Wildlife of North Carolina
North Carolina is the most ecologically unique state in the southeast because its borders contain sub-tropical, temperate, and boreal habitats. Although the state is at temperate latitudes, the Appalachian Mountains and the Gulf Stream influence climate and, hence, the vegetation (flora) and animals (fauna).
This region includes the Charlotte Metro Area and urban biomes of Raleigh and Durham, as well as a large area of semi-mountainous, rolling hills. The climate is humid subtropical and the geography is rolling, gentle hills and flat valleys. The Piedmont ranges from about 300–400 feet (90–120 m) elevation in the east to over 1,000 feet (300 m) in the west.
E = endangered
- Virginia opossum, Didelphis virginiana
- Nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus
- North American beaver, Castor canadensis
- Eastern gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis (state mammal)
- Fox squirrel, Sciurus niger
- Northern flying squirrel, Glaucomys sabrinus (Carolina northern flying squirrel, G. s. coloratus E)
- Groundhog, Marmota monax
- Muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus
- White-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus
- Eastern cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus
- Northern short-tailed shrew, Blarina brevicauda
- Gray bat, Myotis grisescens E
- Indiana bat, Myotis sodalis E
- Townsend's big-eared bat, Corynorhinus townsendii (Virginia big-eared bat, C. t. virginianus E)
- Big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus
- Bobcat, Lynx rufus
- Red fox, Vulpes vulpes
- Gray fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus
- Coyote, Canis latrans
- Red wolf, Canis rufus
- American black bear, Ursus americanus
- Raccoon, Procyon lotor
- Long-tailed weasel, Mustela frenata
- Least weasel, Mustela nivalis
- North American river otter, Lontra canadensis
In the mountains, there are small populations of bobcats and bears.[vague] Rocky Mountain elk (C. c. nelsoni) has been used to reintroduce elk to where the now extinct eastern elk (C. c. canadensis) once lived. The beaver pelt trade was an important part of the North Carolina economy well into the 1800s, and they were hunted to extinction in 1897. Reintroductions began in 1939 and now beaver have returned to the entire state.
Frogs are common in the marshy and wet regions of the Piedmont. The frog pictured at left is a Cope's gray treefrog (Hyla chrysocelis) or gray treefrog (H. versicolor). These two species cannot be differentiated except by their call or genetic analysis. However, H. versicolor is rare in the state and likely to not be pictured here. They are most abundant in some northern Piedmont counties. Other frogs of North Carolina include spring peepers, Pseudacris crucifer or Hyla crucifer. Common among Carolina forests, this frog lives in high branches of trees, although it is also seen on the ground and commonly on roadways.
Some common amphibians in North Carolina: two-toed amphiuma, common mudpuppy, dwarf waterdog, eastern lesser siren, greater siren, red-spotted newt, Mabee's salamander, spotted salamander, marbled salamander (state salamander), mole salamander, eastern tiger salamander, southern dusky salamander, dwarf salamander, four-toed salamander, Wehrle's salamander, eastern spadefoot, southern toad, Pine Barrens treefrog (state frog), Cope's gray treefrog, green treefrog, squirrel treefrog, gray treefrog, little grass frog, ornate chorus frog, upland chorus frog, American bullfrog, bronze frog, pickerel frog, southern leopard frog and wood frog.
Freshwater: bodie bass, Roanoke bass, largemouth bass, rock bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass, white bass, blue catfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, white catfish, brown bullhead, white perch, yellow perch, chain pickerel, redfin pickerel, American shad, hickory shad, pumpkinseed, redear, bluegill, flier, green sunfish, redbrest, warmouth, brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, garfish, bowfin, carp, crappie, freshwater drum, grass carp, kokanee salmon, muskellunge, tiger muskellunge, northern pike, sauger, eastern mosquitofish, smallmouth buffalo, walleye, the endemic Cape Fear shiner.
Saltwater: albacore, amberjack, Atlantic bonito, bank sea bass, barracuda, bigeye tuna, blackfin tuna, black drum, black sea bass, blacktip shark, bluefish, bluefin tuna, blue marlin, blueline tilefish, bull shark, butterfish, cobia, croaker, dolphin, flounder, gag, gray triggerfish, gray trout, hammerhead, hickory shad, hogchoker, hogfish, humping mullet, king mackerel, knobbed porgy, lizardfish, little tunny, mako shark, menhaden, northern puffer, oyster toadfish, pigfish, pinfish, pompano, red drum, red grouper, red snapper, sailfish, scamp, sea mullet, searobin, sheepshead, silver perch, silver snapper, skate, skipjack tuna, spadefish, Spanish mackerel, speckled hind, spottail pinfish, spot, speckled trout, stingray, striped bass, swordfish, tarpon, tiger shark, vermillion snapper, wahoo, white marlin, white grunt, yellowfin tuna, yellowedge grouper and yellowtail snapper.
Various insects, jellyfish, millipedes, centipedes, freshwater crayfish and freshwater mollusks.
Spiders: Northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus) Southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans) False black widow (Steatoda grossa) Common house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) Yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) Leafy cob weaver (Theridion frondeum) Spiny-backed orbweaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis) White sac spider (Elaver excepta) Orchard orb weaver (Leucauge venusta)
Mantises: Carolina mantis (Stagmomantis carolina)
Hymenoptera: European honey bee (Apis mellifera state insect) American bumblebee (Bombus pensylvanicus) Eastern carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica) Red paper wasp (Polistes carolina) Eastern cicada killer (Sphecius speciosus) Red velvet ant (Dasymutilla occidentalis) Red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta)
- "General Raleigh, NC Information". Retrieved 2018-05-10.
- Cochran, Bill (June 17, 2004). "Virginia officials take no joy in elk celebration". The Roanoke Times. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
- "Beaver Management in North Carolina - History". North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Archived from the original on April 16, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
-  Archived February 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- "North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission". www.ncwildlife.org.
- "AAFT". All-about-fish-teacher.blogspot.com. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- "NCDMF Oyster Sanctuaries". Ncfisheries.net. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
- "Research & Collections". naturalsciences.org.
- North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
- The North Carolina Gap Analysis Project -- Vertebrate Predicted Distribution Mapping
- Carolina nature