Illinois has an amazing amount of wildlife within its borders, and I wanted to find out which mammals live in Illinois. With some large cities, prairies, Great Plains, and the Eastern Temperate Forest, Illinois has some of the best wildlife in the United States.
Illinois has almost sixty species of mammals within its borders. From large animals such as coyotes, cougars, and black bears to some of the smallest such as the pygmy shrew and the Western harvest mouse. The state mammal of Illinois is the white-tailed deer, which can be found all over the state.
To find out more about which species of mammals live in Illinois, please read on.
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.
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.
The beaver is the largest rodent in North America and is 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.
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 North America’s northern parts, with a lifespan between 10 to 15 years.
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.
The American mink can be found in the 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 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 its 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, 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.
Big Brown Bat
The big brown bat is an insectivore that eats mostly beetles and 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 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 habitats across North America’s central section. Their lifespan ranges from 10 to 12 years.
The cinereus shrew is also known as the masked or common shrew. They are small, nocturnal, and solitary animals. Their color is grayish-brown with a lighter grayish color in the underbody. The cinereous shrew measures 9 cm, with a weight of just 5g and a lifespan of just 14 months.
The cinereus shrew is a carnivore, eating insect larvae, ants, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, worms, snails, small rodents, and salamanders. They live in grasslands, forests, riverbanks, lakeshores, and tundra in North America.
Cotton mice are particularly prevalent in the southeastern United States. They like to live in wet areas, including swamps and marshes, although they can also be found in fields, beach dunes, and caves. Cotton mice are very adaptable to be able to live in many different habitats.
Cotton mice do not hibernate but will enter a torpor state when the weather gets too hot for them. They are omnivores and will feed on whatever they can get. Cotton mice are small with a total length of 206mm, including the tail, and a weight up to 46g.
The coyote is a midsize canine with a domestic dog’s look and is 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 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.
The deer mouse is a small and reclusive rodent. Their color (which resembles 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 various foods, such as seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects. They live in many different habitats, including forests, mountains, deserts, grasslands, and tropical regions.
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).
The Eastern chipmunk is a solitary animal. Their color is reddish-brown with two white stripes surrounded by black stripes on the side of its back and head, with a fifth black stripe running across the center of its back. The chipmunk’s underbody has lighter brown color.
They measure about 30 cm (including the tail) and weigh from 66 to 150 g. The Eastern chipmunk is an omnivore that eats acorns, insects, eggs, mushrooms, snails, nuts, fruits, seeds, berries, and corn.
They like to live in rocky areas, logs, and bushes in deciduous forests and urban parks. They live in the eastern United States and Southeast Canada, with a lifespan of three years.
The Eastern cottontail is a solitary, mostly nocturnal rabbit that lives in the southeast of the United States and Central and South America. Their color varies from reddish-brown to grayish brown, with a white underbody. They measure about 37 cm and weigh about 1.2 kg.
The Eastern cottontail is a herbivore that eats various grasses, branches, bark, clover, fruits, and vegetables. Their habitat is mainly grasslands. Their lifespan is three years in the wild and eight years in captivity.
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.
The Eastern mole is a solitary, midsize mammal from the eastern United States. Their color is dark gray. They measure from 14 to 18 cm and weigh from 40 to 50 g.
The Eastern mole is a carnivore and eats worms, insects, larvae, mice, bugs, and small birds. Eastern moles live in grasslands and thin forests, with an expected lifespan of six years.
The Eastern mole digs tunnels in search of food. However, they control the number of insects in a given location they can cause damage gardens and yards.
The Eastern pipistrelle can be found near water in open woods. They can be found roosting in buildings, caves, and crevices. They can also be found roosting in tree foliage during the summer.
In the winter, they can be founding roosting in mines, caves, and crevices.
The Eastern pipistrelle is small with a fur that is yellowish-brown. Their fur has a dark base and tip, with a yellowish-brown middle. Females are larger than males, with females weighing 7.9g compared to males at 7.5g. They are also slightly larger at 89mm in length.
Although the Eastern pipistrelle copulates between August and October, the females store the sperm over the hibernation period before ovulating in spring. The young of the Eastern pipistrelle is unique in that they are born as twins.
Eastern Red Bat
The Eastern red bat is found across North America and is a species of microbat. They measure 109 mm (4.3 in) with a weight of just 7 to 13. They have long pointed wings with short ears and a long tail.
Eastern red bats are very maneuverable and can fly quickly with speeds up to 50 km p/h. They do not hibernate, choosing to stay in the same regions all year. They enter a state of torpor in hollow trees or leaf little to shelter.
They are prioritized as least concern by the IUCN. Eastern red bats can be seen in the early evening either around the edges of forests and woods or flying around street lights.
The Eastern woodrat can be found in wooded areas where they live in the brush, hedgerows, and outcrops.
Their dens can grow very large, with dens up to five feet recorded. The dens are home to only one woodrat at a time, but other woodrats will use the den afterward. They all add sticks and other parts to the den, which causes their huge size. Females will nest together when they have their young.
The Eastern woodrat has many predators, including snakes, weasels, coyotes, skunks, and owls. Males can grow up to 450mm in length, including the tail, with a weight of 385g. Females are slightly smaller.
The evening bat is a species of vesper bat native to North America. They typically inhabit much of the midwestern and eastern regions of the United States. They are a small-sized bat, weighing approximately 7-15 grams, with forearms spanning from 34 to 38 mm in length.
The tip of their dorsal hair is light gray, with a brown pelage. The evening bat has robust jaws compared to other insectivorous bats. The average lifespan is less than four years, which may explain the higher reproductive output than other bats that live longer.
Franklin’s Ground Squirrel
Franklin’s ground squirrel is a squirrel native to North America and the only member of its genus. The common name of these squirrels comes from the British Arctic Explorer, after which they were named.
The destruction of the prairie had resulted in heavy losses in population numbers for this species, but they are now prolific and abundant.
They are medium-sized squirrels with a total body length of 36 to 41 cm and a body mass of approximately 950 grams, with females being significantly lighter than males.
Their fur is brownish gray with light and dark speckles, which fade to yellowish on the underparts. The tail is darker in color and is almost black.
These squirrels have several scent glands at the corner of the mouth and from the shoulders to the pelvis, which they use to mark their territories.
They can be found in central Alberta and Manitoba in Canada and from North Dakota to Kansas in the United States. These squirrels hibernate from August to April.
They are diurnal animals, and their burrows usually host only one or two squirrels, as they are not a particularly social species.
The golden mouse has a golden-brown to orange color, which gives them their name. They are approximately 5-8 inches in length with a weight of 15 to 30g. Their tail is up to 4 inches in length.
Golden mice make their nests on the ground or high in the trees. Golden mice build their nests, usually on the ground, as the trees bring a higher risk of predation.
Golden mice will usually abandon their ground nests if they are flooded and build their nests higher up. This is generally a last resort due to the increase of predators.
The gray bat is a species of microbat native to North America. Their population has experienced a severe decline due to human disturbance since the 1960s. Gray bats are listed as threatened animals.
They are characterized by uniformly colored fur, which is usually dark gray on the back. Their body mass is generally between 7 and 16 grams, and they measure 40 mm in body length.
They are cave-dependent bats, which means that they can be found only in caves. For this reason, disturbance to their cave habitats is extremely detrimental to these bat populations.
Gray bats migrate in spring. They hibernate during the winter and undergo annual molting. They mainly forage over water, including streams and reservoirs where they feed on night-flying insects with aquatic larval stages. They tend to form very large colonies to maintain body temperature.
The gray fox is a solitary fox that lives in the southern part of the United States and Mexico. Their back has a scattered combination of light and dark gray with sides of reddish-brown and an underbody of white.
They measure from 76 to 112.5 cm and weigh from 3.6 to 7kg. Their lifespan is sixteen years in the wild and up to twenty years in captivity. The gray fox is an omnivore and eats mice, birds, voles, rabbits, insects, corn, fruits, nuts, and berries. They live in dense forests, in areas with rocky terrain or thick vegetation.
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 North America’s northern regions. They have a lifespan of 6 years in the wild and up to 14 years in captivity.
The hoary bat is a nocturnal vesper bat found in North America and Hawaii, where they are native mammals. They use echolocation for flying at night and for finding 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 insectivore eats moths and other insects like beetles, crickets, flies, and bugs. Some of the insects it hunts are considered pests.
The hoary bat can usually be seen alone in trees along the borders of forests. You can also see them over lakes and other open areas and in coniferous forests. Hoary bats do not like to fly until it is dark.
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 40 to 45g.
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.
The Indiana Bat is a midsize, social species of bat found in the United States’ eastern part. Their colors vary from dark brown to black. The Indiana bat measures from 4.1 to 4.9 cm and weighs about 7g.
The Indiana bat is an insectivore and eats flies, moths, bees, wasps, midges, ants, mosquitoes, and beetles. They live in wooded areas, where they can be found roosting in trees.
During the winter, the Indiana bat hangs from ceilings clustered in groups to hibernate. Their lifespan is about 14 years, and they are considered an endangered species.
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 least weasels’ pelage 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.
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 they are completely white in cold northern regions. 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 North America’s southern states. Their lifespan is up to five years.
Marsh Rice Rat
The marsh rice rat, as its name suggests, normally inhabits marshy areas. They can also be found where there is an adequate food supply of grasses and sedges.
The marsh rice rat needs a habitat where they can find a protective cover. They are approximately 245mm in length and weigh up to 70g.
They are omnivores, eating equal amounts of plant and animal matter to make up their diet. They eat marsh grasses, rice, fungus, and green vegetation. The animal part of their diet consists of insects, small crabs, fish, snails, and other small animals.
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.
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 North America’s northern part (except for the most intense polar regions). The meadow vole is an excellent swimmer and is 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.
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 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.
The muskrat is the only species of the genus Ondatra. 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 a pest because of the destruction it causes in their places and the diseases they can carry.
The fur of the muskrat is thick and short of a dark-brown color. Their tails are covered with scales that help them swim rapidly and with ease. Muskrats spend most of their time in the water and can swim underwater for up to 17 minutes. This species usually lives in a group made up of a male, female, and their offspring.
Muskrats make nests protect themselves from the cold temperatures and predators. The nests are usually burrowed with an underwater entrance.
The nine-banded armadillo is also called the long-nosed armadillo. They usually weigh between 2.5 to 6.5 kg and can reach 38-58cm in length.
They live in various habitats, from forests to more arid areas. Nine-banded armadillos do not have a strong tolerance to cold-weather but can survive in colder temperatures for several days by remaining in a burrow.
They are mainly nocturnal and solitary animals. Nine-banded armadillos are mainly insectivores but can sometimes eat small amphibians and reptiles.
Unlike the three-banded armadillo, this species cannot roll itself into a ball but can jump high when disturbed.
North American Least Shrew
The least shrew is from the eastern United States and southeastern Mexico. Their color varies from gray to brown with a lighter color on the underbody. They measure from 7 to 9 cm and weigh from 4 to 7g.
The least shrew eats carcasses, seeds, fruits, and insects and lives in grasslands with forest edges. Their lifespan is one year in the wild and 2.6 years in captivity.
Northern River Otter
The river otter is a smart, semiaquatic mammal found in the northern states. The river otter has short, very dense fur. Their colors vary from gray to brown, with a lighter underbody.
They measure from 66 to 107 cm and weighs from 5 to 14 kg. River otters are carnivores eating fish, turtles, frogs, crayfish, and insects. They live in aquatic habitats in the northern part of North America. Their lifespan is eight to nine years in the wild and fifteen to twenty years in captivity.
Northern Short-tailed Shrew
The Northern short-tailed shrew is a mammal found in the northern parts of North America. Their color is dark gray, with a lighter shade of gray on the underbody. They measure from 11 to 14 cm and weigh from 15 to 30 g.
The Northern short-tailed shrew is a carnivore eating insects, salamanders, worms, mice, snails, seeds, voles, and fungi. They can live in many habitats, including grasslands and deciduous and coniferous forests, with an expected lifespan of 1 to 3 years.
The Norway rat is also known as the brown rat. They are 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 500g.
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.
Plains Pocket Gopher
The Plains pocket gopher usually measures around 25-35 centimeters and weighs between 128 to 470 grams. The Plains pocket gophers are found along the Great North American Plains.
Plain’s pocket gophers can run backward at the same speed they can run forward, which is very unusual for any animal. Their diet is mainly vegetarian, eating roots and grass, and sometimes nuts. Plain’s pocket gophers are becoming rare due to the disappearance of their habitat.
The prairie vole is grayish-black with brownish tips to the fur. Their underbelly is lighter and generally white or cinnamon-colored. Male and female prairie voles are about the same size with a weight up to 48g and a total length of 170mm, including a tail of 40mm.
Prairie voles are one of the species that practice monogamy. Their diet consists of plant material, including leaves, seeds, and stems, although they will also eat insects. They live in tunnels underground consisting of many runways. Entrances have a layer of grass to disguise them.
The raccoon is a nocturnal midsize mammal. Their color is gray, brown, or black. They have a white face with a black mask around their 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 North America’s Central and southern states. The average lifespan of a raccoon is two to three years.
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 omnivore eating grass, 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.
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.
The Southeastern myotis is a bat found throughout the southeast of the United States. They weigh between 5-8g and has a wingspan up to 11 inches. Female bats are larger, with a length of 97mm, compared to 89mm for males.
They are gray to bright orange-brown, with males being darker than females. They have whitish tips at the end of their dark gray fur. They have long toe-hairs, which distinguishes them from other species of bats. The hair can be seen extending past the ends of their claws.
The Southeastern shrew can be found among forests, woodland, scrub, brushlands, marshes, bogs, shrubs, fields, and meadows. They are tiny, with a size up to 10 cm, and a weight of just 4g. They have brown fur with a reddish-brown tint and molt twice a year. They live up to a maximum of eighteen months. They have a litter of up to five young.
They feed on slugs, snails, centipedes, vegetation, insect larvae, and spiders. They live in the underground burrows of other animals, venturing out to find food.
Southern Bog Lemming
The Southern bog lemming is a small mammal from eastern regions of North America. Their color varies from red to dark brown and light gray on the underbody.
They measure about 13 cm long and weigh about 35 g. The Southern bog lemming eats plants, seeds, stems, and leaves. They live in grasslands, moist areas, deciduous and coniferous forests, wetlands, and marshes. Their lifespan is 29 months.
Southern Flying Squirrel
The Southern flying squirrel is a nocturnal mammal that glides from one tree to the next with membranes’ aid between its front and hind legs. They live in the western regions of North America. Their color is grayish brown, with a white underbody.
They measure from 21 to 26cm (including the tail) and weigh 45 to 82g. The Southern flying squirrel is an omnivore and eats nuts, seeds, spiders, acorns, fungi, eggs, insects, shrubs, buds, mushrooms, flowers, and fruits.
These squirrels have gray fur and whitish color in their bellies. They use a furry membrane called a patagium that extends between the front and rear legs to glide through the air.
This flying squirrel species is found in deciduous and mixed woods in the eastern regions of North America, from southeastern Canada to Florida. They have a lifespan of five to six years in the wild and ten years in captivity.
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.
The swamp rabbit is a large-sized species of a cottontail rabbit. They can usually be found in swamps and the wetlands of the southern regions of the United States, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, and South Carolina. They are also called marsh rabbits or cane-cutter rabbits.
Their dimensions can vary from 1.8 kg to 2.5 kg and around 45 cm to 55 cm in length. They spend much of their time in depressions near the water. The swamp rabbit is hunted for fur, meat, and sport and is the second most-commonly killed rabbit in the United States.
They are not quick swimmers but elude predators in the water by laying still surrounded by plants.
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
The thirteen-lined ground squirrel, also known as the striped gopher, leopard ground squirrel, or squinny, is a rodent species that inhabits grasslands and prairies. The name comes from the thirteen lines (sometimes broken into spots) alternating white and brown on these squirrels’ back and sides.
They usually measure about 170 to 297 mm in body length and weigh approximately 110 to 270 grams. Thirteen lined squirrels are diurnal and are especially active on warm days. They are solitary and feed on grass, weed, seeds, and insects. These include caterpillars, grasshoppers, and crickets. They will also feed on mice and shrews, although this is rare.
The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial found in North America. Their habitats can vary, and they are one of the species to thrive in urban areas. They prefer living close to water sources.
This medium-sized animal measures between 13-37cm in length and can weigh between 0.3-3.7 kg. They have rather short legs and typically gray or brownish fur. The Virginia Opossum is known to act as if they are dead as protection against predators.
The Virginia opossum is an omnivore eating almost anything: carcasses, garbage, plants, animals, and insects. They live in deciduous forests, farming areas, marshes, swamps, and wooded streams. Their lifespan is four years.
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 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 torpor state.
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.
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 herbivores 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.
The white-footed mouse is a timid, nocturnal mammal that lives in eastern regions of North America. Their color is reddish-brown, with a dark, broad mark on its back and a white underbody.
The white-footed mouse measures from 9 to 10 cm (without the tail) and weighs from 20 to 30g. They are omnivores eating seeds, nuts, grain, insects, fungi, and fruit. They live in warm, dry forests and semi-desert areas. Their lifespan is one year in the wild.
The woodland vole is a mammal that lives in the eastern regions of the United States. Their color is light or dark brown, with a white or gray underbody. They measure from 83 to 121 cm and weigh from 14 to 37 g.
The woodland vole is a herbivore and eats roots, nuts, seeds, and leaves. They live in deciduous forests and have a very short lifespan of three months.
Bryan Harding is a member of the American Society of Mammalogists and a member of the American Birding Association. Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Bryan serves as owner, writer, and publisher of North American Nature.