List of mammals of Massachusetts
This is a list of Massachusetts mammals. It includes all mammals currently found in Massachusetts, whether resident or as migrants. For the most part, it does not include each mammals specific habitat, but instead shows the mammals range in the state and its abundance.For a look at these mammals' habitats, see List of mammals of Connecticut. This list does not include the American Bison and Caribou, which have been reported archaeologically, but disappeared after European settlers came to the state. It also does not include the Fox Squirrel, which only occurs accidentally.
- (A) = Accidental occurrence based on one or a few records, and unlikely to occur regularly.
- (E) = Extinct; a recent member of the fauna that no longer exists.
- (EX) = Extirpated; no longer occurs in area of interest, but other populations still exist elsewhere.
- (I) = Introduced population established solely as result of direct or indirect human intervention; synonymous with non-native and non-indigenous.
- (SC) = Special concern, Endangered, Threatened Animals living in a specific region that are low in numbers, rarely seen, or endangered due to habitat loss.
- 1 Bats
- 2 Carnivora
- 3 Cetacea
- 4 Even-toed ungulates
- 5 Lagomorpha
- 6 Opossums
- 7 Rodents
- 8 Soricomorpha
- 9 Mammals of CCNS (Cape Cod National Seashore) and Cape Cod
- 10 Opossums
- 11 Rodents
- 12 Lagomorpha
- 13 Even-toed ungulates
- 14 Soricomorpha
- 15 Vespertilionidae
- 16 Carnivora
- 17 Cetacea
- 18 See also
- 19 References
- 20 External links
|Name||Species/Authority||Order||Family||Range and status||IUCN Red List|
|Big brown bat
|Chiroptera||Vespertilionidae||Common, found statewide|||
Le Conte, 1831
|Chiroptera||Vespertilionidae||Migratory, Uncommon, statewide|||
|Eastern red bat
|Chiroptera||Vespertilionidae||Migratory, Common, statewide|||
|Chiroptera||Vespertilionidae||Migratory, rarely seen, statewide|||
|Eastern small-footed myotis
Audubon & Bachman, 1842
|Chiroptera||Vespertilionidae||Berkshire and Hampden Counties, extremely rare, listed as Special Concern|||
|Little brown bat
Le Conte, 1831
|Chiroptera||Vespertilionidae||Endangered, distribution spotty|||
|Northern long-eared myotis
|Chiroptera||Vespertilionidae||Endangered, distribution spotty, reportedly breeding in Martha's Vineyard|||
Miller & Allen, 1928
|Chiroptera||Vespertilionidae||Very rare, Western Massachusetts only, Listed as Endangered in the state and Federally|||
|Chiroptera||Vespertilionidae||Endangered, Distribution spotty|||
- In 2008, White Nose Syndrome was recorded in Massachusetts. Afterwards, the bat population declined by 98%, and thus, in 2012, the Little Brown myotis, Northern long-eared myotis, and Tricolored bat were listed as endangered in the state.
- American black bear Ursus americanus (Northeast, central, and western mass) - Common in the state. About 2000 live in the state. They are abundant in the Western part of the State, moderately common in the central part of the state, and rare or absent in the eastern counties. Black bears can sometimes be brown or cinnamon color, but 100% of Black bears in New England and New York are black.
- Coyote Canis latrans (Statewide except Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket) - Population has increased, with sightings in Boston. Found on Elizabeth Islands, Although absent from Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Population densities vary by location. For example, in the central part of the state, densities are low due to lots of land, while in the Elizabeth Islands, densities are high. Recent reports are coming from Martha's Vineyard, but it is still not established.
- Gray wolf Canis lupus (EX) - Once lived in most of Massachusetts. Last reported in 1840. Reports in 1912 and 1 report in 2007 was the endangered Eastern wolf.
- Gray fox Urocyon cineroargentatus (Statewide except Dukes, Nantucket and possibly Suffolk county) - Lives mostly in areas with thick trees. Is very secretive and seldom seen. Frequently seen climbing trees, therefore giving it the name tree fox. Absent from Suffolk County due to urban environments. Smaller than the red fox but in areas were both species are common, Gray foxes are more dominant, with the exception of Urban environments.
- Red fox Vulpes vulpes (Statewide except Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket) - Considered common. However, subspecies from Europe have been introduced, making them more common. Now found all over the state except Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Largest of the true foxes.
- Hooded seal Cystophora cristata (A) - Annual vagrant. Reported from Essex, Plymouth, Dukes, Nantucket, Barnstable, and Suffolk counties. Most reports are juveniles (bluebacks) in winter.
- Bearded seal Erignathus barbatus (A) - One record. Essex County (2002).
- Grey seal Halichoerus grypus - Found in Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties. Population has increased after seal hunting became illegal in 1962. Known pupping sights are in Monomoy and Muskeget islands.
- Harp seal Pagophilus groenlandicus (A) - Annual vagrant. Reported from Plymouth, Suffolk, Essex, and Barnstable counties. Sightings are increasing, especially in winter.
- Harbor seal Phoca vitulina - A common seal in Massachusetts. Found in coastal areas, including Barnstable, Suffolk, Essex, and Plymouth counties. Regular winter visitor in Cape Cod and the Islands. Originally bred in the state but no known breeding areas. However, pups have been reported in Plymouth.
- Ringed seal Pusa hispida (A) - Rare in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is sometimes considered Ringed seals southern most range, and Ringed seals are most seen in Stellwagen Bank, especially in winter.
- Canada lynx Lynx canadensis (EX) (Originally Central and western Massachusetts) - Once occurred in Central and western Massachusetts. Reported in Hampshire county (1866) and Worcester county (1884–1885). Questionable reports in the 1930s were probably misidentified Bobcats. At least two records in 1991 were of wandering Lynx from a New York release. Lynxes are becoming rare in New England and the state of Maine is the only state in the Northeast where breeding populations are found. As of 2013, there are no known breeding populations in New York, Vermont, or New Hampshire. Trapping records show it wasn't always common in the state.
- Bobcat Lynx rufus (Northeast, central, and western Massachusetts) - Now the only native cat found in Massachusetts. Common in forests, brushy areas, and wetland. Thought to be the animal mostly confused with the larger Canada lynx. Although it is still hunted for its fur, the population is increasing in New England, but it is seldom seen. Home ranges depend on season, prey, and sex, but males usually have larger home ranges. In Massachusetts, Bobcats are common in the central and western part of the state, present in the Northeastern part, and rare or absent in the southeastern part of the state.
- Cougar Puma concolor (EX) - The possibly extinct Eastern cougar once lived in Massachusetts. Last known record was in 1858. However, recent reports in the state, as well as a road kill in Connecticut is tangible proof that Eastern cougars are still roaming the Eastern United States. In 1997, a DNA testing of feces found in the Quabbin Reservoir in Franklin County shows that the feces are from a Mountain Lion. Some scientists think that these sightings and the feces can only be of animals escaped from captivity. Others think this could be the Western subspecies that wandered east.
- Wolverine Gulo gulo (EX) (Western Massachusetts) - Extirpated. Reported to occur in Western Massachusetts prior to 1835. It was probably never common.
- North American river otter Lontra canadensis (Statewide except Nantucket and possibly Suffolk counties) - Absent from Suffolk County due to urban environments. Found in forests that have streams and rivers. Two records in Nantucket—one was a beached carcass (1984), the others were tracks and tail mark (2007). Recent activity in the Elizabeth islands, Nomans Land, and Martha's Vineyard is being surveyed.
- American marten Martes americana (EX) - Considered extirpated due to no evidence of a breeding population. Formerly occurred in Central, Western, and possibly Northeastern Massachusetts. Last known record, Worcester County (1880). One vagrant from a Vermont release was taken to Worcester County in 1992. A 1993 Worcester County record was believed to be an escape from a fur farm. Other reports are considered to be wandering individuals from Maine and New York.
- Fisher Martes pennanti (Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties) - Once extirpated from the state. Made a recovery after farmers went to the Midwest. Range has extended to Plymouth county and Cape Cod in 2006. Now found in all counties except Dukes and Nantucket counties. It is seldom seen and often secretive.
- Stoat Mustela erminea (Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties) - Common and abundant throughout most of the state, and more abundant in the northern, central, and western part of the state. Found mostly in forests and meadows with streams or rivers. It is extremely rare in Cape Cod, and only a few populations now exist in the upper cape. In winter, the Ermine's color changes and is completely white (except the black tip on the tail).
- Long-tailed weasel Mustela frenata (Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties) - Like the stoat, this weasel is found throughout most of the state. It is also more common and outcompetes the Stoat.
- Sea mink Neovison macrodon (considered here to be a subspecies of American mink. Other experts consider it a separate species) (E) - Once found throughout coastal Massachusetts. Became extinct due to overhunting for its fur.
- American mink Neovison vison (Statewide except Nantucket County) - Common throughout all of Massachusetts but absent from Nantucket and possibly extirpated from Martha's Vineyard. Found in forests with streams, where it hunts fish and crabs. The extinct Sea Mink, is thought to be a subspecies. For some reason, most predators don't hunt them. The Martha's Vineyard population was thought to have been extirpated. The last known mink seen on the island was seen in 1960.
- Walrus Odobenus rosmarus (A) - Annual vagrant. Reported from Essex (1937) and Plymouth (1734) counties.
- Raccoon Procyon lotor (Statewide except Nantucket) - Adaptive to living in urban and suburban environments. Feeds on garbage. Raccoon rabies first appeared in Massachusetts in 1992, and spread to other species.
- Striped skunk Mephitis mephitis(Statewide except Elizabeth islands and Nantucket) - Adapted to urban environments. the striped skunk is now common in urban and suburban environments. Found in all counties except the Elizabeth islands and Nantucket.
- North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis (SC) - One of the rarest whales in the world. Originally found from New England to Florida, and as far east as West Africa. Because of overhunting, it has become very rare and possibly extinct in the eastern North Atlantic. Formerly stranded in the commonwealth. Recorded from Plymouth, Essex, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties. It is endangered in Massachusetts. There are only 350 North Atlantic right whales in the world.
- Northern bottlenose whale Hyperoodon ampullatus - Pelagic. Stranded in Barnstable and Essex counties.
- Sowerby's beaked whale Mesoplodon bidens (A) - Two records in Nantucket.
- Blainville's beaked whale Mesoplodon densirostris (A) - One record in Essex County.
- Gervais' beaked whale Mesoplodon europaeus (A) - One record in Barnstable County.
- True's beaked whale Mesoplodon mirus (A) - One record in Nantucket.
- Cuvier's beaked whale Ziphius cavirostris - Pelagic. Stranded in Barnstable, Norfolk, and Dukes counties.
- Beluga whale Delphinapterus leucas - Observed in the waters of Essex, Barnstable, and Dukes counties.
- Short-beaked common dolphin Delphinus delphis - One of the most common dolphins in the state. Found in Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, and Nantucket counties. Sometimes seen swimming in schools in the Cape Cod Canal. Mysteriously, they have become stranded in large numbers in 2012.
- Long-finned pilot whale Globicephala melas - Occurs in schools and is frequently stranded.
- Risso's dolphin Grampus griseus - Offshore waters. Stranded in Barnstable, Dukes, and Norfolk counties.
- Atlantic white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus - Very common dolphin. Coastal waters. Stranded in Norfolk, Essex, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket.
- White-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris - Coastal waters. Reported from Barnstable and Essex counties.
- Killer whale Orcinus orca - Offshore waters. Stranded in Barnstable and Dukes county. Observed in Plymouth and Suffolk counties.
- Striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba - Pelagic. Reported from Dukes, Nantucket, Plymouth, Barnstable, and Essex counties.
- Atlantic spotted dolphin Stenella frontalis - Reported from Nantucket and Dukes counties.
- Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus - Inshore waters. Stranded in Barnstable and Plymouth counties.
- Pygmy sperm whale Kogia breviceps - Found in offshore waters. Stranded in Barnstable, Plymouth, Essex, Norfolk, and Dukes counties. Recorded in Bristol County waters.
- Dwarf sperm whale Kogia sima - Stranded in Nantucket and Plymouth counties. Distinguished from the Pygmy sperm whale by being smaller and having a larger dorsal fin.
- Sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus (SC) - Formerly abundant offshore. Stranded in Barnstable, Dukes, Essex, Nantucket, and Plymouth counties. The largest toothed whale. Dives deep to hunt for food.
- Harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena - Found only in coastal waters. As its name suggests, it is found in sounds and harbors. Can be seen in the Cape Cod Canal. The smallest cetacean found in the state.
- Common minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata - The smallest of the rorquals, and the second smallest baleen whale, just after the Pygmy right whale. Found in the inshore waters. Stranded in Norfolk, Essex, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties. The only rorqual in New England that is not threatened. Also the most common rorqual in Massachusetts.
- Sei whale Balaenoptera borealis (SC) - Found in Cape Cod Bay and Massachusetts Bay. Stranded in Barnstable (1910 and 1974), Essex (2007), and Plymouth (1948) counties. Endangered and rare in Massachusetts. Third largest rorqual, just after the Fin whale and Blue whale. It can be mistaken for the Bryde's Whale; it is slightly larger and heavier, and is found in cold waters, while the smaller Bryde's Whale is found near tropical and warm waters.
- Blue whale Balaenoptera musculus (SC) - One questionable stranding in Essex County reported in 1755. Recent near-shore records. Endangered and rare in Massachusetts. Although it is the largest animal in existence, populations of the Northern Hemisphere grow 90 to 92 feet and over 100 tons, while populations in the Southern Hemisphere grow to 98 feet and weigh 150 to 200 tons.
- Fin whale Balaenoptera physalus (SC) - Formerly common offshore. It is now common but not abundant offshore. Stranded in Barnstable, Essex, Dukes, and Plymouth counties. Endangered in Massachusetts. It is now found mostly in Cape Cod Bay, where it has been seen feeding. The second largest animal in the world, just after the Blue whale. Growing to lengths of 85 feet, and weighing 80 to 90 tons.
- Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae (SC) - The most well-known of the rorquals. Stranded in Barnstable, Dukes, Essex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, and Suffolk counties. It can be seen feeding in Cape Cod Bay.
- Moose Alces alces (Northeast, central, and western Massachusetts) - Once extirpated from the state, Moose sighting occurred in the 1950s. By 1970, a Moose sighting was rare. Before long, the Moose numbers increased rapidly. Now, there are 850 to 950 Moose living in Massachusetts. Most of them are found in Berkshire County and Worcester County. Moose can weigh 900 to 1,000 pounds and car crashes with them can be dangerous. In the Fall, between September and November, when Moose are active, car crashes are frequent, and people need to be more careful on the road.
- Elk Cervus canadensis (EX) - Occurred infrequently in Western Massachusetts. Last known record was in Worcester County (1732). Reintroductions have occurred in Kentucky, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains, Northern Michigan, Virginia, and Ontario. Reintroductions are being planned in New York, Illinois, and West Virginia. It is likely they will be reintroduced in all New England states once all other reintroductions are made. The subspecies that was once known to live in the commonwealth was the extinct Eastern elk. Instead, people are reintroducing another subspecies known to live in the Rocky Mountains.
- Fallow deer Dama dama (I) (Dukes County) - Introduced to Dukes County. No records since the 1980s. May be extirpated from the state.
- White-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus (Statewide) - Found throughout Massachusetts, with sightings in Boston. Found also in Dukes and Nantucket counties. Estimated there are 85,000 to 95,000 living in Massachusetts. Deer where almost wiped out from Massachusetts, but hunting was restricted until the population rose. There population is increasing and overabundance can happen. The overabundance of deer in Dukes and Nantucket counties is affecting the ecosystem. 5,000 deer live in Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, and 45 to 55 are found per square mile. Hunters are encouraged to hunt deer in both counties.
- Snowshoe hare Lepus americanus (Statewide except Dukes and possibly Nantucket counties) - Frequently seen in wintertime. Found in woodlands, young forests, and fields. Found in Nantucket, and were introduced to the island. Found mostly in suburban areas, and areas uninhabited by humans. The only lagomorph living in Massachusetts that changes color in the seasons. Originally thought to be a subspecies of Mountain hare, but has become a separate species. Population has increased due to the extirpation of the Canada Lynx.
- Black-tailed jackrabbit Lepus californicus (I) (Found only on Nantucket Island, possibly extirpated) - Only a small population live in Nantucket Island. Probably extirpated.
- European hare Lepus europaeus (I) (introduced in Berkshire County) - Unsuccessfully introduced to Berkshire County. Now absent.
- European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus (I) (Feral populations in islands) - Also widely introduced from Europe. Feral populations exist in Boston Harbor Islands, specifically Lovells Island and Gallops Island, but probably also Middle Brewster Island).
- Eastern cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus (I) (Statewide) - Introduced from the Midwest. Populations increasing due to suburban environment, although now found throughout all 14 counties. Larger body and longer ears than the New England cottontail.
- New England cottontail Sylvilagus transitionalis (Originally statewide, now found mainly in Cape Cod and southern Berkshire County) - Once statewide since 1960. Population declined by 86 percent due to habitat loss. Main habitat in Massachusetts are young forests (bushy areas). A small population has been introduced to a Boston Harbor island (Grape island). It is distinguished from the Eastern cottontail by having shorter ears, a smaller body, and a black spot between the ears approximately 90 percent of the time. However, scientists use skull shape to tell them apart. In 1980, Cape Cod had some of the most dense populations of New England cottontails. But in 2000, the population started to decline, causing it to become scarce or rare. The population in Berkshire County is uncertain, but it may have also been declining. Provincetown also has a small population. It became extirpated from the Elizabeth Islands and Martha's Vineyard in the 1920s. Across the Cape Cod Canal, New England cottontails are found in a small part of Plymouth County. However, it is starting to decline as well. The increase of fishers, weasels, foxes, and coyotes also is reducing the New England cottontail population. Although most cottontails can detect predators from far away, New England cottontails have a hard time detecting predators, which is why they need young forests. It uses young forests as cover, mainly straying only 16 feet away from the closest bush. Active mainly at dusk and night, although occasionally comes out at dawn and sometimes even during the day. Listed as special concern in Maine, New York, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. Possibly extinct in Vermont. In 2011, the USFWS predicted Nantucket island has enough habitat to support a reminunt[clarification needed] population. One New England cottontail was recorded on the island in the late 1990s, although no survey was done. In winter 2013, survey was done (by live trapping) to determine if New England cottontails are still in the island. The previous year, 14 rabbits were captured, 2 snowshoe hares, and 12 eastern cottontails. In 2013, more rabbits were captured, most were eastern cottontails, but one that was captured in ram pasture (western part of the island) was revealed to be a New England cottontail. More survey is being underwent to determine populations on the island.
- Virginia opossum Didelphis virginiana (Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket county) - Most commonly seen in Greater Boston. Adaptive to living in urban areas where it eats rotten fruit and garbage. One of the few mammals found in urban environments. Mainly seen in trees. A common myth is it can hang upside down while holding its tail on a branch, but opossums are too heavy. An animal commonly killed by cars.
- North American beaver Castor canadensis (Northeast, Central, and Western Mass.) - Common throughout most of the state. Recent records in Southeast Massachusetts. In the 1950s, this animal was thought to have been extirpated due to habitat loss. As farmers abandoned their farms, the American beaver made a recovery and is now common in the Commonwealth. It helps form wetland and ponds for other fauna.
- Beach vole Microtus breweri (considered by state Fish and Wildlife officials to be a subspecies of meadow vole. Other experts consider it a separate species) - Found only on Muskeget Island. During the ice age, sea levels were low and many mammals were found in the south; however, Beach voles adapted and thrived in coastal areas of southeastern Massachusetts. But when sea levels started rising, this vole became isolated from the mainland Meadow vole. It differs from the Meadow vole by being slightly larger, with a lower rate of reproduction, smaller litter size, greater body weight, and a longer life span.
- Meadow vole Microtus pennsylvanicus (Statewide) - Although thought to be statewide, the vole from Muskeget Island may be a separate species. Found in suburban areas. Also found in meadows, marshes, and open woodland. Rare in urban environments. This vole is extremely aggressive towards most other rodents, especially Southern bog lemmings, and have been known to kill them, and drive them out of there habitat. It is also a main rival of the Meadow jumping mouse and the Woodland vole.
- Woodland vole Microtus pinetorum (Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties) - Common in woodlands with loose soil. However, it is more common in apple orchards, and is rare in urban environments. Fossils have helped scientists document the shift of this vole's range. During the ice age, when New England was covered in ice, woodland voles lived in Texas and Mexico, where there was leaf litter, and temperate deciduous forests. However, as the climate warmed, and the Southwestern United States got drier, Woodland voles started moving north, and are now found in the Eastern United States. It is smaller than the Meadow vole, with brownish fur, smaller eyes, and its ears are covered in fur. It also has a very different lifestyle, usually living underground like moles, having small eyes and feet that help them dig. It has been known to share its burrows with hairy tailed moles.
- Southern red-backed vole Myodes gapperi (Statewide except Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket) - Throughout all counties except the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Mostly active at daytime in winter. Population is stable in the commonwealth. Like other voles, this species does not hibernate, and uses abandoned burrows. Can swim and climb very well. Has been observed with most other voles in the commonwealth, except the Meadow vole.
- Allegheny woodrat Neotoma magister (EX) (southwest Massachusetts) - Extirpated. Occurred in one part of southwestern Berkshire county. Before its extirpation, it was probably uncommon, rare, or even a vagrant.
- Muskrat Ondantra zibethicus (Statewide except Nantucket County) - Found in marshes and bogs. Active at night, though frequently seen in daytime. It is considered a pest, especially in farms that are close to marshes. It is larger than the Meadow vole, but much smaller than the North American beaver. Widespread in the state except Nantucket.
- White-footed mouse Peromyscus leucopus (Statewide) - Most abundant rodent in the commonwealth. Found in all counties. Distinguished from the Deer mouse by lacking the small white ear tufts, the tail is usually the same color, and have a more reddish brown color. One subspecies has been observed in Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Another subspecies is found in Monomoy Island. Like the Deer mouse, this animal must not be handled with bare hands because it also carries Lyme disease, Hantavirus and Deer ticks. Unlike deer mice, White-footed mice are found mainly in brushy areas or fields that are near warm and dry forests, where they build their nests in tree hollows or dead trees, and are found near the Atlantic coast.
- Peromyscus maniculatus (Central and Western Massachusetts) - Also known as the North American Deer mouse. Frequently seen at night in dense woods. Slightly smaller than the house mouse, with grayish to reddish-brown fur on top and whitish underparts. Must not be handled because it carries Lyme disease and Deer ticks. Deer mice live in cool humid wooded areas with dense cover and tree holes. They can be serious pests in farms and gardens. Deer mice have also been known to carry Hantavirus which is more dangerous than Lyme disease. Deer mice, unlike White-footed mice, are not found near the Atlantic coast.
- Southern bog lemming Synaptomys cooperi (SC) (Reports from Western Massachusetts. Listed as Special Concern) - Extremely rare in the commonwealth. Reported from Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester, and Plymouth counties. Known in the Cranberry bogs of Plymouth and Wareham. Known range in Massachusetts is New Salem, Ware, and Belchertown. They have brownish chestnut fur, a very short tail, and large front incisor teeth. They are smaller than Meadow voles, and tend to avoid them as much as possible. However, Meadow voles, along with habitat destruction, are the biggest threat to this species. Habitat in the commonwealth are Bogs with Sphagnum, open grassland, sedge meadows in old-growth forests, orchards, and clear cuts in forests. Active day and night. Often quiet, and moves slowly, but when disturbed, can run very fast, swim, and climb trees. Occurs in scattered colonies that coexist with other rodents like White-footed mice, Deer mice, Red backed voles, shrews, moles, and very rarely, Meadow voles. Southern bog lemmings create complex burrows and trails with chambers. There dropping are light green, which is unusual for most voles, as they have darker droppings.
- Woodland jumping mouse Napaeozapus insignis (Central and Western Massachusetts) - As its name suggests, this rodent is found in woodlands. It is absent in fields and pastures. This rodent hibernates from mid-September to mid-November. Able to jump 9.8 feet (3.0 m) when frightened. Does not give birth until after its first hibernation.
- Meadow jumping mouse Zapus hudsonius (Statewide) - Found and abundant in all counties, including Dukes and Nantucket counties. Found in fields and meadows. Absent from areas densely populated with Meadow voles or with lots of trees. Like other jumping mice, it hibernates between September and November. Observed hibernating on Nantucket. Like the Woodland jumping mouse, it does not give birth until its first hibernation.
- House mouse Mus musculus (I) (Nearly statewide, apparently absent from Martha's Vineyard) - Accidentally introduced from seaports. Also one of the most adaptive mammals in Massachusetts. Found in both urban and suburban environments. Much smaller and less aggressive than the larger Brown and Black rats.
- Brown rat Rattus norvegicus (I) (Statewide) - Considered to be one of the most adaptive animals in Massachusetts. Found in both urban, and suburban environments. Active at night but rarely seen in daytime. Found everywhere, including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
- Black rat Rattus rattus (I-EX?) (Eastern Massachusetts) - Common in densely populated cities, including seaports, and buildings. Not seen in areas uninhabited by humans. Not as adaptive as the House mouse or Brown rat. It may have disappeared from the state because of the increase of intense pressure of Brown rats, as well as the increase of predators such as skunks, weasels, and raccoons. A population of Black rats may still exist in seaports of Boston.
- North American porcupine Erethizon dorsatum (Northeast, Central, and Western Massachusetts) - Found mostly in areas that are not too dense. Recent reports in Plymouth and Barnstable counties. Very few predators will attack it.
- Northern flying squirrel Glaucomys sabrinus (Northeast, Central, and Western Mass.) - Uncommon in Massachusetts. No recent records. Found mostly in Old-growth forests.
- Southern flying squirrel Glaucomys volans (Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties) - Common in Massachusetts, especially in forests of Central and Western Massachusetts, although found in Eastern Massachusetts as well. Found in forests that have wide or tall trees. More commonly seen in oak, maple, and white birch trees. Distinguished from the Northern flying squirrel by being smaller, having a white underbelly (Northern flying squirrels have a grayish underbelly), and are more common.
- Groundhog Marmota monax (Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties) - Seen in suburban lawns and meadows. Active during daytime. Also found in bushes or "edged" areas.
- Eastern gray squirrel Sciurus carolinensis (Statewide, introduced to Nantucket) - Considered to be one of the most adaptive mammals in Massachusetts. Recently introduced to Nantucket (accidentally in 1989). Also found in urban environments.
- American red squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus (Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties) - This squirrel is half the size of the grey squirrel, with a red-colored body (except the underbelly) and a black line going along the sides. Unlike the grey squirrel, the red squirrel is found in areas with White birch, and Oak trees. Absent or rarely seen in urban environments.
- Eastern chipmunk Tamias striatus (Statewide except Nantucket County) - The only chipmunk found in the Commonwealth. Found in places that have many trees or rocks. Absent from areas densely populated with grey squirrels. Not well adapted to living in urban environments.
- Northern short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda (Statewide) - Found throughout all of Massachusetts. Two recent subspecies have been observed on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Seen mostly in suburban areas. Has a toxic bite used for paralyzing prey.
- Cinereus shrew Sorex cinereus (Statewide) - Also known as Masked shrew. Commonly seen in forests, marshes, and fields. Small populations live throughout Dukes and Nantucket counties. Different from the Smoky shrew by being more slender and smaller. Considered to be the smallest mammal in Massachusetts, although pygmy shrews have been reported in Western Massachusetts.
- Long-tailed shrew Sorex dispar (SC) (Berkshire County only) - Rarely seen. First reported in 1911. Berkshire County is the only place where it is found. Prefers wet, cold, deep coniferous forests. Feeds on spiders and centipedes hidden in rocks. Little is known about them, but they may live between large rocks, where it uses its tail to balance itself. It also has a long snout used to catch insects hidden below rocks. The long-tailed shrew has been linked to the Rock vole. Both animals live in rocky areas that are damp and near water, although it is unlikely the Rock vole is found in the Commonwealth.
- Smoky shrew Sorex fumeus (Central and western Massachusetts) - Seen mostly in forests and fields. Different from the Masked shrew by being larger and stockier. Also larger than the Long-tailed shrew, although often mistaken for it during wintertime, when both have the same fur coat.
- American pygmy shrew Sorex hoyi (A) (Records in Berkshire County) - One report in Mount Greylock in 1991 when a biologist found a dead specimen that drowned in a discarded beer bottle. It is secure in the state and scientists speculate it may occur in the western part of the state. If so, it is rare and secretive.
- American water shrew Sorex palustris (SC) (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties) - Rarely seen. Only 18 records in Massachusetts. Mostly found only a few yards from the nearest stream or river. Different from other shrews by having longer fur. Areas it is reported from are Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Northern Worcester counties. The largest shrew found in New England.
- Star-nosed mole Condylura cristata (Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties) - Found in loose, wet soil near streams and rivers. Seen more frequently during daytime, where it is seen swimming in streams and rivers.
- Hairy-tailed mole Parascalops breweri (Northeast, central and western Massachusetts) - Found in fields, pastures, and young forests. Unlike the Star-nosed mole, this one is rarely seen. A common mole found in lawns. Shares its burrows with Woodland voles.
- Eastern mole Scalopus aquaticus (Southern and Central Massachusetts) - Ranging in the southern Connecticut River Valley, southern Plymouth County, Barnstable County, Dukes and Nantucket counties. Found in soil that's neither too wet nor too dry. Seen in sandy or soft soil with rocks. Active at dawn and dusk.
Mammals of CCNS (Cape Cod National Seashore) and Cape Cod
This is the list of mammals of Cape Cod and CCNS, whether migrant, resident, extinct, or exotic. All these mammals are found in Massachusetts, whether only in Cape Cod, or throughout the state. Mammals that are not listed here that were shown in the list above are still found in other parts of the state. A survey in summer of 2000 and 2001 was done on small mammals in the park, where 1829 specimens representing 11 species were captured. Small mammals captured will be shown with percentages. The same symbols at the introduction are shown in this list.
- Virginia Opossum Didelphis virginiana - Uncommon in Cape Cod and usually found in urban and suburban environments.
- North American beaver Castor canadensis - Extirpated from Cape Cod. Recent reports are of wandering individuals looking for new territory.
- Meadow vole Microtus pennsylvanicus - Second most abundant mammal in the CCNS. Plays a role in fields because it eats seeds left by trees, so seeds are dispersed in other places and fields don't grow very many trees. 19.1% of the specimens captured were Meadow voles.
- Southern red-backed vole Myodes gapperi - Common in CCNS, mainly in Oak forests and Grassland, with slightly decreased numbers in pine forests, sand dunes, and Heaths. 6.8% of the specimens captured were red-backed voles.
- Muskrat Ondantra zibethicus - Common throughout CCNS in bogs and Marshes. Muskrats weren't captured in the survey.
- White-footed mouse Peromyscus leucopus - The most abundant mammal in CCNS. Like the Meadow vole, it plays a role in ecosystems in CCNS. It also helps the ecosystem because it is the only primary predator of the Gypsy moth. 42% of the specimens captured were White-footed mice.
- Meadow jumping mouse Zapus hudsonius - Common in fields and marshes in CCNS. 13.6% of the specimens captured were Meadow jumping mice.
- Eastern chipmunk Tamias striatus - Common throughout CCNS, especially in Oak forests. 0.7% of specimens captured were Eastern chipmunks.
- Woodchuck Marmota monax - Rare in CCNS due to decline in successing (young) forests. No specimens captured were Woodchucks.
- Eastern gray squirrel Sciurus carolinensis - One of the most adaptive and abundant mammals throughout CCNS. No specimens captured were gray squirrels.
- American red squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus - Common throughout CCNS despite not being as adaptive as gray squirrels. Often associated with the Pine barrens, but also found in Oak forests. 0.1% of specimens captured were red squirrels.
- Southern flying squirrel Glaucomys volan - Uncommon in CCNS due to few forests. Population is however stable. Found in the Oak forests and pine barrens. 1.3% of specimens captured were Southern flying squirrels.
- Norway rat Rattus norvegicus (I) - Introduced. Often associated with farms and livestock. Abundance uncertain. No specimens captured were Norway rats.
- House mouse Mus musculus (I) - Introduced. Rare, no records. No specimens captured were House mice.
New World porcupines
- Snowshoe hare Lepus americanus - Rare in CCNS. Often associated with White cedar swamps. No specimens captured were Snowshoe hares.
- Eastern cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus (I) - Introduced. Common and widespread throughout CCNS, especially in grassland. Largely has replaced the native New England cottontail. 0.1% of specimens captured were Eastern cottontails.
- New England cottontail Sylvilagus transitionalis - Rare in CCNS. Declining due to habitat loss and predation. Found in brushes and young forests. No specimens captured were this species.
- White-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus - Common throughout CCNS. Formerly extirpated. Population increasing due to little predation.
- Northern short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda - Uncommon. Found in fields, stone walls, and marshes. 2.4% of specimens captured were this species.
- Cinereus shrew Sorex cinereus - Common. Like the Short-tailed shrew, it is found in fields and marshes, but also in forests and pine forests. 13.8% of specimens captured were this species.
- Star-nosed mole Condylura cristata - Abundance is unknown. Records are needed. May be found in marshes and soil that is undrained.
- Eastern mole Scalopus aquaticus - Abundance is unknown. Records are needed. May be found in well drained, loamy soil.
- Big brown bat Eptesicus fuscus - Common in the forests and attics. Could be endangered from white nose syndrome.
- Silver-haired bat Lasionycteris noctivagans - Migrant in Cape Cod. Abundance unknown.
- Eastern red bat Lasiurus borealis - Migrant in Cape Cod. Abundance unknown.
- Hoary bat Lasiurus cinereus - Migrant in Cape Cod. Abundance unknown.
- Little brown bat Myotis lucifugus - Abundance unknown. MA endangered.
- Northern long-eared myotis Myotis septentrionalis - Abundance unknown. MA endangered.
- Bobcat Lynx rufus - Extirpated, now re-colonizing region, populations recorded in Upper Cape in 2013.
- Eastern cougar Puma concolor - Extirpated from region.
- Coyote Canis latrans - Common throughout CCNS. Can be found in urban places.
- Eastern wolf Canis lupus - Extirpated from CCNS.
- Gray fox Urocyon cineroargentatus - Possibly extirpated. Current status unknown. May be found in Oak and pine forests.
- Red fox Vulpes vulpes - Common and uncommon, depending on area in CCNS. Uncommon near the shore and marshes, but common in Oak forests and pine forests.
- American black bear Ursus americanus - Extirpated. One record in 2012 was released back in Central Massachusetts.
- North American river otter Lontra canadensis - Uncommon. Occurs near marshes, Streams, and rivers.
- Fisher Martes pennanti - Uncommon. Formerly extirpated. Found in oak forests and pine forests.
- Ermine Mustela erminea - Reportedly present with small, isolated populations in marshes, fields, near Streams and oak forests, but no known Outer Cape records.
- Long-tailed weasel Mustela frenata - Uncommon in CCNS and mainly found in the same habitat as the ermine, but also in pine forests. 0.2% of specimens captured were this species.
- American mink Neovision vision - Status unknown. No recent records. Occurs in Salt marshes and near streams.
- Raccoon Procyon lotor - Common, especially in urban and suburban places. Found also in oak and pine forests.
- Striped skunk Mephitis mephitis - Like the Raccoon, it is common in urban and suburban places, and is also found in oak and pine forests.
- Hooded seal Cystophora cristata - Occasionally seen off the coast.
- Gray seal Halichoerus grypus - Abundant; population recovery after hunting stopped. Population in CCNS, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket alone is an estimated 2 million.
- Harp seal Pagophilus groenlandicus - Occasionally seen inshore.
- Harbor seal Phoca vitulina - Uncommon. Usually found inshore, and most populations are found in Plymouth, Suffolk, and Essex county. Population estimate is in the 100 thousands.
- Ringed seal Pusa hispida - Rare. Found mainly in the Upper Cape.
- Common minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata - The only Roqual common inshore and offshore. Common in Stellwagen Bank.
- Sei whale Balaenoptera borealis - Occasionally seen offshore. Common in Stellwagen Bank.
- Blue whale Balaenoptera musculus - Occasionally seen offshore. Can be seen in Stellwagen Bank.
- Fin whale Balaenoptera physalus - Common, especially offshore. Can be seen in Stellwagen Bank.
- Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae - Common inshore and offshore. Common in Stellwagen Bank.
- Harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena - Common in harbor and inshore. Rarely found offshore.
- Sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus - Occasionally seen offshore, but often seen in Stellwagen Bank and the waters east of Cape Cod.
- Short-beaked common dolphin Delphinus delphis - Rare. Winter visitor. Found in Stellwagen Bank.
- Long-finned Pilot Whale Globicephala melas - Rare. Strands a lot.
- Risso's dolphin Grampus griseus - Occasionally seen offshore. Found in Stellwagen Bank.
- Atlantic white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus - Common offshore. Found in Stellwagen Bank.
- White-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris- Occasionally seen offshore. Found in Stellwagen Bank.
- Killer whale Orcinus orca - Occasionally seen.
- Striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba - Occasionally seen. A summer visitor.
- Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus - Occasionally seen. A summer visitor.
- Mammals of New England
- List of Massachusetts birds
- List of reptiles of Massachusetts
- List of mammals
- List of regional mammals lists
- List of mammals in Connecticut
- List of mammals in North America
- Miller, B., Reid, F., Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Cuarón, A. D. & de Grammont, P. C. (2008). "Eptesicus fuscus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
- Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Miller, B., Reid, F., Cuarón, A. D. & de Grammont, P. C. (2008). "Lasionycteris noctivagans". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 07 February 2010.
- Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Miller, B., Reid, F., Cuarón, A. D. & de Grammont, P. C. (2008). "Lasiurus borealis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 07 February 2010.
- Gonzalez, E., Barquez, R. & Arroyo-Cabrales, J. (2008). "Lasiurus cinereus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 07 February 2010.
- Arroyo-Cabrales, J. & Ticul Alvarez Castaneda, S. (2008). Myotis leibii. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- Arroyo-Cabrales, J. & Ticul Alvarez Castaneda, S. (2008). "Myotis lucifugus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 08 February 2010.
- Arroyo-Cabrales, J. & Ticul Alvarez Castaneda, S. (2008). "Myotis septentrionalis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 08 February 2010.
- Arroyo-Cabrales, J. & Ticul Alvarez Castaneda, S. (2008). "Myotis sodalis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 08 February 2010.
- Arroyo-Cabrales, J., Miller, B., Reid, F., Cuarón, A. D. & de Grammont, P. C. (2008). "Pipistrellus subflavus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 07 February 2010.
- Kays, R. W., and Wilson, D. W., Mammals of North America, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-07012-1
- Wilson, D. E., and Reeder, D. M. (eds) Mammal Species of the World, 3rd edition, Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-8221-4.
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Mammals of North America
- Mammal List of Massachusetts Cardoza, J. E., Jones, G. S., and French, T. W.