Which Mammals Live In Iowa?


Iowa has a range of habitats that are home to many types of small and large mammals. In this article we look at which mammals live in Iowa?

Iowa is full of prairies, grasslands and savanna’s which are home to many species of mammal. Iowa is home to species of squirrel, rodents, bats, armadillo, raccoon, badger and deer that live alongside coyotes and bobcats.

For more information on which mammals live in Iowa please read on.

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 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 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.

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.

Big Free-tailed Bat 

The big free-tailed bat is a species of bat which is native to North America. Their ranges are various and extensive. 

The big free-tailed bats do not migrate and prefer to live at elevations that are below 2600 meters above sea level. 

These bats are large, with a wingspan of about 417 to 436 mm in length and a body mass of 20.6 grams on average. 

Their fur is glossy and can vary in color ranging from reddish-brown to dark brown and blackish. They are rapid in the air. As with many other bats, big free-tailed bats are nocturnal insectivores.

Black-tailed Prairie Dog 

The black-tailed prairie dog can weigh between 700 to 1400 grams and measure 36 to 43 cm in length. 

The black-tailed prairie dog is a species of rodent and can be found in the Great Plains of North America.

 In contrast to the other prairie dog species, the black-tailed prairie dog does not hibernate. 

Their fur is tan in color, with the underparts being lighter. The tails present darker tips which give the name to the species.

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.

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.

coyote

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.

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).

Eastern Chipmunk

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 chipmunks underbody has a 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. 

Eastern Chipmunk

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.

Eastern Cottontail

The Eastern cottontail is a solitary, mostly nocturnal rabbit that lives in the southeast of the United States, and parts of 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 Mole

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. This carnivore 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. Although they control the number of insects in a given location they can cause damage to gardens and yards.

Eastern Pipistrelle

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 are 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.  

Ermine

The ermine is a solitary weasel that lives in the northern part of the continent. 

Ermine

Their color is dark brown on the back and white on the underbody during the summer. In winter, their color changes to almost pure white. 

The ermine measures from 17 to 32 cm and weigh about 260 g.  The ermine is a carnivore that eats mainly rodents but will also eat birds, fish, amphibians, small reptiles, and insects. 

They live in taigas and tundras, with a lifespan of four to six years in the wild.

Evening Bat

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, which weighs 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 when compared to other bats that live longer.

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.

Franklin’s Ground Squirrel

Franklin’s ground squirrel is a species of 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.

Gray Fox

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.

Hispid Cotton Rat

The hispid cotton rat can be found in the southern states of North America.  They grow up to 340 mm long with a tail up to 120mm, with a weight up to 225 grams.  

The hispid cotton rat lives in tall-grass areas, nesting in underground burrows or in clumps of grass or piles of brush above ground.  

They construct globe-like nests, which are about 12 cm in diameter made up of weeds and grasses.  

They feed on plant material, but will also eat the eggs of birds that are ground-nesting.  

They are rated as least concern due to large litters which can be up to ten but on average are five.  

They can give birth to as many as nine litters a year, with a gestation period of 27 days.

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.

Hoary Bat

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.

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 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.

Indiana Bat

The Indiana Bat is a midsize, social species of bat found in the eastern part of the United States. 

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 are considered an endangered species.

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 live in grasslands with forest edges. Their lifespan is one year in the wild and 2.6 years in captivity.

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-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.

Mexican Free-tailed Bat

The Mexican free-tailed bat is also referred to as the Brazilian free-tailed bat.  They are a medium-sized bat which is regarded as one of the most common species of mammals in North America. 

They tend to roost in huge numbers in a few locations. These bats tend to be typically 9 cm in length and weigh around 7 to 12 grams. 

They are characterized by wide, rounded ears which almost meet at the front of their face. Males have larger canines than females and are usually larger. 

Mexican free-tailed bats are found in most of the southern regions of the United States.

They primarily roost in caves, with some very large colonies consisting of millions of bats in Texas.

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.

Nine-banded Armadillo 

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 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.

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. 

Northern Grasshopper Mouse

The Northern grasshopper mouse is the largest of the three species of grasshopper mouse in North America.  

They have a weight up to 49g and a total length of 190mm including a tail up to 62mm.

The Northern grasshopper mouse has long fingers and claws which they use to grab their prey.  They are insectivores and carnivores and will use their long fingers to help eat grasshoppers and beetles. 

They also have a distinctive vocalization that sounds like a howl.  This sound can be picked up by humans.  The sound is used to convey information such as size, sex and location to other grasshopper mice.

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. 

River otter

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.

Norway Rat

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 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.

Nutria

The nutria is very similar in appearance to a beaver.  They have light to dark-brown fur, and are also aquatic.  

Unlike the beaver, their rounded tails have fewer hairs which are not as flat or wide.  

Nutria are about one-third the size of an adult beaver. 

Nutria are sometimes misidentified as a large muskrat, although they are over five times the size.  The tail of a muskrat, like a beaver lays flat, although more triangular.  

Nutria have long white whiskers unlike beavers and muskrats which have black whiskers.

Nutria can weigh up to 20 lbs with a body length up to 2 ft.  Their tails are long at 1-1.5 ft long, and have webbed hind feet.

They can be destructive, causing damage through burrowing.  The damage can erode river banks, cause flood-control levees to breech and weaken.  

Nutria also cause damage to the plants in their environment as well.  They eat up to 25% of their body weight per day but destroy and waste approximately ten times as much again.  

The damage they cause can threaten rare populations of other animals which rely on these habitats, as well as livelihoods of agricultural farms.

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. Plains pocket gophers are becoming rare due to the disappearance of their habitat.

Plains Pocket Mouse 

The Plains pocket mouse is a small-sized species.  Half of their length is made up by their long tail. 

Their tail can reach up to 13 cm, and they have an average total body length of 26cm. The weight of these mice is around 13 grams. 

The Plains pocket mouse can be found in North Dakota, northern Texas, Utah, southwestern Minnesota, Colorado and the Mexican state of Chihuahua. 

Their habitat is usually characterized by sandy soil. Plains Pocket Mice are fairly common animals.

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. 

raccoon digging

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 Bat

The 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.  They do not hibernate, chosing to stay in the same regions all year.  

They are prioritized as least concern by the IUCN. 

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.

Richardson’s Ground Squirrel

Richardson’s Ground Squirrel is also known as the Dakota or Flickertail squirrel.  They are a species of ground squirrel native to North America. 

The name comes from the Scottish naturalist Sir John Richardson. 

These squirrels commonly inhabit short grass prairies and are mainly found in the northern regions of the United States, including North Dakota and Montana. They can also be found in Canada, in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

Richardson’s squirrels usually live in short grass prairies but have adapted to suburban environments. 

Richardson’s Ground Squirrels are about 30 cm long in body length, and males generally weigh around 350 to 450 grams while females are lighter, with a body mass spanning between 200 and 275 grams. 

These squirrels are sociable and organize their social structure around female kinship.

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.

Southern Bog Lemming

The Southern bog lemming is a small mammal from eastern regions of North America. 

Bog lemming

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 the aid of membranes 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 from 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. 

They live in deciduous forests, with a lifespan of five to six years in the wild and ten years in captivity.

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.

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.

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel 

The thirteen-lined ground squirrel, also known as the striped gopher, leopard ground squirrel or squinny is a species of rodent that inhabits grasslands and prairies of North America. 

The name comes from the thirteen lines (sometimes broken into spots) alternating white and brown on the back and sides of these squirrels. 

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.

Virginia Opossum 

The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial found in North America. Their habitats can vary and are one of the species to thrive in urban areas.  They prefer living close to water sources. 

opossum in winter

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. 

This animal 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 Gray Squirrel 

The western gray squirrel is also known as the silver-gray squirrel, the California gray squirrel, the Oregon gray squirrel, the Columbian gray squirrel or the banner tail squirrel. 

They are mainly found in California and central Washington, as well as in Baja California.

 As with other squirrels, this species has four toes in the front feet and five on the back feet. 

Their mass varies between 350 and 1000 grams, with a total body length of 43 to 61 cm.

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. 

White tailed deer

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.

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.

White-footed Mouse

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.

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. 

The white-tailed jackrabbit is 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.

Woodchuck

The woodchuck, also known as the groundhog or the red monk, is typical of the eastern regions of the United States, Canada, and Alaska. 

Males are usually bigger than females, but their weight changes considerably across different seasons. Generally, they measure 42 to 68.5 cm, although their weight ranges during the year from 2 to 6.5 kilos. 

They are a diurnal animal that on average lives two to three years. They enjoy staying in the open air, and they are very territorial animals that live in colonies.

Woodland Vole

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

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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