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North American Wildlife Facts

Did you know these facts about North American Wildlife?

The American Alligator is the largest reptile in North America. This species ranges from 6' long all the way to 19'2".

The Nine-banded Armadillo is the only North American mammal that has its own armor. The armor is actually heavy, bony plate that is widest at the front and back of the Armadillo's body.

The North American Black Bear's diet consists mainly of vegetation even though it is in the order Carnivora. The Louisiana Black Bear is on the US Endangered Species List.

The American Beaver can remain submerged under water for up to 15 minutes before surfacing for air. Unregulated trapping almost brought an end to the existence of the Beaver as wildlife in North American by the middle of the 20th century in its original range. Now protected, the Beaver has become reestablished over most of the North American continent.

In North America, the Bison (Buffalo) is the largest terrestrial animal. If frightened the American Bison will stampede and can reach speeds of up to 32mph.

The Monarch Butterfly is a year long resident in Hawaii and Southern California. This butterfly migrates through most of North America.

Cardinals are aggressive birds that occupy territories year round. In recent years the Northern Cardinal has extended its range northward into southern Canada.

Banded Coyotes in North America have been known to travel for up to 400 miles. Despite years of being poisoned trapped and shot, the Coyote has survived, multiplied and increased their numbers across the continent.

The White-tailed Deer can run up to 36mph. This North American Deer can also make vertical leaps of 8 and 1/2 feet and horizontal bounds of 30 feet.

The Pacific White-sided Dolphin may live in herds that number several thousand. This Dolphin is found from the Aleutian Islands, the Gulf of Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest down to the tip of Baja, California.

The Bald Eagle is the United States National Bird. This bird suffered greatly and its numbers declined due to widespread use of pesticides that seeped into our lakes, rivers and streams. In 1940 Congress passed the Bald Eagle Protection Act and Eagles are once again nesting in areas that were void of their presence since the 1960's.

Elk are territorial ungulates. They mark their territories by stripping the barks of seedling trees. These posts serve as warnings to other Elk to "keep out". The successful reintroduction of the Wolf in Yellowstone and subsequently the healthy reduction in the Elk population has allowed trees that were almost destroyed by Elk herds, to return in the Park.

The Red Fox is the only North American candid with a white-tipped tail.

There is a Frog that barks just like a dog. This Barking Frog is found in the southwestern United States.

Approximately 50,000 Grizzly Bears roamed the western United States in the 1800's. Today they are on the Endangered Species List thanks to destruction of habitat, hunters and trappers.

The Wild Horse, a symbol of America's West, is sadly being considered a pest by Ranchers and farmers that are calling for strict management by the government for these majestic creatures.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only species of hummingbird that breeds east of the Mississippi River. Mature males have a bright red throat.

The Moose is the largest cervid in the world. The shedding of its velvet from the antlers is an awesome sight to behold. In North America the Moose can be found in Canada, Maine, Minnesota, Isle Royale in Michigan, Alaska, Colorado and Utah.

The Northern River Otter is being reintroduced to the Midwest where it had become extinct. This species of Otter has managed to survive in Alaska, Canada, northern California, northern Utah, and the extreme eastern seaboard.

The female Snow Owl is larger and more heavily marked than the male. This Owl is rarely seen perched in a tree but appears to enjoy perching on fence posts, roofs or even the ground.

The Polar Bear is a superior swimmer and can reach speeds of 6 and 1/2 mph using only it's front feet. This extreme Northern Bear is the most carnivorous of North American bears.

Prairie Dogs double their weight in the summer. The Utah Prairie Dog is on the Endangered Species List.

The Hawksbill Sea Turtle is on the Endangered Species list. This species of turtle has suffered from loss of habitat and pollution. It was also captured for its meat and shells.

The Northern Fur Seal is the greatest traveler of all aquatic carnivores. It summers in Point Barrow, Alaska and winters in San Diego, California.

The Wild Turkey had been hunted nearly to extinction in the early 1900's. This wild bird is making a comeback due to restocking programs, hunting restrictions and the return of the mature forests.

The reintroduction of the Gray Wolf in Yellowstone National Park has been a great success. The Mexican Wolf has not recovered as expected despite intensive reintroduction efforts.

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