Mammals of Cedar Creek

 

Order CARNIVORA

(Carnivores)

Family CANIDAE
Cedar Creek has long had a resident population of Coyotes (Canis latrans).  Sightings are fairly frequent and their mid-summer yelping is unmistakable.  An infrequent visit by a Timber Wolf  (Canis lupus) is not out of the question as there is a resident pack in Pine County ca. 40 miles from here.
Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) are fairly common here and Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) though less frequently encountered is also present.  Red Fox frequently dens in burrows in fields with a view, while Gray Fox prefers denning under woodland snags.  Preferred prey of both are small mammals.

Family URSIDAE
An occasional Black Bear (Ursus americanus) wanders through the Area, but there is no resident population.  Numerous bear sightings in the Twin Cities Area in 2002--a result of xxx.

Family PROCYONIDAE
Raccoon (Procyon lotor) have attained pest status at Cedar Creek.  They forage in unlidded trash bins and are terrors of garden produce.  Having no true hibernation they frequently emerge from winter dens on mild late winter days.  They are abundant roadkills.

Family MUSTELIDAE
Cedar Creek has nine members of the Weasel FamilyMink (Mustela vison) and Short and Long-tailed Weasels (Mustela erminea, Mustela frenata) are fairly common but infrequently seen.  The Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis) is uncommon.
Badger (Taxidea taxus) sign is abundant in our abandoned fields where they have dug numerous shallow pits attempting to catch gophers, their preferred prey.  Rick Lampe PhD Thesis on these disagreeable fellows.
The Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) is a common woodland species and roadkill.  The Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius) has been collected here but may no longer occur as there have been no recent sightings.
River Otter (Lutra canadensis) have been fairly common along the creek in recent years and there are infrequent sightings on Cedar Bog Lake and Fish Lake in the fall.

Family FELIDAE
Other than the Domestic House Cat, there may well be no members of the Cat Family presently occurring on CCNHA.  Bobcat (Lynx rufus) were fairly common in the 1950's and 1960's when we had a resident Snowshoe Hare population in our white cedar swamps.  There have been sightings, scats, tracks are recently as the 1980's.  It is unlikely that any Lynx (Lynx lynx) or Cougar (Felis concolor) are residents, but it is not out of the realm of possibility that a vagrant might turn up at some point.


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