Wildlife of Missouri

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Missouri River near Rocheport, Missouri

Missouri is home to a diversity of both flora and fauna. There is a large amount of fresh water present due to the Mississippi River, Missouri River, and Lake of the Ozarks, with numerous smaller tributary rivers, streams, and lakes. North of the Missouri River, the state is primarily rolling hills of the Great Plains, whereas south of the Missouri River, the state is dominated by the Oak-Hickory Central U.S. hardwood forest.

Some of the native species found in Missouri include:[1][2]


Within historic times, pronghorn, gray wolf, and brown bear were all found in Missouri, but have since been eliminated. Wapiti and American bison were formerly common, but are currently confined to private farms and parks.




Winter residents:

Within historic times, the passenger pigeon, the carolina parakeet, and the ivory-billed woodpecker were all found in Missouri, but they have since been eliminated.[4]

Reptiles and amphibians[edit]





Insect migrations[edit]

There has also been a migration of insects from the south to Missouri. One example of this is the wasp Polistes exclamans.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guide to North American Wildlife, Reader's Digest, 1982
  2. ^ Field Guide to the Birds of North America, second edition, National Geographic Society, 1996
  3. ^ National Geographic Society - Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Second Edition
  4. ^ "Animals of Conservation Concern" (PDF). Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  5. ^ Johnson, Tom R. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Missouri: Missouri Department of Conservation, 1992
  6. ^ Briggler, Jeffrey T. and Tom R. Johnson, Missouri's Toads and Frogs, MO Department of Conservation, copyright 1982, 2008, Missouri Conservation Commission
  7. ^ West, Mary Jane (1968). "Range Extension and Solitary nest founding in Polistes Exclamans". Psyche. 75 (2): 118–23. doi:10.1155/1968/49846.