- Departments A-L
- Animal Control Department
- Information on Common Wildlife Species
Information on Common Wildlife Species
In summertime, with hot, humid weather, some Bay State homeowners may discover bats residing in their home!
Black Bears are becoming increasingly common in Massachusetts and are moving further to the east.
Beavers (Castor canadensis) are North America's largest native rodents and are a valuable component of Massachusetts' fauna. Weighing between 35 and 80 pounds as adults, they can be 2-3 feet in length, with an additional 10-18 inches for the tail.
The only wild cat now found in Massachusetts, the bobcat (Lynx rufus) is a medium sized feline approximately twice the size of a domestic house cat.
Coyotes are the size of a medium-size dog, but with longer, thicker fur. Coyotes have a long, bushy, black-tipped tail that is usually carried pointing down.
The fisher, (Martes pennanti), is one of the largest members of the Mustelid family, which includes the weasels, mink, otter, and skunk. Although very secretive and rarely seen, the fisher is found throughout Massachusetts. It's range has expanded to areas in the southeast and most recently, Cape Cod.
The gray fox is often confused with the red fox because the gray has rusty-red fur on its ears, ruffs and neck. Compared to red fox, grays have shorter muzzles and shorter ears which are usually held erect and pointed forward.
Moose are big. In the fall, an adult cow (female) moose can weigh from 500-700 pounds and a bull (male) moose will weigh anywhere from 600-1,000 pounds. They can stand up to 6 feet tall at the shoulder including legs 3½ - 4 feet in length.
Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are found throughout Massachusetts. They are extremely adaptable thriving in a wide variety of habitat types including rural, suburban and even urban neighborhoods.
The striped skunk is a common mammal found throughout the United States and southern Canada, except for some desert areas of the Southwest. Striped skunks are found throughout most of Massachusetts, except for the Elizabeth Islands and Nantucket.
Both gray and red squirrels are common and abundant in Massachusetts. Gray squirrels are found everywhere, including Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. However, red squirrels are absent from both islands.
Woodchucks (Marmota monax) are medium-sized, chunky, ground-dwelling squirrels. Woodchucks are common and abundant in Massachusetts. They are found everywhere in the state except on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
White tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), are found throughout Massachusetts including on the islands Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Deer are found throughout Massachusetts. Usually found in rural or suburban areas, they occasionally show up in cities.