Mammals of Maine

ORDER/Family Common name Species Name Status Distribution Slide Library Mamm. Species # Comments
Soricidae (Shrews) Masked Shrew Sorex cinereus common statewide     Likes moist areas in fields, brushlands and forests.
  Water Shrew Sorex palustris common statewide   296 Lives in aquatic habitats, particularly in mountainous areas.  Eats aquatic insects.
  Smoky Shrew Sorex fumeus uncommon statewide   215 Prefers damp, shaded forests.
  Long-tailed Shrew                        Sorex dispar sp. concern mountains, Northern ME   155 Generally found in rocky areas.
  Thompson's Pygmy Shrew Sorex hoyi uncommon statewide 495 33 Considered by some in genus Sorex.  Burrows in loose soil.
  Northern Short-tailed Shrew Blarina brevicauda common statewide 20, 644(S) 261 Not habitat specific, very venomous saliva.
Talpidae (Moles) Hairy-tailed Mole Parascalops breweri common Southern Me 646(S), 852 98 Likes drier soils; as name implies, has fur on tail.
  Star-nosed Mole Condylura cristata common statewide 649(C), 650 (B) 129 Likes wet soils, even eats aquatic insects.
CHIROPTERA (Bats)              
Vespertilionidae Little Brown Bat Myotis lucifugus common statewide 224, 225(G), 814(G) 142 Lives in hollow trees, buildings , caves and mines.
  Northern Long-eared Bat Myotis septentrionalis common statewide     Resembles Little Brown in appearance and habits, silky fur. Until recently classified with Keen's bat.
  Small-footed Bat Myotis leibii sp. concern Southern Me 226   Small feet, golden brown, black ears and face mask.
  Silver-haired Bat Lasionycteris noctivagans sp. concern statewide 658 172 Brown, silvery throat, neck and head.  Likes conifers, water.
  Eastern Pipistrelle Pipistrellus subflavus sp. concern South,  Mts. 38, 654(C) 228 Reddish brown back, yellowish belly.
  Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus common statewide 39(C)223    356 Large, eats mainly beetles.
  Red Bat Lasiurus borealis sp. concern statewide 40, 655(C), 815 183 Brick-red to buffy orange.  Catch insects on electric lights.
  Hoary Bat Lasiurus cinereus sp. concern statewide 41, 42, 656 185 Large, eats a variety of insects, migratory.
LAGOMORPHA (Hares and Rabbits)               
Leporidae New England Cottontail Sylvilagus transitionalis sp. concern Southern        55 Prefers scrub or shrub habitat.
  Varying or Snowshoe Hare Lepus americanus common statewide 246, 544(P)   Varies color for seasons, large hind feet keep it on snow.
Sciuridae (Squirrels) Eastern Chipmunk Tamias striatus common statewide 110, 259(AB) 168 Can climb trees, may be seen for short periods in winter.
  Woodchuck Marmota monax common statewide 107   Can climb trees, agricultural pests. No closed season.
  Gray Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis common S. 2/3 of Me.                    94, 95P 480 Can be black or white (albino) or vary brown spots yearly.
  Red Squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus common statewide 111,260, 826,827 (H)   Prefer to feed on seeds in cones.  Readily "scold" people.
  Southern Flying Squirrel Glaucomys volans sp. concern few in S. Me.     1021,F101, 1022(B) 78 Has membranes from wrists to ankles for gliding.
  Northern Flying Squirrel Glaucomys sabrinus common statewide 1020 229 Common but seldom seen because it is nocturnal.
Castoridae Beaver Castor canadensis common statewide  247(H),  248(H), 408, 409(H),  410(H), 1239 120 Beaver activity creates habitat for other species of plants and animals.
Muridae (rats, mice, voles, lemmings) Deer Mouse Peromyscus maniculatus common statewide 74, 1175   Difficult to distinguish from white-footed mouse. The bottom of the tail is white, the overall color grayish.
  White-footed mouse Peromyscus leucopus common Southern and Central Me. 73,  251(A), 1174 247 Fur is reddish rather than grayish, top and bottom of tail usually the same color.
  Southern Red-backed Vole Clethrionomys gapperi common statewide 69 146 Chestnut colored back on gray body.  Climbs, runs, jumps and swims well.
  Meadow Vole Microtus pennsylvanicus common statewide 70 159 The common "field mouse."  Usually brown, round face, short ears and short tail.
  Penobscot Meadow Vole Microtus pennsylvanicus shattucki sp. concern Coastal Is.     Localized subspecies of meadow vole.
  Rock or Yellow-Nosed Vole Microtus chrotorrhinus sp. concern statewide 250(C) 180 As name implies, lives in rocky areas.
  Woodland Vole Microtus pinetorum common South and Western Me.   147  Lives in leaf litter.
  Muskrat Ondatra zibethicus common statewide 1162, 1163(H) 141 Often confused with beaver.  Smaller than beaver.  Long tail "snakes" behind the animal as it swims.
  Southern Bog Lemming Synaptomys cooperi common statewide 682 210 Like many other small rodents, it builds runways.  These it litters with green droppings.  Eats sedges and grasses.
  Northern Bog Lemming Synaptomys borealis threatened Western and Northern Me.     Takes an expert to differentiate it from Southern Bog Lemming.
  Black Rat Rattus rattus common, introduced Southern Maine 759,  760(B)   Frequents buildings, does not require soil for burrowing.
  Norway Rat Rattus norvegicus common, introduced statewide 755(W), 756(B),   757(B), 758   Burrows, frequents cities, eats anything edible.  Albino strain used in biological and medical laboratories.
  House Mouse Mus musculus common, introduced statewide F23 92, 754   Usually around buildings.  Though generally detrimental, an albino strain is used in laboratories.
Zapodidae (Jumping Mice) Meadow Jumping Mouse Zapushudsonius common statewide   11 Can jump almost a meter, changing direction abruptly.
  Woodland Jumping Mouse   Napaeozapus insignis     common statewide 113 14 Lives in coniferous, deciduous and mixed forests.
Erethizontidae (Porcupines) Porcupine Erethizon dorsatum common statewide 83,  870(Y) 29 Do not shoot their quills, but drive them into tormentors with a flick of their tail.  Cause economic damage by gnawing.
CETACEA (Whales and Dolphins)              
Delphinidae (Dolphins) Long Finned Pilot Whale Globicephala melas unknown Gulf of Me. 929,930    
  White-Sided Dolphin Lagenorhyncus acutus unknown Gulf of Me.      
  Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis unknown Cont. shelf 579    
Ziphiidae (Beaked Whales) Cuvier's Beaked Whale Ziphius cavirostris unknown Cont. shelf      
  Mesoplodon Beaked Whales Mesoplodon spp. unkown Cont. shelf   250  
Balaenidae (Right Whales) North Atlantic Right Whale Eubalaena glacialis endangered Coastal Me.     Summer in Me., Bay Of Fundy; were considered the "right" whale to hunt because they float when dead.
Phocoenidae (Porpoises) Harbor Porpoise Phocoena phocoena rare Gulf of Me. 1130 42 Becomes entangled in fishing nets, 6 ft..
Physeteridae Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus endangered Atlantic     Fine lubricant made from oil, 60 ft. or more.
Balaenopteridae (baleen whales) Sei Whale Balaenoptera borealis endangered Cont. shelf 577    
  Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata common Atlantic     Smallest of baleen whales, fast, 30 ft..
  Fin(back) Whale Balaenoptera physalus endangered Atlantic 769(A)   Second largest whale, longer than 70 ft., very fast.
  Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus endangered Atlantic 578,  808(A), 1215(S),  1216(S)   Largest animal ever to have lived, 100 ft., very rare.
  Humpback Whale Megaptera novaengliae endangered Atlantic 575,     576 (B),  698(B), 768(AB)   Most active for whale watchers, 50 ft., very long flippers.  Individual animals can be identified by patterns on underside of tail (flukes).
Canidae (dogs) Eastern Coyote Canis latrans common statewide 265(C), 1126, 1127, 1267 79 Larger than western coyote.  Has expanded range into Maine since 1976.
  Gray Wolf Canis lupus occasional visitor extirpated 581, 1038(P), 1128 37 Considered ancestor of domestic dog, social.  Current presence in Maine uncertain.
  Red Fox Vulpes vulpes common statewide 435(W), 436(Y), 582   White tip on tail, has several color phases.  Eats rodents.
  Gray Fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus common Southern and Western Me. 584 189 Black stripe on upper tail, climbs trees!
Ursidae (Bears) American Black Bear Ursus americanus common statewide 142(C), 1132(S)   Usually not aggressive, adults climb trees
Procyonidae (Raccoons) Raccoon Procyon lotor common statewide 140,   709(S) 119 Nocturnal, omnivorous, sometimes, not always "wash" their food
Mustelidae (weasels) Marten Martes americana common Northern Me.   289 Prefers coniferous forests; dens in rock and tree hollows.
  Fisher Martes pennanti common statewide 590(C) 156 Successfully preys on porcupines.
  Ermine Mustela ermina common statewide 588(P) 195 Varies color seasonally.
  Long-tail weasel Mustela frenata common statewide     Like all weasels, beneficial.  Kills rodents.
  Mink Mustela vison common statewide 1129   Lives near water, eats other vertebrates.
  Striped Skunk Mephitis mephitis common statewide 280 173 Nocturnal, omnivorous, beneficial
  River Otter Lontra canadensis common statewide 802(AC),   859(G)   Playful, eats fish
Felidae (cats) Mountain Lion Felis concolor endangered extirpated 275,276,  586(C) 200 Unofficial reports of tracks or sightings are probably escapes from captivity.
  Lynx Lynx canadensis sp. concern northern and western Me. 587   Larger than bobcat, longer ear tufts,  black tip of tail and larger feet.
  Bobcat Lynx rufus common statewide 819       Found at higher elevations away from people.  Sometimes overwinter in barns.
PINNIPEDIA (seals, sea lions)              
Phocidae (true seals) Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina common coastal 135,  594(C), 1131   Not associated with ice. Resident all year, pup in May
  Harp Seal Phoca groenlandica common Gulf of Me.     Winter visitor.
  Gray Seal Halichoreus grypus uncommon coastal 454(FM)   Larger than harbor seal, with "Roman Nose." Resident all year, pup in January.
  Hooded Seal Cystophora cristata uncommon Gulf of Me.   258 Associated with ice, male has inflatable pouch over nose.  Winter visitor.
ARTIODACTYLA (Even-toed ungulates)              
Cervidae (deer) White-Tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus common statewide 185(F), 186(A), 803(M), 1279(M) 388 Abandoned farms provide much habitat.
  E. Woodland caribou Rangifer tarundus extirpated       Differs from smaller barren ground caribou, related to reindeer of northern Europe.
  Elk Cervus elaphus extirpated       Second largest of deer family, very short tail.
  Moose Alces alces common statewide 192(M), 618(CM) 154 Largest of deer family, often eat aquatic plants.
Compiled by Andy Joachim
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