Mammals of Minnesota




Common Name

Species Name



Mammal Image Library #s

Mammalian Species #

IUCN Status





MN Notes

MN Citations

Rodentia Muridae Prairie Vole Microtus ochrogaster Lower Risk Northern and Central Great Plains - EC Alberta to S Manitoba, Canada; south to N Texas Panhandle, SW Oklahoma and Arkansas; eastwards to C Tennessee, westernmost West Virginia, and W Ohio; relictual populations in C Colorado, N New Mexico and coastal prairies of SW Louisiana and adjacent Texas 1160 355         Most active at dawn or dusk. Unlike most voles, forms monogamous pairs that share a nest; both parents care for young and defend their home range. Older offspring may remain with parents and help tend a new litter. Habitat is prairies, grasslands and agricultural areas, usually on dry sandy soils at lower elevations.    
Rodentia Muridae Meadow Vole Microtus pennsylvanicus U.S. ESA - Endangered as M. p. dukecampbelli; IUCN - Vulnerable as M. p. dukecampbelli, Lower Risk (nt) as M. p. admiraltiae, M. p. kincaidi, M. p. provectus and M. p. shattucki, not evaluated as M. p. chihuahuensis, otherwise Lower Risk (lc) Meadowlands interspersed across boreal and mixed coniferous-deciduous biomes of North America: C Alaska to Labrador, including Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, Canada; south in Rocky Mountains to N New Mexico, in Great Plains to N Kansas, and in Appalachians and along eastern seaboard to N Georgia and South Carolina; outlier populations in W New Mexico and peninsular Florida, and in N Chihuahua, Mexico 70 159         Active night or day; swims well but cannot climb. Highly prolific: breeds March-November or year-round; litter size is about 6; one female can have 17 litters per year (in captivity). Aggressive when caught, does not hesitate to bite. Habitat is damp meadows, roadsides, orchards and other areas with a thick cover of lush grass.    
Rodentia Muridae Woodland Vole Microtus pinetorum Lower Risk Temperate deciduous forest zone of E USA - eastern shoreline from S Maine to NC Florida, west to C Wisconsin and E Texas; isolated population on the Edwards Plateau, C Texas, may be extinct   147         Mainly subterranean; makes burrows under leaf litter or in shallow soil, only emerging to race to another burrow. Lives in small family groups and is usually monogamous. Habitat is deciduous forest with thick leaf litter, grassy patches in woodlands or orchards and dense brush. Favors areas with sandy soils.    
Rodentia Muridae Bushy-tailed Woodrat Neotoma cinerea Lower Risk SE Yukon and westernmost Northwest Territories, south through Alaskan Panhandle, British Columbia and W Alberta, Canada; in W USA, from Washington to W Dakotas as far south as EC California, S Nevada, N Arizona, and NW New Mexico 1166, 1351 564         Adapted for cool climates, using its busy tail as a wrap in cold weather; cannot survive high temperatures. Seldom constructs an elaborate house, but will accumulate mounds of sticks and other rubbish around the nest site. Lives on rocky outcrops, talus slopes, caves and cliffs, in canyons and mountainous areas.    
Rodentia Muridae Common Muskrat Ondatra zibethicus Data Deficient as O. z. ripensis, otherwise Lower Risk (lc) North America, north to the tree line, including Newfoundland; south to the Gulf of Mexico, Rio Grande and lower Colorado River valleys. Introduced to Czech Republic in 1905 and now widespread in the Palearctic, including C and N Europe, most of Ukraine, Russia and Siberia, adjacent parts of Mongolia and scattered through China, NE Korea, and Honshu Island, Japan; also into southernmost Argentina 1162, 1163 141         Mainly nocturnal, but also active on overcast or rainy days; more likely to be seen by day than other large semiaquatic rodents. Swims well and is more buoyant than a beaver. Habitat is shallow marshes with abundant cattails; less common along streams or in wooded swamps.    
Rodentia Muridae Northern Grasshopper Mouse Onychomys leucogaster Data Deficient as O. l. durranti, otherwise Lower Risk (lc) S Alberta, S Saskatchewan, and SW Manitoba, Canada, south through much of Great Plains and Great Basin region of USA, to NC Sonora and N Tamaulipas, Mexico 253, 1017, 1169 87         Nocturnal; most active on dark moonless nights. Much more carnivorous than most mice, taking large scorpions and beetles and some small vertebrates; also eats seeds and plant material. Mostly very solitary. Habitat is deserts, grasslands, prairies and shrub steppe; favors areas with rather sparse vegetation and sandy soils.    
Rodentia Muridae Southern Red-backed Vole Clethrionomys gapperi Data Deficient as M. g. solus, Lower Risk (nt) as C. g. maurus, otherwise Lower Risk (lc) Most of Canada from N British Columbia to Labrador, excluding Newfoundland; south in the Appalachians to N Georgia and NW South Carolina, in the Great Plains to N Iowa, and in the Rockies to C New Mexico and EC Arizona; extralimital isolates in NW and E Pennsylvania and S New Jersey 69 146?         Active at any time, but tends to be more diurnal in winter and mainly nocturnal in summer. Travels under leaf litter and fallen logs but does not construct an underground burrow system. Lives in damp forests with fallen logs, also mountain meadows, clear-cuts and bogs.    
Rodentia Muridae White-footed Deermouse Peromyscus leucopus Data Deficient as P. l. ammodytes, otherwise Lower Risk S Alberta to S Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, Canada; throughout much of C and E USA, excluding Florida; southwards to N Durango and along Caribbean coast to Isthmus of Tehuantepec and NW Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico 73, 251, 1174 247         Mainly terrestrial, but climbs well and may forage or nest well above the ground. Swims well, occupies many islands in lakes. Habitat is deciduous and mixed forests, hedgerows, brushy areas, croplands and dry semidesert regions in the Southwest.    
Rodentia Muridae North American Deermouse Peromyscus maniculatus Lower Risk (nt) as P. m. anacapae and P. m. clemintis, otherwise Lower Risk (lc) Panhandle of Alaska and across N Canada, south through most of continental USA, excluding the SE and E seaboard, to southernmost Baja California Sur and to NC Oaxaca, Mexico; including many land bridge islands 74, 1175           Woodland forms climb very well and are semi-arboreal. Feeds on seeds, fruit, insects, subterranean fungi and other foods; stores excess in caches. Occupies almost every habitat type, from boreal forest and tundra to desert, prairies, swamps and high mountains.    
Rodentia Muridae Western Harvest Mouse Reithrodontomys megalotis Lower Risk SC British Columbia and SE Alberta, Canada; through much of W and NC USA; south to N Baja California Norte and through interior Mexico to C Oaxaca 1018 167         Feeds on small seeds, moth larvae, beetles and other insects. Nests are usually well concealed on the ground or low in vegetation. Prefers wet meadows and overgrown fields; also found in dry areas and clearing in forests.    
Rodentia Muridae Southern Bog Lemming Synaptomys cooperi Extinct as S. c. paludis and S. c. relictus, otherwise Lower Risk (lc) Midwestern and E USA through SE Canada, including Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island; as far south as W North Carolina and NE Arkansas; outlying populations in SW Kansas, W Nebraska, and the Dismal Swamp region of SE Virginia-NE North Carolina 682 210         Mainly nocturnal, sometimes active by day. Eats mostly grass and sedges, also some fungi, berries and moss. Lives in colonies of 3-30. Habitat is variable, but usually in or near green grass and sedge; found around sphagnum bogs, in dense woodlands, spruce-fir forest and in dry bluegrass fields. This species might be more abundant, but they're more difficult to trap than other small mammals.  
Rodentia Sciuridae Eastern fox squirrel Sciurus niger   Texas north to Manitoba, east to the Atlantic Coast. 96, 880, 1644, 1645 479   introduced population          
Rodentia Sciuridae Least chipmunk Tamias minimus   North central states including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and northern Michigan.  Also occupies much of the Rocky Mountains and western Great Plains. 108 653 Least concern            
Rodentia Sciuridae Eastern chipmunk Tamias striatus   Eastern United States; Louisiana north to southern Manitoba and Nova Scotia east to the Atlantic Coast. 110, 259 168 Least concern            
Rodentia Sciuridae North American red squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus   Alaska and throughout Canada; northeastern United States, south to northwestern South Carolina. 111, 260, 826, 827 586 Least concern            
Rodentia Heteromyidae Plains Pocket Mouse Perognathus flavescens   Great Plains and intermountain basins from Minnesota and northern Utah (USA) to N Chihuahua (Mexico). 694, 1337 525 Lower Risk (lc)   Eats seeds of grass, sedge, forbs and corn; also eats insects and tree seeds. Habitat is sand dunes and sandy washes in grasslands and sagebrush; also edges of agricultural areas and open stands of conifers. Reviewed by Williams (1978b).  Hoffmeister (1986) considered apache a distinct species.  Subspecies reviewed by Williams et al. (1993).  Will climb vegetation when foraging.    
Rodentia Muridae House Mouse Mus musculus Lower risk Every state in the United States. 92, 754                
Rodentia Muridae Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus Lower risk Scattered across the United States but very scarce, in not absent, from the Rocky Mountains (might looks this way because of sampling effort). 755, 756, 757, 758                
Rodentia Sciuridae Northern flying squirrel Glaucomys sabrinus   Alaska and Canada, northwestern United States to southern California and western South Dakota, northeastern United States to southern Appalachian Mountains. 1020 229 Least concern            
Rodentia Sciuridae Southern flying squirrel Glaucomys volans   Eastern half f the United States from southern Canada to Florida. 1021, 1022 78 Least concern       subspecies G. v. saturates occurs throughout; G. v. texensis possibly occurs in extreme SW corner; G. v. volans possibly occurs in extreme northern counties    
Rodentia Sciuridae Thirteen-lined ground squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatus   Great Plains, from central Texas to eastern Utah, Ohio, and south central Canada. 103, 573 103 Least concern            
Rodentia Sciuridae Woodchuck Marmota monax   From eastern Oklahoma, northern Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia north to Canada over to Alaska and possibly south into northern Idaho. 107 591 Least concern            
Rodentia Sciuridae Franklin's ground squirrel Poliocitellus franklinii   Northern Great Plains; south central Canada south to Kansas, Illinois, and Indiana. 104 724 Least concern            
Rodentia Sciuridae Eastern gray squirrel Sciurus carolinensis   Eastern Texas north to Saskatchewan Canada and east to the Atlantic Coast. 94, 95 480 Least concern       subspecies is S. c. carolinensis    
Rodentia Sciuridae Richardson's ground squirrel Urocitellus richardsonii   Northern Great Plains; southwestern Canada, North Dakota, Northeastern South Dakota, western Minnesota, and northwestern Iowa.   243 Least concern            
Carnivora Canidae Eastern Coyote Canis latrans Common Throughout continental US. 265 (C), 1126, 1127 (B), 1267 79         Larger than western coyote.    
Carnivora Canidae Grey Wolf Canis lupus Endangered in most states, recovering in others Northwest and Great Lakes area. 581, 1038 (P), 1128 37         Social, ancestor of the domestic dog.    
Carnivora Canidae Red Fox Vulpes vulpes Common Throughout the US except in the southwest. 435 (W), 436 (Y), 582 537         This species helps keep small mammal populations in check; white tail tip.    
Carnivora Canidae Grey Fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus Common Nationwide except for the northwest. 584 189         Black dorsal stripe on tail; climbs trees. Only member of the dog family that can climb trees  
Carnivora Ursidae Black Bear Ursus americanus Common Northeast, Great Lakes region, Appalachians, Arkansas and west; Alaska and northern Canada but absent in Nevada and Great Plains.  Southern distributions spotty into Mexico. 142 (C),1132 (S) 647         Usually not aggressive. Adults climb trees.   Black color most common, cinnamon and white phases also exist.    
Carnivora Mustelidae American Marten Martes americana Common within range Extreme northern New England, mountain ranges of western US, Canada, and Alaska.   289         Found in isolated pockets of habitat.    
Carnivora Mustelidae Fisher Martes pennanti Common Southern Canada to northeastern and midwestern US. 590 (C) 156         Larger and less arboreal than martens.  Successfully preys on porcupines. One of the few animals that can kill porcupines  
Carnivora Mustelidae Ermine or Short-tailed Weasel Mustela erminea Common All of Canada, northeastern US, Great Lakes region, northwestern US. 588 (P), 1051 (P) 195         Color varies seasonally, mainly eats rodents and young rabbits, as well as small vertebrates and invertebrates.  Nocturnal. Changes color seasonally  
Carnivora Mustelidae Long-tailed weasel Mustela frenata Common Southwestern Canada, everywhere south of Canada/US border to South America except arid desert areas of southwest US and northwest Mexico. 1348 570         Prefers rodents, but feeds on a broad array of small vertebrates.  Agile swimmer.  Northern populations vary in color seasonally, but not southern populations. Changes color seasonally  
Carnivora Mustelidae Least Weasel Mustela nivalis Common Alaska, Midwest, Great Lakes, and (No Suggestions) states. 440, 1214, 1350 454         Avoids woodlands.  Active at all times of day and all times of the year.  Northern populations vary in color seasonally, southern populations do not.  Females have more than one litter per year. Changes color seasonally  
Carnivora Mustelidae American Mink Neovison vison Common Alaska and contiguous 48 states, except for arid west and southwest. 1129 608         Though taken for their fur, ranched mink have relieved the pressure on wild ones.  Mink eat crayfish, fish, frogs, and small rodents along with any other animals they can capture and kill. Good swimmer  
Carnivora Mustelidae American Badger Taxidea taxus Common within range Western and central North America, from central Canada to central Mexico. 701 (C), 702 (A), 703 (H) 26         Because of their secretive and fossorial (digging) habits badgers are not often seen.  Persecuted by humans, though sometimes inadvertently when taking poisoned meat meant for wolves and coyotes.    
Carnivora Mustelidae Northern River Otter Lontra canadensis Common in the northern part of its range, uncommon to extirpated in southern parts of its range. Alaska and most of the continental US except for much of the southwestern continental US. 802 (A), 859 (W) 587         Playful, likes to slide on the snow.  Eats fish and other aquatic or amphibious animals.    
Carnivora Mephitidae Eastern Spotted Skunk Spilogale putorius Unknown Central and southeastern continental US.   511         Other than what is known about skunks in general, not much is known about this species specifically.    
Carnivora Mephitidae Striped Skunk Mephitis mephitis Common Throughout continental US except a small area in southern California, Nevada, and Arizona. 280 173         Sometimes de-scented and kept as pets (not recommended).  Good "mouser" and will use cat litter boxes.    
Carnivora Procyonidae Raccoon Procyon lotor Common Common throughout US except portions of California, Arizona, and New Mexico. 140, 709 (S) 119         Raccoons are extremely adaptable and can live in a wide range of temperatures.  They are found virtually anywhere there is water.  Their diet is extremely varied including plant and animal material.  The forefeet of raccoons end in highly sensitive hand-l    
Carnivora Felidae Canada Lynx Lynx canadensis Common in range Alaska, Rocky Mountains, Great Lakes, and extreme northern New England. 587           Has been said to live in areas where they have not been seen, due to existing only in remote areas where feline distemper cannot be transmitted by more resistant cats.  Eats snowshoe hares in the winter.  Has large feet for running in the snow.    
Carnivora Felidae Bobcat Lynx rufus Rare or common, depending on geographic region. All of contiguous US, except for parts of California, Utah, Colorado,  agricultural areas of the midwest and coastal areas of the midAtlantic states. 819, 1293 563         As with the Canada lynx, bobcats are very secretive and seldom observed even in areas it occupies.  Slightly smaller than the lynx, it is capable of taking adult white-tailed deer.  Though mainly a carnivore,  areas a large array of plant and animal mater    
Artiodactyla Cervidae White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus Common Throughout North America, except northern Canada and very arid areas of western US. 1313 388              
Artiodactyla Cervidae Moose Alces americanus Common within its range Most of sub-arctic Canada, Alaska, Montana, Idaho,  western Wyoming, Minnesota, New York, New England. 192, 618 154           This species might be more abundant, but they are often found in rugged, boggy areas  
Soricomorpha Soricidae Northern short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda Least concern North-central and northeastern United States and adjacent provinces of southern Canada.   261              
Soricomorpha Soricidae Least shrew Cryptotis parva Least concern Concentrated in the southwestern United States.  From Florida up to New York and reaches as far west as Texas and South Dakota. 957 43              
Chiroptera Vespertilionidae Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus Lower Risk (lc) Throughout the contiguous US and Alaska 39, 223 356 Lower Risk (lc)       TRIBE Eptesicini    
Chiroptera Vespertilionidae Eastern Red Bat Lasiurus borealis Lower Risk (lc) Central and eastern United States 40, 655, 815 183 Lower Risk (lc)       TRIBE Lasiurini    
Chiroptera Vespertilionidae Hoary Bat Lasiurus cinereus Lower Risk (lc) Throughout the contiguous United States and Hawaii 656, 041, 042 185 Lower Risk (lc)       TRIBE Lasiurini; *Status is Low Risk eith the exception of L. c. semotus    
Chiroptera Vespertilionidae Eastern Pipistrelle Perimyotis subflavus Lower Risk (lc) Eastern United States excluding Maine and southern Florida 38, 654 228 Lower Risk (lc)       TRIBE Pipistrellini    
Chiroptera Vespertilionidae Silver-haired Bat Lasionycteris noctivagans Lower Risk (lc) Throughout the United States except extreme southern protions of southern states.  Also occurs in southeastern Alaska. 658 172 Lower Risk (lc)            
Chiroptera Vespertilionidae Little Brown Myotis Myotis lucifugus Lower Risk (lc) Most of US, except Texas to Nebraska, and extreme southern portions of southern states 224, 225, 814 142 Lower Risk (lc)            
Chiroptera Vespertilionidae Northern Myotis Myotis septentrionalis Lower Risk (lc) Eastern United States, eastern Montana, eastern Wyoming, south to Alabama, Georgia, and Florida panhandle 226, 227 634 Lower Risk (lc)            
Lagomorpha Leporidae Snowshoe Hare Lepus americanus Lower risk Southern and central Alaska to southern and central coasts of Hudson Bay to Newfoundland and Anacosti Island, Canada, south to southern Appalachians, southern Michigan, North Dakota, north central New Mexico, south central Utah, and east central California. 246, 544           Mostly nocturnal or crepuscular; shelters by day under logs or in thick vegetation. Lives in forests and dense thickets, often associated with low wet areas. Changes color seasonally  
Lagomorpha Leporidae White-tailed Jackrabbit Lepus townsendii Lower risk Central Alberta and Saskatchewan east to extreme southwestern Ontario, Canada, south to southwestern Wisconsin, Iowa, northwestern Missouri, west through central Kansas to north central New Mexico, west to central Nevada, east central California, US, and north to south central British Columbia, Canada. 1189, 1349 288       Open grasslands, meadows and cultivated areas; less common in sagebrush flats. Mainly nocturnal, but may be active at dawn or dusk.  When pursued, follows a zigzag path with big leaps and bursts of speed. Changes color seasonally  
Lagomorpha Leporidae Eastern Cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus Lower Risk Northern, central, and western Venezuela and adjacent islands and adjacent Colombia through Central America (disjunct in part); to northwestern Mexico, Arizona, north and east to North Dakota, Minnesota, northern Michigan, New York and Massachusetts, Atlantic Coast south and Florida Gulf Coast west to Mexico; also southern Saskatchewan, southern Ontario and south central Quebec, Canada. 058, 953 136       Thickets and old fields, edges of hardwood forest, farmland, prairies and swamps. One of most familiar rabbits, mainly nocturnal but may be active and dawns or dusk. Sleeps under brush piles or in thickets or dense grass.    
Soricomorpha Soricidae Arctic shrew Sorex arcticus Least concern Northcentral United States.  Northeastern North Dakota and northeastern South Dakota, most of Minnesota and Wisocnsin, and the upper penninsula of Michigan. 1391 524 Lower risk            
Soricomorpha Soricidae Masked shrew Sorex cinereus Least concern Throughout Alaska, south through most of Washington, Idaho, central Utah and Colorado into north central New Mexico, east through most of Wyoming and Nebraska, Iowa, northern Illinois, and most of Indiana and Ohio, and south throught the Appalachian Mountains to north east Georgia and on the East Coast south to Maryland and New Jersey. 1392 743              
Soricomorpha Soricidae Priarie shrew Sorex haydeni Least concern Northern plains states; Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri.               It is very difficult to differentiate this species from Sorex cinereus  
Soricomorpha Soricidae Pygmy shrew Sorex hoyi Least concern Northern United States; Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Washington, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and a small pocket in Colorado.   33         Formerly of the genus Microsorex; among the smallest North American mammals.    
Soricomorpha Soricidae Water shrew Sorex palustris Least concern Southern Alaska and the northern and mountainous areas of the United States. 1287 296           Good swimmer; good indicator of water quality  
Soricomorpha Talpidae Star-nosed mole Condylura cristata Least concern Geogria and north west South Carolina to Nova Scotia and Labrador; Great Lakes region to south eastern Manitoba. 649, 650 129         Unlike other moles, swims well and makes tunnels leading into water; also active on or under snow. May travel on the surface. Elsewhere makes deep burrows and throws up molehills. Habitat is wet areas in meadows, woods, swamps or streams, usually in mucky Good swimmer and digger  
Soricomorpha Talpidae Eastern mole Scalopus aquaticus Least concern Throughout south eastern United States north to Massachussetts to Minnesota. 647, 648 105         Throws up large molehills when excavating deep tunnels. Makes shallow burrows for feeding that may be used only once or may be used for several years. Preferes fields or woods with soft moist soils. Good digger  
Rodentia Erethizontidae Common Porcupine Erethizon dorsatum common   82, 870 29         active throughout year