbia?


I lived in Vancouver for a while and it was one of my favorite places to live. I saw moose, bears, marmots and lots of other wildlife when I was there and I wanted to find out exactly what other mammals live in the Province.

There are over 130 species of mammals in British Columbia. These include some of the largest mammals including bison and moose, to some of the smallest with many species of squirrels, bats and mice.

I have compiled a full list of all the mammals that you can find in British Columbia which you can read below.

Page Contents

American Badger

The American badger is one of many carnivorous North American mammals. Their color is dark gray with a white stripe on its back, white patches on its eyes, and a white underbody. 

The American badger measures from 60 to 75 cm and weighs from 6.3 to 8.6 kg. This carnivore eats mice, squirrels, groundhogs, moles, marmots, and prairie dogs. 

They live in grasslands, prairies, marshes, and farms. Their lifespan is four to fourteen years in the wild and twenty six in captivity.

American Bison

The American bison is a large species of mammal from North America. They are also commonly called the American buffalo, although this is not quite correct. 

Their color is dark brown and gets darker in summer and lighter in winter. They measure from 2 to 2.8 m and weigh from 318 to 1,000 kg. 

The bison is a herbivore and eats grasses and sedges. They live in river valleys, grasslands, semi-arid lands, prairies, and plains. 

Their lifespan is 15 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity. They are no longer classed as an endangered species.

American Black Bear

The American black bear is a midsize mammal from North America. Their color is not always black but can be brown, tan, or even blonde. 

They measure from 130 to 190 cm and weigh from 200 to 300 kg. The black bear is an omnivore and has a varied diet.  This consists mostly of fish, mammals, insects, grasses, roots, and berries. 

This black bear is broadly distributed in forest habitats, with an average lifespan of twenty years.

American Marten

The American marten is a small, solitary, and nocturnal member of the Mustelidae family. 

American Marten

Their color ranges from yellowish-brown to black. They measure 32 to 54 cm, and weigh from 0.5 to 1.3 kg.  

The American Marten eats smaller animals such as squirrels, birds, and mice, but will also eat fruits and nuts. 

They are widely scattered in northern, mature conifer forests throughout the continent. They can be found both on the ground and living in trees, with an estimated lifespan of less than fifteen years.

American Mink

The American mink can be found in northern regions of North America. The color varies from brown to black, and they have a white patch on the throat. 

They measure from 31 to 45 cm and weigh from 400 to 1580 g.  Their lifespan is three to four years in the wild and ten years in captivity.

American mink are carnivores eating muskrats, snakes, mice, fish, rabbits, chipmunks, birds, and frogs. They live in wet areas like swamps and marshlands or near water bodies.

American Pika

The American pika is a small mammal that lives in the mountainous regions of North America. They are a relative to rabbits and hares. 

The color of the American pika is grayish brown. They measure from 16.2 to 21.6 cm and weigh about 170 g. Pikas are herbivores eating grasses, thistles, sedges, and fireweed. 

They live in rocky areas and cliffs in mountainous regions, with a lifespan of seven years.

Pika

American Pygmy Shrew

The American pygmy shrew is a small mammal from the north of the continent.  Their color ranges from reddish-brown to grayish brown, and the pygmy shrew has a light color on their underbody.  

This species of shrew measures up to 5 cm and weighs from just 2 to 4.5 g. 

The American pygmy shrew is an insectivore and will eat insects and larvae.  They live in coniferous and deciduous forests, with a lifespan of about 16 to 17 months.

American Red Squirrel

The red squirrel is a small, solitary, and diurnal animal. Their color is gray, red or dark brown, with white on its underbody, and sometimes has black stripes on its sides. 

They measure from 28 to 35 cm (including the tail) and weighs from 200 to 282 g. 

The red squirrel eats sunflower seeds and all types of nuts. They are arboreal, living in coniferous, deciduous, and mixed forests, with a lifespan of 5 to 10 years.

American Water Shrew

The American water shrew is a solitary and semiaquatic species of shrew. Their color changes throughout the year, from light brown in the summer to black in the winter. 

The water shrew measures from 13 to 17 cm and weighs from 8 to 18 g.  They live in streams and ponds, with a lifespan of about 18 months.

This species of water shrew is an omnivore eating aquatic insects, small fish, plants, and snails.

Arctic Ground Squirrel

The Arctic ground squirrel is a squirrel that lives on the ground instead of the trees. They live in the northern regions of North America. 

Their color is gray scattered with small white spots or brown with tan spots. They measure about 39 cm and weighs from 750 to 850g. 

This species of squirrel is a herbivore eating grass, sedges, mushrooms, roots, leaves, flowers, and seeds. 

They live in the tundra, forest clearings, grasslands, and river valleys, with a lifespan of 7 to 10 years.

Arctic Shrew

The Arctic shrew is a midsize, solitary mammal from the northern regions of North America. 

Their colors are dark brown on the back, lighter brown on the sides, and grayish-brown on the underbody. They measure from 7.5 to 12 cm and weighs from 5 to 13 g. 

This insectivore eats insects and small invertebrates. They live in open areas near wetlands, clearings in snow forests, and conifer swamps. Their lifespan is just 18 months.

Baird’s Beaked Whale

The Baird’s beaked whale is a species of marine mammal that lives in the deep waters of the North Pacific Ocean. Their color ranges from grayish-blue to brown to black. 

Baird’s beaked whale grows between 33-39 ft (10-12m) with a weight between 11-13 tons. They are very large and long, with a spindle-shaped body.

This whale is a carnivore eating deep-sea fish, mackerel, sardines, cephalopods, squids, octopuses, crab, lobster, starfish, etc. 

Their lifespan is 54 to 84 years. They are often attacked by sharks and can be seen with scarring and bites, especially on older animals.

They can hold their breath for as long as 67 minutes, with most diving deep for 30 minutes. They have a long gestation period of 17 months and give birth to one calf.

Big Brown Bat

The big brown bat is an insectivore that eats mostly beetles, but also consumes other flying insects like moths, flies, and wasps.

They live in all types of habitats, with a lifespan ranging from 18 to 20 years. This animal carries a lot of diseases, including rabies and parasites such as tapeworms and fleas.

The big brown bat is a small, nocturnal flying mammal. They live in colonies and uses echolocation to locate objects while flying at night. The color varies from brown to black. 

They measure from 11 to 13 cm, with a wingspan from 32 to 40 cm, and it weighs from 15 to 26 g.

The species of bat lives in North America and the Carribean.

Bighorn Sheep

The bighorn sheep is a species of sheep found in the western states of North America. 

Their colors are light gray or dark brown. They measure from 90 to 105 cm and weigh from 70 to 140 kg. 

Bighorn sheep eat grass, sedges, willow, and sage. They live in mountainous regions with small ledges and have adapted well to their surrounding. Their lifespan is between nine to fourteen years.

Bighorn sheep photo

Black Rat

The black rat is a nocturnal rodent that lives in every continent in the world except for Antarctica. 

Their color ranges from black to light brown with a lighter color on the underbody. They measure from 12.75 to 18.25 cm and weigh from 75 to 230g. 

Black rats are omnivores and eat seeds, stems, fruit, leaves, and fungi. They live in cliffs, rocks, ground, trees, and urban areas. 

Their lifespan is 12 months and are considered pests by farmers. 

Blue Whale

The blue whale is the largest living animal to live on Earth, not just now but throughout history. 

This species of whale reaches sizes between 69-95 ft (21-29m), although they are slightly smaller in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Females are larger than males and can reach incredible weights of 90-150 tons. 

The diet of a blue whale consists mainly of krill, with some crab and squid. They are easy to spot because of their vast size, and can be distinguished by their flattened, broad, u-shaped head. 

Even though they are so large, they have a tiny dorsal fin which is set far back.

Blue whale

Bobcat

The bobcat is a nocturnal and elusive, midsize wildcat related to the lynx. Their appearance is like a big domestic cat with a bobbed tail. 

Their color can range from grayish brown to red, with a white underbody. They measure from 47 to 125 cm and weigh from 8 to 9 kg. 

The bobcat is a carnivore and eats raccoons, squirrels, rodents, rabbits, birds, reptiles, skunks, and sometimes even deer. 

They have extraordinary night vision and can live in all types of habitats across the central section of North America. Their lifespan ranges from 10 to 12 years.

Boreal Woodland Caribou

The boreal woodland caribou is a type of reindeer that lives in the northern regions of North America. 

Their color changes throughout the year from dark brown in summer to grayish-brown in winter. 

They measure from 1 to 1.2 m at the shoulder and weigh from 110 to 210 kg. 

Caribou are herbivores.  They eat sedges, leaves, grasses, and mosses. They find these in the boreal forests which they call home.

Their lifespan is 10 to 15 years, and are classed as an endangered species.

Brown Bear

The brown bear is a large mammal that lives in northern regions.  They are also known as the grizzly bear. 

Their color ranges from dark brown to light yellowish-brown. They measure from 1.4 to 2.8 m and weigh from 152 to 217 kg. 

Grizzly bears are omnivores and will eat roots, fruit, grass, insects, carcasses, and fish. 

They live in many habitats, including mountain forests, ice fields, and edges of deserts. Their lifespan is twenty to thirty five years.

Grizzly bear

Brown Lemming

The brown lemming is characterized by its brown-colored fur and a reddish rump. During the wintertime, the coat becomes thicker and grayer with longer hairs. 

On average, the brown lemming weighs 58-68g and grow up to 12.5-13 cm in length. Male individuals are usually bigger than females. 

Brown lemmings can be found in tundra in a wide variety of areas spanning from Northern Canada to Alaska. 

Brown lemmings mainly live underground and feed on moss. They do not migrate and fight among themselves during the mating season to protect their territory.

Brown Rat

The brown rat is a rodent that lives all over the world. Their color is brown with a lighter color on the underbody. 

The brown rat measures from 15 to 28 cm and weigh from 140 to 500 g. 

The brown rat is an omnivore, eating seeds, nuts, grains, fruits, eggs, birds, mice, small rabbits, fish, and insects. 

They live in forests, urban and suburban areas, and have a lifespan of two years.

Bushy-tailed Woodrat

The bushy-tailed woodrat is a rodent from the western regions. Their color is brown scattered with small black spots and white on the underbody. 

The bushy-tailed woodrat measures from 28 to 46 cm (including the tail) and weigh about 590 g. 

This omnivore eats grasses, leaves, cacti, twigs, nuts, needles, seeds, mushrooms, arthropods, and shoots. 

They live in rocky places, such as cliffs, canyons, or rocky slopes. Their lifespan is 5.8 years in captivity.

California Myotis

The California myotis is a species of vesper bat found in British Columbia in Canada and the western regions of the United States. 

They are small-sized bats, usually measuring around 70 to 94 mm in length and weighing around 3.3 to 5.4 grams. 

Their fur is pale and dull colored. They have medium-sized ears and very small feet. They are characterized by a lighter face mask than other bats. 

The California myotis usually roost in the bark of trees or rock crevices. They fly at rather slow speed compared to other species of bats.

California Sea Lion

The California sea lion is a species of eared seal native to the western regions of North America. 

Their habitat ranges from southeast Alaska to central Mexico and includes the Gulf of California. 

Males are larger than females, with males weighing up to 350 kilograms, while females up to 100 kilograms. 

California sea lions can be found laid out on sandy or rocky beaches. 

They feed on fish and various species of squid, but have to be wary of predators including killer whales and great white sharks. 

California sea lions are particularly intelligent.

Canadian Lynx

The Canadian lynx is a diurnal and solitary wildcat. Their paws have thicker so that they can travel through snow. 

Their color ranges from grayish-yellow to reddish-brown, and they have a black mark on the tip of their ears and tail. 

They measure from 76 to 110 cm and weigh from 8 to 18 kg. They usually live in cold, dense forests, with a lifespan of 15 years.

This carnivore eats mostly snowshoe hares but also feeds on birds, fish, rats, and sometimes deer.

Cascade Golden-mantled ground Squirrel

The Cascade golden-mantled ground squirrel is a species of squirrel found in the Cascade Mountains in Washington, and British Columbia, Canada.

These middle-sized squirrels measure from 287 to 315 mm and usually weigh approximately 200 to 350 grams. They like to live in alpine habitats. 

Cascade golden-mantled squirrels have a blackish dorsal strip that does not continue onto their faces. The dorsal pelage is mostly grayish-brown, and their feet, tail, and underside are buff-colored. 

The Cascade golden-mantled ground squirrels are diurnal ground-dwellers and will occasionally climb on trees. This species of squirrel feed primarily on a herbivorous diet, which includes various fungi.

Collared pika

The collared pika is a species of pika found in southern Alaska and the Yukon, and parts of Canada including British Columbia. 

They are a small-sized animal, which weights of 160 grams on average and measuring 17.8 to 19.8 centimeters in length. T

he dorsal side of their body is grayish, and patches on their shoulders and nape create a distinguishable collar, from which the name comes. 

Collared Pika

Collared pikas can mainly be found in mountainous regions, and they typically inhabit rock slides near areas of vegetations and meadows. They use the rocks as protection from the high temperatures that they experience during the day. They are mainly diurnal and are herbivores.

Columbian Ground Squirrel

Cougar

The cougar is a solitary, elusive, and mostly nocturnal wildcat. They are also known as the puma, mountain lion, and catamount. 

Their color is grayish-brown with white on the underbody.  Cougars measure about 2.4 m long (including a long tail) and weigh from 53 to 100 kg. 

Cougars are carnivores with their main prey being deer.  They will also prey on elk, coyotes, mountain goats, beavers, moose, and wild sheep. Smaller cougars will prey on smaller mammals than larger cougars. 

They can live in an enormous range of habitats in North America.  They have a lifespan that ranges between 8 to 13 years.

Coyote

The coyote is a midsize canine, with the look of a domestic dog, and are thinner and smaller than the gray wolf.  Their color is grayish-brown with a white underbody. 

Coyotes measure about 1.5 m (including the tail) and weigh from 6.8 to 21 kg. Their lifespan ranges from ten to fourteen years in the wild and up to twenty one years in captivity.

Coyotes are adaptable and have an extremely varied omnivorous diet.  Their diet includes cactus fruits, flowers, insects, rodents, rabbits, birds, and reptiles. 

They can be found in most habitats across North America.

Creeping vole

Cuvier’s Beaked Whale

Cuvier’s beaked whales grow between 18-23 ft (5.5-7m) with a weight between 2.2 – 3.9 tons. 

They feed on squid, fish and crustaceans. They generally have scarring and shark bites on a gray or reddish-brown body. They can be recognized by a sloping forehead and a concave head. 

Cuvier’s beaked whales are known to breach.  They will generally try to avoid incidents with boats, although they are one of the most-watched beaked whales. 

Although they may be seen alone, groups of up to seven may travel together. Groups of 25 have been seen together, although this is rare.

Dall’s Porpoise

The Dall’s porpoise is a very fast swimmer, and will bow-ride alongside a ship.  They rarely breach from the water. 

They grow from 5.6-7.9ft (1.7-2.4m) and weigh between 300-400 lb. They have a small, stocky shape, with black and white markings. This species has a white edge to their dorsal fin, which is in the center of their dorsal. 

They can be seen in Alaska, Aleutian Island, San Juan, Olympic Coast, Vancouver Island, California and Baja California.

Dall’s Sheep

Deer Mouse

The deer mouse is a small and reclusive rodent. Their color (which resembles that of a deer) varies from gray to brown, with a white underbody. 

They measure from 8 to 10 cm (without the tail) and weigh about 20g. 

The deer mouse is an omnivore feeding on a wide variety of foods, such as seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects. 

They live in many different habitats including forests, mountains, deserts, grasslands, and tropical regions throughout most of North America. 

Their lifespan is eight years in captivity and less than a year in the wild. They can carry viruses and bacteria that cause diseases to humans, such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS).

Desert Red Bat

The desert red bat is also known as a western red bat or southwestern red bat.  

They are a species found around North America. They live in a big area spanning from southern Canada to Central and South America, passing through the western regions of the United States.

These bats migrate to the southern areas when the temperature gets colder and to the north to escape the high temperatures. 

Despite the name, these bats do not live in the desert. They are mainly found in forests, roosting under leaves. 

Desert red bats have a wingspan of approximately 29 to 33.2 centimeters and weigh about 7 to 15 grams.

Douglas Squirrel

The Douglas squirrel is a pine squirrel found on the Pacific coast of the United States and the Southwestern coast of British Columbia. 

This squirrel is about 33 cm in length and weighs between 150 to 300 grams. 

This species was called “Piiiiiiloooet” by the Native Americans of Kings River because of its characteristic alarm call. The eyes of the Douglas squirrel have white rings around them.

Dwarf Sperm Whale

The dwarf sperm whale measures just 6.9-8.9 ft (2.1-2.7m) with a weight between 300-600 lb. 

They are similar in looks to the pygmy sperm whale but have a squarer head, flatter back and a more prominent, pointed, erect dorsal fin. 

The dwarf sperm whale has been said to resemble an upside-down surfboard when seen in the water. 

Dwarf sperm whales are usually seen laying motionless at the surface of the water. They eat squid and octopus, along with fish and crustaceans.  

Eastern Gray Squirrel

The Eastern gray squirrel is a diurnal and solitary animal. The color varies from gray to grayish red, and the underbody is white. 

The Eastern gray squirrel measures from 23 to 30 cm (including the tail) and weigh 400 to 600 g. 

The Eastern gray squirrel is an omnivore and eats nuts, acorns, insects, berries, bird eggs, and seeds. 

The Eastern gray squirrel is an adaptable animal that lives in the trees on the Eastern side of North America. They have an expected lifespan of six years.

Eastern Heather Vole

The Eastern heather vole can be found throughout Canada.  They can be found in coniferous forests, wet meadows, willow thickets and forest edges.

The Eastern heather vole is a herbivore feeding on berries, seeds, fungus, lichen and shrubs.  They collect their food for later use storing it in their burrows.  Food is collected at night for use during the day.  

The nest of the Eastern heather vole has a hidden entrance with several tunnels leading off.  Nests are usually hidden under a log stump or rock.

Males and females are approximately the same size with a weight up to 40g and a length of 15 cm.

European Rabbit

The European rabbit is a small rabbit measuring 40 cm in length with a weight of 2.6-4.4 lb.  Their ears are large measuring between 6.5-7.5 cm in length.  

The European rabbit comes in various colors, but are generally grayish-brown with hairs of black, gray or red on the body.  

They are born with a white star shape on their foreheads but this fades by adulthood.  They live in warrens with up to ten other rabbits.

Fallow Deer

Fallow deer grow to a height of 85-95 cm (33-37 in) at the shoulder, and a length of 140-160 cm (55-63 in).  Their weight is generally between 60-100 kg, although females are smaller and lighter.  

They have a lifespan of 12-16 years in the wild.  They are preyed upon by wolves, bears and cougars.  

Males grow antlers which they use to compete for female does in the rutting season.

False Killer Whale

The false killer whale is medium size mammal measuring 14-20 ft (4.3-6.1m) weighing 1.2-2.5 tons. 

They are black or dark gray, with a long body and a conical head. Their dorsal fin is towards the middle of their back, and they have flippers with an elbow shape. 

Due to their social structure, mass stranding can be common, with the largest involving over 1,000 animals.

Fin Whale

The fin whale is a large whale growing between 59-88 ft (18-27m), although slightly smaller in the Northern Hemisphere. They reach a weight between 34-100 tons. 

There are several thousand fin whales off the West Coast of America. 

They have pigmentation on their heads that is different on both sides, which is rare for a whale. This is said to confuse their prey. 

They are the second-largest living animal on Earth after the blue whale. Populations of the fin whale can be seen almost year-round in the Gulf of California and British Columbia.

Fisher

The fisher is a small, solitary, mainly nocturnal, aggressive, and elusive weasel. They are related to the American marten. 

Their color varies from dark brown to black, with a lifespan of seven years in the wild and, in rare cases, up to 14 years in captivity. They measure from 75 to 120 cm and weigh from 2 to 6 kg. 

The fisher is a carnivore that eats mice, snowshoe hares, birds, cats, poultry, shrews, porcupines, and squirrels. 

Even though they move on the ground most of the time, they are also an excellent climber. 

They live in forests in the southern part of Canada and the northern and western part of the United States. 

Fox Squirrel

The Eastern fox squirrel is also known as Bryant’s fox squirrel.  The Eastern fox squirrel is the largest species of tree squirrel in North America. 

Their total body length ranges from 45 to 70 cm, with a weight ranging between 500 to 1000 grams. 

They coexist in certain areas with the Eastern gray squirrel, but has more brownish colored fur with darker underparts that make it recognizable. 

The fox squirrel has sharp claws and they have developed strong abdominal muscles to help them climb. 

Fox squirrels have excellent vision and a great sense of smell.

Fringed Myotis

The fringes myotis can be found in the western United States and British Columbia.  They are a species of vesper bat and are similar to the Western long-eared myotis.  

They are known as the fringed myotis as the have a fringe of hairs on the membrane between the thighs and the tail.

The fringed myotis can grow up to 85mm in length and females grow slightly larger.  Fringed myotis in British Columbia are generally darker than species further south.

Their main diet consists of beetles and moths and they will also land on the ground to catch insects.  It is thought that the hairs help to catch insects while flying.

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

Gray Whale

The gray whale grows between 46-49 ft (11-15m) and reaches a weight between 18-40 tons. Females grow larger than males. 

Their diet consists of schooling fish, crabs, amphipods and mysids. They frequently approach whale-watching boats and have lots of surface activity. 

They give birth to a single calf born after a gestation period of 12-13.5 months. 

They migrate a considerable distance, sometimes up to 12,400 miles to journey between their feeding grounds and their breeding grounds.

Great Basin Pocket Mouse

The Great Basin pocket mouse measures approximately 110 mm and weighs on average 9 grams. 

The Great Basin pocket mouse can be found in British Colombia in Canada where it lives around the Columbia River Basin.  They can also be found in the western regions of the United States. 

There are several subspecies under this name. The Great Basin pocket mouse usually occupies steppes and arid shrublands. During the winter, these mice go into a state of dormancy before emerging in early Spring.

Groundhog

The groundhog is a solitary, diurnal rodent. Their color is grayish brown. It measures from 41 to 68 cm (including the tail) and weighs from 2 to 6.3 kg. 

Groundhogs are herbivores eating mainly wild grass, roots, leaves, barks, nuts, flowers, fruit, vegetables, and farming crops. They also eat insects such as grasshoppers and snails. 

Their big front teeth never stop growing and feeding themselves constantly wears the teeth down, keeping them at the correct size. 

Humans consider the groundhog a pest because it eats voraciously in the warm months of the year. 

They hibernate from October to March. They can be found in flat, open pieces of land such as low-elevation forests, and grasslands in the northern regions of North America. 

They have a lifespan of 6 years in the wild and up to 14 years in captivity.

Harbor Porpoise

The harbor porpoise is a small, shy, and elusive marine mammal, and is a relative to the dolphins. The harbor porpoise grows from 4.3-6.6ft (1.3-2m) and a weight of 110-165 lb. 

They are dark on their dorsal side and are lighter underneath.  They have a small, indistinct beak and one or more stripes from their mouth to the flipper. 

The harbor porpoise is a carnivore and mainly eats fish and sometimes octopuses and squids. They like to swim in shallow bodies of water and even frequents inland water bodies, like rivers and estuaries.

They can be found in the Pacific Ocean in Alaska, Aleutian and Pribilof Island, San Juan Islands, Westport and the Olympic Coast, California and Vancouver Island. They can also be seen around Newfoundland and the St Lawrence River.

Their average lifespan in the wild is about 20 years.

Harbor Seal

The harbor seal is  also known as the common seal. Their color is brownish gray with light or dark spots, and the color is lighter on the underbody. 

They measure 1.85 m and weigh from 55 to 168 kg. 

They are carnivores and eat squid, crustaceans, shrimp, crab, mollusks, and fish. 

They live in the harbors in both the east and west coasts of the northern regions of North America. 

They can usually be found in rocks, beaches, and glacier ice, rarely moving from too far.  However, if there is a danger, they will rush to deeper water. 

They are an excellent swimmer and have a lifespan of 20 to 35 years.

Hoary Bat

The hoary bat is a nocturnal vesper bat found in parts of North America and Hawaii, where they are a native mammal.

They use echolocation for flying at night and to find food. Their color is dark brown, but the hairs have a white tip. 

They measure from 13 to 15 cm, with a wingspan measuring 40 cm, and a weight of just 20 to 35 g. The hoary bat is the largest species in Canada.

This species of bat insectivore eats moths, but also other insects like beetles, crickets, flies, and bugs. Some of the insects it hunts are considered pests. 

These bats usually roost solitarily on trees, hidden by foliage. They live in coniferous forests and generally hunt over open areas or lake. They have a very long migratory pattern. Their lifespan is about two years.

Hoary Marmot

The hoary marmot is a species of marmot that has a body length ranging from 62 to 82 cm and bodyweight that is around 3.75 kg.  In winter, a fully developed adult can reach a weight of up to 7 kg. 

Inhabiting the mountains of Northwest America, the hoary marmot lives on slopes with grass, and around rocky areas which they use as protection from predators. 

They are often nicknamed the whistler due to the high-pitched alarm calls used to warn other members of the colony of possible danger. 

This species of marmot is larger than most, with short, heavy limbs.

House Mouse

The house mouse is a secretive and cautious mouse that is sometimes domesticated. 

Their color is gray, black or brown with a lighter underbody. They measure from 7.5 to 10 cm (including the tail) and weigh from 40 to 45 g. 

The house mouse is an omnivore eating meat, fruits, seeds, and grains. They tend to live in places where humans live. 

Their lifespan is less than one year in the wild but can be between 2 to 3 years in protected environments.

Humboldt’s Flying Squirrel

Humboldt’s flying squirrel measures around 25 and 35 cm and weighs between 100 and 230 grams. 

This species has only recently been recognized due to its similarity with the northern flying squirrel. Although similar, they can be recognized by their smaller size and darker fur.

They mainly feed on fungi, insects, and bird eggs. Humboldt’s flying squirrels locate their nets on top of trees, away from the ground where most of their predators live.

Humpback Whale

The humpback whale grows between 46-56 ft (14-17m) with a weight between 28-45 tons. 

They approach whale-watching boars and are very inquisitive. They are popular with whale-watchers due to their breaching, lobtailing, spyhopping and flipper-slapping. 

They have a gestation period of 11-12 months and give birth to one calf. 

They can be seen in many places in North America, with Hawaii, British Columbia and Alaska as particularly good places to spot them.

Keen’s Myotis

Keen’s myotis can be found in the northwest part of the United States and British Columbia in Canada.  

As with most species of bats they are insectivores feeding on moths and beetles.  

Keen’s myotis can be found around the coast although they are becoming more common in urban areas.

They have a body length of 9cm with a tail length of 5cm.  Keen’s myotis is a species of long-eared bat.

Killer Whale

The killer whale is also commonly known as the Orca, a name taken from its binomial name of Orcinus orca.  

Killer whales are the largest members of the dolphin family, growing from 6 to 8 meters long and weight 5.9 tons.  Females are smaller than males.  

They are one of the fastest marine mammals due to their size and incredible strength, reaching speeds ip to 56 km/h.  They have a black upper side with a white underside.

Least Chipmunk

The smallest chipmunk found in North America, the least chipmunk measures up to 200 mm including the tail.  Their weight is up to 50g.

They have a shorter muzzle than other chipmunks and also be recognized by their longer tail, which can measure up to 90mm.

They can be found in Michigan, Washington and New Mexico, and up to Quebec and the Yukon.

They have five dorsal stripes which can be a variety of colors from one least chipmunk to the next.  These range between black, reddish, brown and tan.  

Their main diet is seeds with conifer-seeds being their favorite.  The least chipmunk will also eat leaves, flowers, insects, carrion and bird eggs.

Least Weasel

The least weasel is also known as the common weasel or little weasel.  They are the smallest member of the genus Mustela. 

They are native to North America, but also Eurasia and North Africa. Their bodies are slender and elongated, with relatively short tail and legs. 

The average body length is around 130 to 260 mm, and they weigh between 36 to 250 grams, with males being slightly bigger than females. 

The color of the pelage of least weasels varies according to the geographical location, but underparts are usually white, and the back, limbs, and tail are a shade of brown. 

Their diet consists mainly of small rodents. Males mark their territory with olfactory signs and are strongly territorial and dominant weasels. 

Least weasels may have aggressive encounters with each other. The least weasel occupies a wide range of different habitats.

Little Brown Bat

The little brown bat is a small North American bat. Their colors vary from light tan to dark brown, with a lighter color on its underbody. 

The little brown bat measures from 8 to 9.5 cm and weighs from 5.5 to 12.5g. 

This insectivore eats mosquitoes, moths, and beetles. The little brown bats live in most of North America. 

They will find any place to roost during the day, such as trees, caves, and rocks. In winter, this bat hibernates in caves. Their lifespan is from 6 to 7 years.

Long-eared Myotis

The Northern long-eared myotis is a species of bat.  They use echolocation to navigate while flying. 

Their color varies from yellowish light brown to black, and measure about 8.6 cm and weigh from 5 to 8 g. 

This insectivore eats mostly moths, beetles, flies, and leafhoppers. They live in boreal forests (taiga) in the eastern, central part of North America. Their lifespan is about 18.5 years. 

They are an endangered species due to a sickness that is killing the species.

Long-legged Myotis

The long-legged myotis is a species of vesper bat that usually inhabits the western regions of Canada and the United States. They can also be found in Mexico. 

They are the second-largest species of myotis found in the United States. Their wingspan is about 24 to 50.8 centimeters long, and their average body mass is of 7.5 grams. 

They are characterized by light-brown to chocolate brown pelage and short, rounded ears. They are also distinguishable from other bat species by the fur underside their wings, which extends to their elbows and knees.

Long-tailed Weasel

The long-tailed weasel is a fearless, aggressive hunter. They are also known as the bridled weasel or the big stoat. 

Their color is reddish-brown with a light yellow underbody, but in cold northern regions they are completely white. 

The long-tailed weasel measures from 23 to 35 cm and weighs from 85 to 267 g. They are carnivores and can attack animals that are twice their size. 

They eat mostly mice, voles, rabbits, chipmunks, birds, eggs, and insects. 

They live in grasslands and thin forests in sub-tropical areas with mild temperatures in the southern states of North America. Their lifespan is up to five years.

Masked Shrew

The masked shrew, also known as the cinereus shrew and common shrew, is a small, nocturnal, and solitary animal. 

Their color is grayish-brown with a lighter grayish color on the underbody. They measure just 9 cm, with a weight of 5g. 

Masked shrews are carnivores eating insect larvae, ants, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, worms, snails, small rodents, and salamanders. 

They live in grasslands, forests, riverbanks, lakeshores, and tundra in the northern part of North America. Their lifespan is 14 months.

Meadow Jumping Mouse

The meadow jumping mouse is a solitary and mostly nocturnal North American rodent. They can jump 8 feet or more when they are disturbed. 

Their color is light brown, with a thick dark brown stripe on its back and a white underbody. They are a small-sized rodent with very long tails and feet. They measure from 18 to 24 cm (including the tail) and weigh from 11.5 to 35 g. 

The meadow jumping mouse is an omnivore eating mostly seeds, insects, and fruits. 

The meadow jumping mouse lives mostly in grasslands, thin forests and humid areas in the northern part of North America. 

Their lifespan is less than a year in the wild, but up to five years in captivity.

Meadow Vole

The meadow vole is a small, mostly nocturnal rodent. They are also known as other names such as the field mouse or meadow mouse. 

Their colors vary from yellowish or reddish-brown to dark brown, and the underbody is gray. They measure about 12 cm and weigh about 43g. 

This herbivore eats grasses, weeds, grains, seeds, bark, roots, and fruits. They live in dense grasslands and thin forests in the northern part of North America (except for the most intense polar regions). 

The meadow vole is an excellent swimmer and are also good at digging holes. 

Their lifespan ranges from 2 to 16 months. Some people consider them a pest because they cause great damage to plants, and also carry similar diseases as other rodents.

Merriam’s Shrew

Merriam’s shrew can be found in interior western regions of North America such as California, Colorado and Washington.  

They can be found in grasslands, woodland, brush lands and sagebrush steppe.  This species of shrew has been found in elevations from 200 to 2,900 meters.

They can grow up to 107 mm in length with a weight up to 7 grams.

Merriam’s shrew can be found using the runways through brush made by larger mammals such as the sagebrush vole.

The only predator of Merriam’s shrew is owls which can be attributed to their foul smell.

Montane Shrew

The Montane shrew is a species of mammal that is also known as the dusky shrew. 

They can be found in Alaska, Western Canada and the western areas of the United States, including Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, and California. 

They are about 95 to 116 mm long in total body length and weigh approximately 4.4 to 10.2 grams. 

The Montane shrew occupies vast niches of moist, grassy areas, usually river banks and meadows. 

Their habitat consists of coniferous forests, including taiga and high mountain subalpine and alpine forests. 

Montane shrews molt twice a year. Their pelage is commonly brown or gray, but the coloration depends on the elevation.

Montane Vole

The montane vole can be found in the west of the United States and Canada.

They can be found at high elevation in mountainous terrain.  They prefer to live in grassy areas and meadows and can often be found near streams or lakes.  

There are at least fourteen species of montane vole recognized with  different species inhabiting different areas.

The montane vole is a herbivore but are also known to eat insects.  Montane voles are a prey species for many other animals including many birds of prey.

They grow up to 22 cm including the tail with a weight up to 85g.

Moose

The moose is a solitary animal with huge antlers.  Moose are the largest members of the deer family. 

Their color ranges from light to dark brown. The moose is massive, measuring from 1.4 to 2.1 m in height and from 2.4 to 3.2 m in length. They weigh from 200 to 700 kg.

Moose are herbivores and eat bark, leaves, pine cones, young branches, and fruits. Moose lives in forests in the northern part of the entire world, and have a lifespan from fifteen to twenty five years.

Mountain Beaver

The mountain beaver is known as the most primitive rodent alive today. They are the only living species of the genus Aplodontia.  This species has survived pretty much unchanged for 40,000 years.

Adult individuals weigh about 500-900 grams and are 30-50 cm long, with a tail length of 1-4cm. 

Mountain beavers prefer to live in lower elevations and is rarely seen since it spends most of its life underground digging burrows. Because of the great amount of soil they move, mountain beavers serve an important function for the natural environment.

Mountain Cottontail

The mountain cottontail is also known as Nuttall’s cottontail.  This species of rabbit can be found in Canada and the United States. They are a small-sized rabbit which tends to measure about 35-39 cm in length and weighs approximately 0.7-1.2 kilograms. 

The feet of these rabbits are densely covered with hair. Their ears are short and rounded at the tips, with the inner parts being hairy. 

Mountain cottontails feed primarily on grasses including wheatgrass and needle-and-thread grass. 

When the temperature gets colder, and food resources are more limited, they tend to turn to more woody plants such as bark. Interestingly, this species of rabbit produces two types of fecal pellets, dry and moist. The moist ones are usually eaten by themselves.

Mountain cottontail

Mountain Goat

The mountain goat is the only species of rock-goat (rupicarpine) in North America.  Mountain goats live in the Cascade Mountains, Rocky Mountains, Alaska, Washington, Idaho and the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Mountain goats prefer rocky cliffs, slopes and meadows as their habitats.  Mountain goats prefer the safety of the cliffs to keep them away from predators.  They spend about seventy five percent of their lives on rocky cliffs.  

Mountain goats feed on the cliff faces, grazing on the vegetation.  Mountain goats are amazing climbers and spend time on cliff faces up to 60 degrees steep.

Due to their northern habitats mountain goats migrate during the winter southwards.

Mountain goats grow up to 1500 cm in length and weigh up to 136 kgs.  Males grow larger than females.

Mule Deer

The mule deer is the most common deer in the west of North America.  Mule deer can be found all down the west coast, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and the Rocky Mountains.

Mule deer are tan or pale brown in winter with a white patch on their rump and a small tail with a black tip.

Mule deer found along the west coast are darker with a larger black tail.  West coast mule deer are also known as the black-tail.

Mule deer prefer habitats that shelter them from predators such as wolves, coyotes, bobcats and the puma.

Mule deer can weigh up to 120 kg and grow to a length of 168 cm.  Male deer are larger than female deer.

Muskrat

The muskrat is a midsize, mostly nocturnal, semiaquatic rodent from North America. Their colors vary from brown to black, with a lighter underbody. 

Muskrats measure from 40 to 70 cm and weigh from 600 grams up  to 2 kg. Their lifespan is 3 to 4 years.

The muskrat is an omnivore and eats aquatic vegetation, farm and garden plants, roots, pondweed, fruits, vegetables, snails, salamanders, crustaceans, fish, and birds. 

They live in wetlands in the northern part of North America. They are considered as a pest because of the destruction it causes in the places where they live and the diseases that they can carry.

North American Beaver

The North American beaver can reach up to 32 kg, with 20 kilograms being the average weight. They can measure 74-90cm, excluding the tail which adds a further 25-30 cm. 

They beaver is the largest rodent in North America and are semi-aquatic. They have a transparent third eyelid allowing them to see underwater. 

Beavers play an important role in the environment and are a keystone species. They are well known for building dams, canals, and lodges. They construct dams to flood areas to obtain access to food and protection.

Beaver couple

They live in colonies, and have orange teeth due to the amount of iron they contain.  This makes their teeth stronger than regular teeth.

The beaver is a herbivore and eats bark, cambium, roots, buds, and water plants. The North American beaver lives in forests (near water bodies) in the northern parts of North America, with a lifespan between 10 to 15 years. 

North American Porcupine

The North American porcupine is the second-largest rodent found in North America. Their back is covered with strong quills, made of keratin. 

They can be easily recognized by quills, that are solid at the tip and base and present around all its body, except for the stomach.  The quills are used as a defense mechanism.

North American porcupines have a color that is dark brown or black with hairless feet.. They measure from 60 to 90 cm without counting the tail which measures around 14.5 up to 30 cm. They weigh from 4.5 to 18 kg.

They are herbivorous eating leaves, seeds, grass, nuts, buds, fruits, and green plants. They are often found climbing on trees to eat leaves. 

The porcupine lives mostly in forests, deserts, and grasslands in the northern part of North America, with a lifespan of about 30 years. 

This species of porcupines are endangered because due to hunting and also because of loss of habitat.

Northern Bog Lemming

The Northern bog lemming is a small-sized lemming found in the meadows of Canada, Alaska, northern Washington, and New England. 

They grow up to 13 cm long and weigh around 30 grams. They have a short tail and small eyes, with rust-colored hairs at the base of their ears. 

Generally, their bodies are covered with grey or brown fur. These rodents are active during the entire year and are both diurnal and nocturnal. 

They usually come up to the surface to look for food. They typically live in small colonies with other lemmings.

Northern Elephant Seal

The Northern elephant seal is one of two species of sea elephants alive. Their name comes from their large size and the proboscis that characterizes males of this species, which is used to make loud roaring noises, especially during mating. 

Their dimensions are typically about 4 to 5 meters in body length for males, while females measure about 2.5 to 3.5 meters. Males usually weigh about 1500 to 2300 kilograms while females range between 400 to 900 kilograms.  

Males are a lot bigger than females, and a successful male can impregnate up to 50 females in one season. 

Northern elephant seals live in the eastern Pacific Ocean and spend most of their time inside the water. They can be found in British Columbia, California and Baja California. 

Some significant colonies are found in several Pacific Islands in the United States and Mexico. They primarily feed on fish and squid.

Northern Flying Squirrel

The Northern flying squirrel is one of three flying squirrels in North America. Their habitat is coniferous and mixed coniferous forests. They live in Canada, and the United States from Alaska to Nova Scotia, North Carolina. Utah and Oregon. 

They are clumsy on the ground but efficient climbers and gliders. Flying squirrels are nocturnal with excellent vision. 

Their length reaches between 25 to 37 centimeters, and they usually weigh between 110 and 230 grams. Their fur is light brown, with a flat tail and big eyes. They also have large whiskers which they use to sense their way around at night.

Northern Fur Seal

The Northern fur seal is a member of the Otariidae family.  They are the largest member of the subfamily Arctocephalinae and the only living member of genus Callordhinus.

Male Northern fur seals have a black or gray thick fur, with a mane of yellowish or silver-gray long guard hairs from the shoulders up to the neck.  They have an underfur which is more creamy colored.  Females are silver-gray or charcoal on top, with their sides, underside and chest are tan or cream.

Males are much larger than females, with a weight up to 270 kg.  Males can measure up to 2.1 meters.  Females are smaller, weighing up to 50 kg, with a length of 1.5 meters.  

Northern fur seals are excellent swimmers, using their forelimbs to propel themselves forward.  They use different stroke patterns for different dive patterns.

Northern fur seals can be found along the west coast of the United States and Canada, from California all the way up to Alaska.  

Northern Long-eared Myotis

The Northern long-eared myotis is a species of bat.  They use echolocation to navigate while flying. 

Their color varies from yellowish light brown to black, and measure about 8.6 cm and weigh from 5 to 8 g. 

This insectivore eats mostly moths, beetles, flies, and leafhoppers. They live in boreal forests (taiga) in the eastern, central part of North America. Their lifespan is about 18.5 years. 

They are an endangered species due to a sickness that is killing the species.

Northern Pocket Gopher

The Northern pocket gopher weighs between 60 to 160 grams and measures between 165 to 260 mm in length. 

The Northern pocket gopher is rarely seen above ground and usually does not travel far from the entrance of its burrow. 

Their fur is gray to brown with dark spots on the ears.  Although not classed as an endangered species, many farmers contribute to the eradication of gophers with poison or traps because of the gophers destructive effect on agriculture.

Northern red-backed vole

The Northern red-backed vole can be found in the northwest regions of the United States and Canada.  

They live in scrubland and forest and feed on a diet of mainly plants.  These include forbs, fungi, lichens, leaves, buds and twigs.  They are also know to eat insects occasionally although these do not make up a large part of their diet.

The Northern red-back vole measure up to 17.5cm long including their tail with a weigh up to 40g.  They are a light rusty brown color with a short tail.

They built their nests under rocks, roots, fallen trees or in burrows.

Northern Right-whale Dolphin 

The Northern right whale dolphin is a large species of dolphin, measuring 10.2ft (3.1m), although only weighing 250 lb. 

They are distinctive in appearance as being the only dolphin in the North Pacific without a dorsal fin. They are black with a lighter white underside. 

They travel with other dolphins including Risso’s dolphins and Pacific white-sided dolphins. 

They can often be seen in British Columbia and California including around Monterey Bay. 

Although most schools are spotted with 100-200 animals, superpods of 3,000 have been seen.

Northwestern Deer Mouse

The deer mouse is a small and reclusive rodent. Their color (which resembles that of a deer) varies from gray to brown, with a white underbody. 

They measure from 8 to 10 cm (without the tail) and weigh about 20g. 

The deer mouse is an omnivore feeding on a wide variety of foods, such as seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects. 

They live in many different habitats including forests, mountains, deserts, grasslands, and tropical regions throughout most of North America. 

Their lifespan is eight years in captivity and less than a year in the wild. They can carry viruses and bacteria that cause diseases to humans, such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS).

Pacific Jumping Mouse

The Pacific jumping mouse is a rodent that can be distinguished from other species because of its larger size and distinct color separation on their back. 

They can reach 221-241 millimeters in length and usually weigh up to 40 grams. 

Their habitat is usually moist, preferring lush vegetation.  They mainly eat grass seeds and fungi. They hibernate for a period as long as up to eight months. They get their name from their tendency to jump when nervous or scared and can be aggressive. 

Pacific White-sided dolphin

The Pacific white-sided dolphin grows from 7.5-8.2ft (2.3-2.5m) with weights between 360-440 lbs. 

The can be found around the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound, Alaska, Olympic Coast, California, Vancouver Island and Baja California. 

They have a pattern of gray and black along the flank with dark flippers and flukes. They have a lighter underside, with a white lower jaw. They give birth to a single calf after a period of 12 months.

Pallid Bat

The pallid bat is a species of bat found in areas ranging from western Canada to central Mexico. Their wingspan is approximately 38 to 40 cm in length, and they weigh about 14 to 25 grams. 

They are considered to be large bats, with long forward-pointing ears. Their pelage is pale at the roots and brown or black on the back with white underparts

These bats are commonly found in arid or semi-arid habitats, often in rocky areas or mountainous regions near water. During the day they roost in cracks and crevices. 

Like the majority of bats, pallid bats use echolocation to find food and travel from their roost site to foraging grounds.

Preble’s Shrew

The Preble’s shrew is a species of small-sized shrew found across the Great Basin of the United States and in the southern parts of British Columbia. 

They are approximately 77 to 95 mm in body length and usually weigh about 5 to 7 grams. Their pelage is typically gray on the dorsal side and more silvery-colored on the ventral side. 

They have a long snout, rather large ears, and small eyes. They are considered to be the smallest member of their genus in North America. 

Preble’s shrews mostly live in arid or semi-arid shrub grasses that are associated with coniferous forests. 

They are generally active both during the day and at night. They mainly feed on insects and other small invertebrates such as worms, centipedes, and mollusks.

Pygmy Sperm Whale

The pygmy sperm whale grows between 8.9-12.5 ft with a weight between 700 -1000 lb. 

They eat squid and octopus, but will also eat crustaceans and fish. 

They leave behind a squid-ink like substance in the water when frightened or startled, leaving a cloud in the water. 

Pygmy sperm whales are often stranded when visiting areas such as Florida. 

They look similar to the dwarf sperm whale but have a small, hooked dorsal fin and are more rounded in profile. They have a small body and are sometimes mistaken for sharks.

Raccoon

The raccoon is a nocturnal midsize mammal.  Their color is gray, brown or black.  They have a white face with a black mask around its eyes. 

They measure from 40 to 70 cm and weigh from 5 to 26 kg. 

The raccoon is an opportunistic omnivore eating fruit, plants, oak nuts, insects, worms, rodents frogs, nuts, eggs, and crayfish. 

Raccoons live in forests, suburban, and urban areas in the Central and southern states of North America. The average lifespan of a raccoon is two to three years.

Red Fox

The red fox is a midsize fox that lives in the northern region of North America. 

The color varies from light yellow to red, with dark legs, and a white underbody. They measure from 45 to 90 cm and weigh from 2.2 to 14 kg. Their lifespan is between two to five years. 

The red fox is an omnivore eating grasses, fruits, corn, apples, oak nuts, cherries, berries, mice, birds, rabbits, squirrels, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, and crayfish. 

The red fox lives in forests, grasslands, mountains, deserts, and suburban areas.

Red-tailed Chipmunk

The red-tailed chipmunk is a large species of chipmunk measuring about 23cm including a bushy tail.  Their weight ranged between 50 and 60g with females slightly larger than males.

They have a reddish tail with a body of orange-brown.  The body has five dark stripes separated by lighter stripes.  In winter the body of the red-tailed chipmunk is grayer than in the other seasons.

They carry their food in pouches in their cheeks.  Their diet consists of berries such as cranberries and honeysuckle berries and thistle and buckbrush seeds.  

The red-tailed chipmunk does not hibernate in winter but does enter a state of torpor.

Risso’s Dolphin

Risso’s dolphin look completely different from any other species of dolphin. They are heavily scarred, either from squid or from each other when playing or fighting. 

They have a bulbous, large head with a beak that is not distinct. They have a crease on the front of the melon, with the dark dorsal fin, flipper and flukes. 

Risso’s dolphin are various colors, ranging from light white to dark gray. 

They are a large dolphin growing from 12.5-13.5 ft (3.8-4.1m) and weighing from 660-1,100 lb.

River Otter

The river otter is a smart, semiaquatic mammal, with short, very dense fur. Their colors vary from gray to brown, with a lighter underbody. 

They measure from 66 to 107 cm and weigh from 5 to 14 kg. 

This carnivore eats mostly fish, turtles, frogs, crayfish, and insects. They live in aquatic habitats in the northern part of North America. 

Their lifespan is 8 to 9 years in the wild and between 15 to 20 years in captivity.

Roosevelt Elk

The Roosevelt elk was named after Theodore Roosevelt.  The naming of the elk was by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

They are one of the largest terrestrial mammals in North America with weights recorded up to 590 kg although most grow up to almost 400kg.  They stand up to 5.5 feet tall at the shoulder with a length up to 3 meters.

The Roosevelt Elk is the largest of the four species of elk found in North America.  They feed on plants including grasses, berries and sedges.  

Being one of the larger mammals their lifespan has been known to be 25 years in captivity and up to 15 years in the wild.

They have a pale brown body with a darker brown head.  They have adapted well to many habitats including meadows and forests.

Sea Otter

The sea otter is a marine mammal that can be found on the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. They usually weigh between 14 and 45 kilograms and are about 1.2 to 1.5 meters in total body length. 

They are considered to be the largest members of the weasel family but are one of the smallest marine mammals. 

Their primary form of insulation is a thick coat of fur, and are capable of living exclusively in the ocean. 

They feed mostly on marine invertebrates such as urchins, mollusks and crustaceans and some species of fish. 

In the past, sea otters were hunted extensively for their fur, which led to a major decrease in their population. However, conservation efforts and reintroduction programs have managed to successfully re-establish sea otters’ presence in their natural habitat. They are still listed as endangered species. 

Their pelage is usually brown. They are diurnal animals that tend to rest together in single-sex groups called rafts. A raft might contain from 10 to 100 individuals. Male rafts are usually bigger than female ones. 

They can be found in areas with protection from the most severe ocean winds such as rocky coastlines and barrier reefs.

Sei Whale

The sei whale is a large marine mammal, measuring from 39-52 ft (12-18m) and weighing between 17-45 tons. The females are larger than males. 

There are no commercial whale-watching operations anywhere dedicated to watching this species. They do not gather in the same areas from one season to the next as most whales do, making them elusive. 

They have a more varied diet than most other baleen whales which includes krill, copepods, crustaceans and schooling fish. They are mostly dark gray or brown, with a prominent dorsal fin.

Short-beaked Common Dolphin

The short-beaked common dolphin is also known as the common porpoise. 

Males are slightly larger than females with sizes between 5.2-8.9 ft (1.6-2.7m) and a weight of 155-440 lb. 

They are fast swimmers and can be seen bow-riding alongside ships. Herds of this species can be seen in sizes ranging from 10 up to 10,000. 

They have a short beak with a dark cape with a V shape under the fin. They have a white underside and yellow or tan patches on their sides.

Short-finned Pilot Whale

The short-finned pilot whale is medium-sized, growing from 12-23 ft (3.6-7.2m) and weighing between 1.1-3.9 tons. 

They are dark gray, brown or black with a gray patch behind the fin. Short-finned pilot whales are stocky, with a round forehead and almost non-existent beak. They have a large dorsal fin which is set forward on the body but arches backwards. 

They typically travel in groups of 15-50 individuals, but groups of several hundred have been seen together.  

Silver-haired Bat

The silver-haired bat is a nocturnal, solitary mammal from the central part of North America. They use echolocation when flying to guide them and to find food.

Their color is normally black, but can sometimes be dark brown, with gray tips to their fur.  

They measure about 10 cm and weighs from 8 to 12 g. This insectivore eats flies, leafhoppers, moths, mosquitoes, beetles, bugs and ants, which they find in forest habitats.

Their average lifespan is 12 years, and they migrate to warmer climates in winter.

Snowshoe Hare

The snowshoe hare is also called the varying hare or snowshoe rabbit, taking this the name because of the large size of the hind feet.   

They are a hare from the northern region of North America. 

The snowshoehare lives in boreal and montane forests of North America.

They have wide paws for moving in the snow. Their feet prevent these rabbits from sinking in the snow when hopping and walking. They are covered with fur on the soles too, for protection against freezing temperature. 

Their color is brown in summer and white in winter but always has a gray underbody. They can be distinguished by black tufts of hair on the edge of their ears and by the relatively small size of their ears compared with other hares. 

Their lifespan is five years. They usually measure about 36 to 52 centimeters and can weigh 1.3 to 1.7 kilograms as adults. 

The snowshoe hare is a herbivore and eats grass, leaves, ferns, buds, twigs, evergreen needles, small stems, and bark. They adapt their diet according to the season. They usually feed on grass, fens, and leaves during the summer and turn to twigs and bark in the wintertime.

Southern Red-backed Vole

The Southern red-backed vole is a mostly nocturnal, small mammal from the central part of North America. Their color is gray, with a red stripe on its back, and an underbody of gray or white. 

The Southern red-backed vole measures from 7 to 11.2 cm and weighs from 6 to 42 g. They have a lifespan of 10 to 20 months. 

This species of vole is an omnivore eating insect, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, berries, leaves, roots, bark, fungi, and lichens. 

They live in coniferous, deciduous, and mixed forests near water bodies in southern Canada and the northern United States.

Sperm Whale

The sperm whale grows between 36-52 ft (11-16m) with a weight between 15-50 tons. 

They have a dark gray-body with a squarish head and a hump instead of a dorsal fin. 

Their blowhole is slit-like, and they can often be seen laying motionless at the surface of the water. They have a single calf after a long gestation period of 14-16 months.  

Spotted Bat

The spotted bat is a species of western bat that can reach a wingspan of 35 cm and length of 12 cm. Their weight is on average, around 15 grams. 

They are found on cliffs in Colorado along with the Grand Canyon,  Arizona and California. They also inhabit parts of Canada and Mexico. 

They usually live in coniferous forests, deserts, marshes, and dry steppes. 

The increase in the use of pesticides (such as DDT) from the 1960s has resulted in a decline in the population of the spotted bat, but recently recoveries have been recorded in this species.

Stejneger’s Beaked Whale

Stejneger’s beaked whale is a medium-sized whale. They grow between 15.7-18.7 ft (4.8-5.7m) with females slightly larger than males. Their weight is between 1.1-1.8 tons. 

They can be seen in groups of 5-15 and eat mainly squid. Not much is known about them, with a single skull being the only evidence for a long time. 

Some are almost black, but most are brownish-gray with scarring on the body. They have a dark mask from the eyes to the blowhole, with the rest of the face being lighter. They have a small dorsal fin one-third from the back.

Steller Sea Lion

The Steller sea lion is also known as the northern sea lion.  They are a species of sea lion typically found in the northern Pacific. 

They are considered to be the largest species of eared seals and take their names from the naturalist George Wilhelm Steller, who first described them in the mid-18th century. 

These animals measure about 2.3 to 2.9 meters in length on average and weigh between 240 to 350 kilograms. 

Males are slightly longer than females and can be distinguished by broader foreheads and thicker hair around their neck. 

The range of these seals extends from Russia to the Gulf of Alaska and the Ano Nuevo Island off the coast of Central California. 

Steller sea lions usually live in the coastal waters of the subarctic and spend most of their time in the water. They are skilled and opportunistic marine predators. 

They primarily feed on a wide variety of fish and are hunted by killer whales and great white sharks.

Striped Dolphin

The striped dolphin takes their name from the dark stripes that run down the sides of their bodies. They have a gray or blue-gray cape on the dorsal side, with stripes from the eye to the flipper along their sides. They can have stripes with colors of pink and blue on their sides as well. 

They grow from 5.9-8.9 ft (1.8-2.7m) and weigh from 200-360 lb. 

They have some amazing behaviors, able to leap up to 23 ft, with belly flops and somersaults seeming no trouble. 

They also roto-tail when they come out of the water. This involves moving their tails in circles as they leap out of the water.  

Striped Skunk

The striped skunk is a mostly nocturnal species of skunk found in the central states of North America. 

Their color can be black, gray, or brown but always has a white stripe on their back running from head to tail. 

They measure from 52 to 77 cm and weigh between 1.8 to 4.5 kg. Striped skunks are omnivores and eat crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, mice, voles, eggs, and small birds. 

The striped skunk lives in open areas such as grasslands or thin forests in southern Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico. Their lifespan is up to seven years.

Townsend’s Big-eared Bat

Townsend’s big-eared bat is a species of vesper bat found in Canada, Mexico and throughout the western regions of the United States. 

They are medium-sized bats with extremely long and flexible ears which explain the common name. Their total body length is about 10 centimeters on average, with a tail of 5 cm and a wingspan of about 28 cm. 

They require large cavities for roosting and are mainly found in abandoned buildings and mines, caves, and basal cavities of trees. 

In winter, they hibernate in dwellings which can include rocky crevices, tunnels, and spaces under loose tree bark, among others. 

Males are usually solitary, while females form maternity colonies, where they raise their pups. Hibernation occurs in tightly packed clusters which helps to maintain body temperature in the colder temperatures. They feed almost exclusively on Lepidoptera, a species of moth.

Townsend’s Chipmunk

Townsends chipmunks can be found in the northwest of the United States in Oregon and Washington, and in the south of British Columbia in Canada.  

This species of chipmunk can be found in coniferous and hardwood forests.  They look for shrub cover to protect themselves, and for loose rocks on slopes to provide a nest.

Tonsend’s chipmunks have five stripes and four lighter stripes on their back.  On top of their heads they have three brown and two gray stripes on their faces.  

The size of the Townsend chipmunk ranges from 22 to 38 cm, larger than most other chipmunks.  Their weight is also heavier than other chipmunks, up to 120g.  Females are slightly larger than males.

Townsend’s Mole

Townsend’s mole is a burrowing mammal and is the largest species of mole in North America. 

They can be found in lowland and wooded areas characterized by moist soils on the Pacific coast from British Columbia in Canada to northwestern California in the United States. 

They are usually about 21 cm in total body length and weigh on average 138 grams. 

Townsend’s moles have velvety and black-colored fur, a thick, hairless tail and a pointed snout. They are active all year round and spend the majority of their lives underground.

Townsend’s Vole

Townsend’s vole is a species of vole that can be found in the northwest of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

They can be found at elevations from sea level up to 6,000 feet and can be found in mainly wet areas.  These include flood plains, salt marshes and meadows.

They live in dense populations with as many as eight hundred recorded in one hectare. Subsequent generations of the Townsend vole will live in the same burrows.  They make their nests both on the surface and underground.

They are one of the largest species of vole that can be found in North America.  They grow to a length of 23cm including their tail and can weigh up to 73g.

They feed on plant material including flowers and grasses.  

Trowbridge’s Shrew

Trowbridge’s shrew can be found in the northwest of the United States in Washington, Oregon, California, and in British Columbia in Canada.

They are a medium-sized shrew weighing up to 4g and a total length up to 13cm.

Trowbridge’s shrew is a key prey species and is fed upon by many birds of prey.  Due to this they are thought to be one of the most abundant shrews.

They feed on a diet of insects including spiders and worms.

Tundra Vole

The tundra vole is a medium-sized rodent found in Northern and Central Europe, North America and Asia. 

They are about 18 cm long and weigh about 50 grams. This species is found in tundras or meadows and generally live near water sources. 

The tundra vole is not commonly seen as it primarily lives underground. They like to store seeds and roots in the burrows they dig. 

The population of the tundra vole can vary greatly from year to year in a given area. Their fur is yellowish-brown.

Vagrant Shrew

The vagrant shrew is a medium-sized species of shrew that can be found in the northwest region of the United States and Canada.

There are three subspecies of vagrant shrew recognized.  They are reddish-brown with white underparts.  Vagrant shrews observed in coastal regions are found to be darker.  In winter their fur turns dark brown.

They measure about 10cm long including their tail with a weight up to 8g.

They are insectivores feeding mainly on spiders and worms.  Due to their size they need to consume a lot of food and have been known to consume 160% of their own body weight per day.

They are prey to many larger animals including birds of prey and species of cat such as the bobcat.

Vancouver Island Marmot

The Vancouver Island marmot varies its weight during the year between 3 to 7 kilos and can measure between 56 to 70 cm in length. 

The Vancouver Island marmot is one of the largest species of marmots, and it’s endemic of the mountains of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. 

They are critically endangered due to climate change that has reduced the portions of their natural habitat. 

Their reintroduction and efforts have aided the recovery of the species, and the population is now starting to grow.

Water Vole

The water vole is the largest species of vole found in North America.  They can be found in the northwestern regions of the United States and Canada.

They have fur that is gray-brown or red-brown.  They are excellent swimmers that use their large hind feet to help them.  

They do not hibernate and can be seen tunneling through snow to their burrows.  They live in groups of up to 40 in burrows along the waters edge.

Water voles grow up to 27cm in length and weigh up to 180g.  

They feed on vegetation including willows, seeds, grasses but will also feed on insects.

Western Harvest Mouse

The Western harvest mouse can be found in many habitats in North America including meadows, valleys, marshes and prairies.  They can also live in sand dunes, deserts, shrublands, and clearings in forests.

The nest can be found under logs, bushes, weeds and grasses.  Nests consist of a construction shaped like a sphere with one entrance.

Their diet consists of flowers, seeds, herbs and insects such as weevils, moth larvae and beetles.  The Western harvest mouse does not hibernate but does put on body fat to get them through the colder winter conditions where they enter a state of torpor.

The Western harvest mouse is not territorial and many can live in one nest.  This helps them to keep their body temperatures steady in winter.  

The Western harvest mouse grows up to 140 mm long with a weight up to 15g.

Western Heather Vole

The Western heather vole can be found throughout Canada.  They can be found in coniferous forests, wet meadows, willow thickets and forest edges.

The Western heather vole is a herbivore feeding on berries, seeds, fungus, lichen and shrubs.  They collect their food for later use storing it in their burrows.  Food is collected at night for use during the day.  

The nest of the Western heather vole has a hidden entrance with several tunnels leading off.  Nests are usually hidden under a log stump or rock.

Males and females are approximately the same size with a weight up to 40g and a length of 15 cm.

Western Small-footed Bat

The Western small-footed bat, also known as the Western small-footed myotis is a species of vesper bat which is native to North America. 

They are relatively small in size, having a total body length of approximately 8 to 10 centimeters and a wingspan of 24 cm on average. 

They typically weigh only 4 to 5 grams, with females being larger than males. 

They are characterized by yellowish to brown fur which gets paler in the underparts. Their feet, as the common name of this species indicates, are unusually small. 

These bats can be found across much of the western regions of North America including British Columbia and Saskatchewan in Canada, down to Baja California, Zacatecas and Nuevo Leon in Mexico. 

They mainly inhabit arid and semi-arid habitats but can also be found living in pine forests at high elevations. They are commonly found at elevations ranging between 300 to 3300 meters above sea level. 

Western small-footed bats are nocturnal, insectivore animals. Their flight is rather slow, and they mostly feed on moths, beetles, and flies. They often feed close to water sources or rocky bluffs.

Western Spotted Skunk

The Western spotted skunk is a species of spotted skunk native to North America. 

They usually measure between 35 to 45 cm in body length and weigh around 336 to 734 grams. 

Males are considerably larger than females, however they are considered to be one of the smallest species of spotted skunks. 

They are characterized by a black body striped with creamy-white horizontal stripes on their back, the front of the body and the hind parts. 

They are short and rounded with a white spot between their eyes. Their tails are big and long-haired, mostly black with a white tip. 

Western skunks also possess a pair of musk glands that open inside the anus and can spray to ward off predators.

They can be found in the western regions of the United States, northern parts of Mexico and in British Columbia in Canada. 

They prefer to live in mixed woodlands, open areas and farmlands. They are primarily nocturnal animals and feed on insects, small vertebrates and berries.

White-tailed Deer

The white-tailed deer is a mammal found in the central part of the American continent. In North America, they live in most of Mexico and the United States and southern parts of Canada. 

Their color is grayish-brown in the winter and reddish-brown in the summer. They have patches of white on their face, underbody, and tail. 

The white-tailed deer measures from 95 to 220 cm and weighs from 45 to 68 kg. 

White-tailed deer are hebivores eating grass, corn, leaves, nuts, twigs, fruits, and fungi. 

They adapt well to different habitats and live in grasslands, forests, farmlands, and deserts. Their lifespan is four to five years.

White-tailed jackrabbit

The white-tailed jackrabbit is also known as the prairie hare or white jack, and can be mainly found in the north, western regions of North America. They are also found in British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta in Canada.

The dimensions of this species range between 56 to 65 centimeters in length, while their weight can span between 2.5 to 4.3 kilograms. 

They are solitary rabbits that live in depressions in the ground hidden by vegetation. These rabbits are nocturnal and only emerge from their nests at dusk to feed. In contrast to the black-tailed jackrabbit, the white-tailed jackrabbit prefers lowland habitats.

Wolverine

The wolverine resembles a small bear, but is the largest member of the Mustelidae family.

They are ferocious, and have a huge amount of strength for their body size.  They are the size of medium dog, but can take down prey many times their size, such as elk. 

They live in cold climates, with thick, oily fur which is resistant to frost.  They are dark in color, with a light mask on their face, and a bushy tail.   

They have been called the skunk-bear due to the scent glands that they use to mark their territory.

Woodland Jumping Mouse

The woodland jumping mouse is a small, solitary, and usually nocturnal midsize rodent found in eastern North America. 

Their color varies from yellowish-brown on the sides to dark brown on their back. They have an underbody that is white. 

They measure from 20.5 to 25.6 cm and weigh from 17 to 26 g. 

The woodland jumping mouse is an omnivore and eats grass, fruits, berries, fungi, seeds, and insects. They live in forests in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada with a four year lifespan.

Yellow-bellied Marmot

Yellow bellied marmot

The yellow-bellied marmot can weigh up to 5 kilograms and usually measures between 47 and 68 cm in length. 

This marmot is also known as a rock chuck. They are a large species, and are one of the fourteen species of marmots. 

They are native to the mountainous regions of Canada and the Rocky Mountains, Mount Rainer and the Sierra Nevada. 

These animals usually inhabit areas which are above 6500 feet (or 2000 meters). Their fur is brown with a bushy tail. 

They live in colonies with a single dominant male and hibernate during the wintertime for approximately eight months.

Yellow-pine Chipmunk

Yellow pine chipmunk

The yellow-pine chipmunk is a species of rodent found in the northwestern regions of North America, including parts of Canada and the United States. 

The yellow-pine chipmunk primarily inhabits brush-covered areas and usually live at medium to high elevations of 975 to 2900 meters above sea level. 

They are considered to be medium-sized chipmunks, with females being larger in body size than males. On average, they weigh around 50 grams. 

The fur is characterized by a dark, reddish fur and five dark longitudinal stripes on the back. 

The yellow-pine chipmunk hibernates in winter and stores their seeds.

Bryan Harding

Bryan has spent his whole life around animals. While loving all animals, Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Not only does Bryan share his knowledge and experience with our readers, but he also serves as owner, editor, and publisher of North American Mammals.

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