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American Marten
American Marten - Martes americana, is a North American marten sometimes also called the Pine Marten, even though it is a separate species from the European Pine Marten. The American Marten has a long slender body covered in glossy brownish fur with a lighter colored throat, a long bushy tail and a pointed snout. Its claws are semi-retractable like those of cats which aid it in climbing trees. It also has very large foot pads in relation to body weight allowing it to walk on hard snow. In the 1930's, the Marten was eliminated from Michigan. Recovery for this animal began in 1958 and recently was taken off the endangered species list.
Badger
Badger - Taxidea taxus, is a North American badger, somewhat similar in appearance to the European Badger. American Badgers have a triangular face with a distinctive black and white pattern and a stocky body covered with shaggy grizzled fur. They have short powerful legs with long sharp claws on the front paws and shorter claws on the back paws. Badgers can reach 2.5 feet and weigh 30 pounds. Badgers are amazing diggers, digging holes up to 60 feet long and eat moles, skunks, squirrels and birds. When they are frightened, they will release a musky scent or a skunk like scent.
Black Bear
Black Bear - Ursus americanus, also known as the cinnamon bear, is the most common bear species native to North America. It averages about 5 feet tall with females weighing between 90 to 400 pounds and males weighing 110 to 800 pounds. The average life span is 20 to 30 years. The adult black bear has small eyes, rounded ears, a long snout, a large body, and a short tail. They have an excellent sense of smell. The Michigan Black Bear will have dark black fur. There are approximately 15,000 bears in Michigan with about 90% of them living in the Upper Peninsula. Though bears can walk on two legs, they prefer all four. Their paw consists of five claws that is sharp and powerful enough to kill an elk with one swipe. Bears eat a variety of food from grasses to carpenter ants to trout.
Bobcat
Bobcat - Lynx rufus, is a small wild cat indigenous to North America. They have reddish-brown or yellowish-brown coats that are streaked with black or dark brown and have prominent, pointed ears with a tuft of black hair at the tip and a white underparts. They generally weigh between 25 to 35 pounds. Bobcats are carnivores that typically hunt wild rabbits, hares, and rodents, but will also attempt to hunt the larger deer in winter months when other food is scarce.
Brown Bat
Brown Bat - Myotis lucifugus, is one of the most common bats of North America. The bat measures 3 to 4 inches and weighs only 6 to 12 grams. The fur is glossy and uniformly dark brown on the back and upper parts with slightly paler, grayish fur underneath. Wing membranes are dark brown on a typical wingspan of 8.7-10.6 inches. Ears are small and black. Little brown bats use echolocation to find and capture prey.
Coyote
Coyote - Canis latrans, meaning "barking dog", also prairie wolf is a member of the dog family and a relative of the domestic dog. Coyotes are native to North America and are only found in North America south to Costa Rica. From a distance, it is hard to distinguish between a German Shepard and a Coyote. They are generally nocturnal but will hunt during the day if need be. They weigh somewhere between 20 to 50 pounds with the average being 30 pounds. Coyotes eat just about anything from berries to to small mammals, including cats and dogs. Hearing a coyote is much more common than seeing one. The calls a coyote makes are high-pitched and variously described as howls, yips, yelps and barks. These calls may be a long rising and falling note (a howl) or a series of short notes (yips). These calls are most often heard at dusk or night, less often during the day. Although these calls are made throughout the year, they are most common during the spring mating season and in the fall when the pups leave their families to establish new territories.
Eastern Mole
Eastern Mole - Scalopus aquaticus, have grey-brown fur with silver gray underparts, a pointed nose and has a short tail. They are about 16 cm in length including a 3 cm long tail and weighs about 75 g. Their front paws are broad and spade-shaped, specialized for digging. They have 36 teeth. Their eyes are covered by fur and their ears are not visible. This mole spends most of its time underground, foraging in shallow burrows for earthworms, grubs, beetles, insect larvae and some plant matter. They are active year round.
Bull Elk
Elk - Cervus elaphus, is also known as red deer or wapiti. This is the second largest species of deer in the world. Elk weigh 230 to 500 to 1,000 pounds and stand 2.5-5 feet high at the shoulder. Their antlers usually measure 1 to 1.5 m across, tip to tip. Males weigh more than females, but the difference is less compared with other red deer subspecies where the males may weigh twice as much as females. In the summer they usually graze on grass and small tree sapling and green twigs. When the grass dries they chew on bigger saplings, eat mushrooms, and also eat on berries. Elk generally feed an hour before to an hour after sunset and the same at sunrise. The rest of the day they mainly stay bedded down in heavy cover and sometimes they will move around. And graze a little bit in the middle of day if they feel safe. In the fall and winter they migrate to the lower valleys and wooded slopes. And they eat dried grass and shrubs. They also eat berries and the bark off of small trees. The primary predators of adult elk in North America are humans, wolves and mountain lions. Coyotes and American black bears sometimes prey on the calves. Michigan's Elk disappeared around 1875. They reappeared in 1918 when several Elk were released in the state. As of 2006, there is believed to be anywhere from 800 to 900 in Michigan.
Fisher
Fisher - Martes pennanti, is a marten. Despite its name, this animal seldom eats fish, but is agile in trees and slender enough of body to pursue prey into hollow trees or burrows in the ground. Adults weigh between 4-15 lbs and are between 29-47 inches in length, with the males larger and heavier than the females. Their coats are darkish brown, with a black tail and legs; some individuals have a cream-colored patch on the chest. All four feet have five toes with retractable claws. Because they can rotate their hind paws 180 degrees, they can grasp limbs and climb down trees head first. Fishers are solitary hunters, feeding mainly on small herbivores such as mice, porcupines (they are the only predator to consistently hunt this quilled animal), squirrels shrews and possibly deer.
Flying Squirrel
Flying Squirrel - Glaucomys sabrinus, do not fly in the same sense as birds or bats - they do not employ powered flight. Rather, they glide by means of two flaps of skin stretched from arms to legs: once they have launched themselves into the air, they have no means of forward propulsion. They are rarely seen around the state. Michigan has two types of flying squirrels, the Northern Flying Squirrel which you would find in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula and the Lower Flying Squirrel that is found in the lower part of Michigan.
Gray Wolf
Gray Wolf or Timber Wolf - Canis lupus, is a mammal in the order Carnivora. The Gray Wolf shares a common ancestry with the domestic dog. Wolves generally range from 26 to 32 inches and weigh anywhere from 50 to over 100 pounds. Wolves eat bear, deer, insects, berries and grasses. They hunt in packs and can go up to a week without food but can eat up to 20 pounds at a time. Years ago, wolves were sparse in Michigan. In 1973, there was only six (6) reported wolves in the state. Since then, the state implemented a wolf recovery program and in 2004 there was a reported 361 in the Upper Peninsula.
Indiana Bat
Indiana Bat - Myotis sodalis, is a medium-sized, dull gray bat listed as an endangered species by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The length of the bat's head and body ranges from 1.5 to 2 inches, and the animal weighs about 1/4 of an ounce. These bats are very difficult to distinguish from other species of bat, especially the little brown bat. Less than 400,000 of these bats remain in the United States.
Meadow Vole
Meadow Vole or Field Mouse - Microtus pennsylvanicus, have chunky cylindrical bodies with short legs and a short tail which is darker on top. Their fur varies from grey-brown to dark-brown with silver-grey underparts. Their short ears are barely visible through their fur. They are 16 cm long with a 5 cm tail and weigh about 50 g. These animals are found in moist open areas. They make runways through the surface growth in warm weather and tunnel through the snow in winter. They feed on grasses, sedges and seeds, sometimes eating snails and insects.
Mink
Mink - Mustela vison, can be found in wooded areas and fields near streams and lakes. They dig burrows in river banks or take over dens abandoned by other animals. Their long slim body is covered in glossy, thick dark brown or black fur with a white patch under the chin. They have short legs with partially webbed feet, which make them excellent swimmers. Adults are 20 to 30 inches long and are bigger than weasels. They feed on small mammals, fish, crayfish, frogs and sometimes eating birds, insects and earthworms. These animals are mainly active at night and do not hibernate Their predators include coyotes, the Great Horned Owl, red foxes and wolves. They are also trapped for their fur. Their numbers have been reduced due to loss of habitat and the effects of pollution on their aquatic food supply.
Opposum
Opossum - Didelphis, are marsupials and are about the size of a house cat. When threatened or harmed, they will "play possum", mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal. The lips are drawn back, teeth are bared, saliva foams around the mouth, and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted from the anal glands. Adult opossums do not hang from trees by their tails, though babies may dangle temporarily. Their prehensile tails are not strong enough to support a mature adult's weight, though they often serve as a brace and a fifth limb when climbing. There are also confirmed accounts of the tail being used as a grip to carry bunches of leaves or bedding materials to the nest.
Rabbit
Rabbit (Cottontail) - Sylvilagus, have a stub tail with a white underside that shows when they are retreating, giving them their name "cottontails." Rabbits generally live for about 4-10 years. They are born sightless and hairless.
Racoon
Racoon - P. lotor, are unusual for their thumbs, which (though not opposable) enable them to open many closed containers doors. They are omnivores with a reputation for being clever, sly, and mischievous. Raccoons range from 20 to 40 inches in length (including the tail) and weigh between 10 and 35 pounds. The raccoon's tail ranges from 8 to 16 inches in length. Raccoons are nocturnal and omnivorous.

Red Fox

 

Red Fox Pup

Red Fox - Vulpes vulpes, is the most familiar of the foxes. It is rarely seen since it is nocturnal. The average fox stands 14 inches and may weigh 12 to 15 pounds. The fox's eyes are gold to yellow and have distinctive vertically slit pupils, similar to those of a cat. They can see just as well too, and combined with their extreme agility for a canid the Red Fox has been referred to as "the cat-like canid". Its long bushy tail with distinctive white tip provides balance for acrobatic leaps and bounds. Its strong legs allow it to reach speeds of 45 miles per hour. That amazing speed makes it easy for them to catch their prey or to outrun their predators. The Red Fox eats rodents, insects, fruits, worms, eggs, mice, birds, and other small animals. It has 42 very powerful teeth that they use to catch their food. The fox regularly consumes from 1-2 lb of food per day.
River Otter
River Otter - Lontra canadensis, are 3 to 4 feet long (including tail) and have muscular bodies with short legs, webbed toes and a long muscular tail. It can weigh between 6 and 31 pounds. River otters have a round and small head and eyes, short yet powerful legs, and have large whiskers. Otters mainly eat fish but also eat insects, frogs, and sometimes small mammals. On occasion some larger river otters will attack and kill water birds such as ducks, geese, and even herons. They are capable of swimming in circle, which creates a whirlpool-like motion that brings fish from the bottom of the water up to the top.
Skunk
Skunk - Mephitis, vary in size from about 15.6 inches to 27 inches and in weight from about 1 pound to 10 pounds. Although the most common fur color is black and white, some skunks are brown or gray, and a few are cream-colored. All skunks are striped, however, even from birth. They may have a single thick stripe across back and tail, two thinner stripes, or a series of white spots and broken stripes. Some also have stripes on their legs. They have two glands, on either side of the anus, that produce a mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals that has a highly offensive smell. The odor of the fluid is strong enough to ward off bears and other potential attackers, and can be difficult to remove from clothing. Muscles located next to the scent glands allow them to spray with high accuracy as far as 7 to 10 feet. Skunks are omnivorous eating both plant and animal but mostly meat. In the wild, skunks forage for food, and in settled areas also seek human garbage.
Water Shrew
Water Shrew - Sorex palustris, is a large North American shrew found in aquatic habitats. This animal is dark gray in color with lighter underparts with a long tail. Air bubbles are trapped in the thick fur when the animal dives underwater. Its feet have a fringe of hairs, more visible on the larger hind feet, which allow this animal to run on the water's surface. Its body is about 15 cm in length including an 8 cm long tail and it weighs about 13 g. These animals are found near lakes and streams. These animals are active during the day but are more active at night. They are generally solitary and territorial except during mating. They generally live 18 months.
Weasel
Weasel - Mustela nivalis, are long and slender. They vary in length from 6 to 14 inches, and usually have a light brown upper coat, white belly and black fur at the tip of the tail. Their tails are typically almost as long as the rest of their bodies. As is typical of small carnivores, weasels have a reputation for cleverness and guile. Weasels are used as a derogatory metaphor because they poke small holes into eggs and eat the yolk. The mother bird never realizes the theft and continues to sit on the empty eggs.
Woodchuck/Groundhog
Woodchuck or Groundhog - Marmota monax, are typically 17 to 26 inches long (including a 15 cm tail). In areas with fewer natural predators and large quantities of alfalfa, they can grow to 32 inches and 30 pounds. They can live up to six years in the wild, and ten years in captivity. Groundhogs are excellent burrowers, using burrows for sleeping, rearing young, and hibernating. The burrows generally have two exits, and the groundhog rarely ventures far from one of them for safety.

Whitetail Deer

 

Fawn

Whitetail Deer - Odocoileus virginianus, also known as the Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer found throughout most of the continental United States. The male (buck) usually weighs from 130 to 220 pounds but, in rare cases, animals in excess of 350 pounds have been recorded. The female (doe) usually weighs from 90 to 130 pounds, but some can weigh as much as 165 to 175 pounds. The deer's coat is a reddish-brown in the spring and summer, and turns to a grey-brown throughout the fall and winter. Males one year of age or older have antlers. Antlers begin to grow in early spring, covered with a highly vascularised tissue known as velvet. Bucks shed their antlers when all females have been bred, usually in late December or January. "White-tailed" refers to the distinctive white tail that when raised is a flag and provides a flash of white, signaling other deer when there is danger. Deer are graceful and swift runners (up to 35 miles per hour), but do not generally run long distances. You can find the Whitetail Deer in any county in Michigan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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