Rounder
Today's Wildlife Field Identification Guide  

Large Mammals

Large mammals are large-sized, warm-blooded animals with hair. Young are nourished with milk from the mother. Examples are deer, coyotes, and bear. Large mammals are found throughout North America.

Range Maps

All animal descriptions are accompanied by a map showing the animal's habitat range. The maps are color-coded as follows:

  Summer Range
  Winter Range
  All-Year Range
Bear, Black
Black Bear
Credit: Tom J. Ulrich
Black Bear Tracks
Color varies from black or cinnamon to blond in West and black in East; muzzle usually brown; may have a small white patch on chest. Male much larger than female.

Habitat and Habits:
Lives primarily in forest and swamps in East, in forest and wooded mountains in West. Omnivorous. Lives up to 30 years. Nocturnal, usually solitary, except mother with cubs. Mates Jun. - Jul. Typically two to three cubs, born in winter.

Black Bear Area Map

Bear, Grizzly
Grizzly Bear
Credit: Tom J. Ulrich
Grizzly Bear Tracks
Color varies from light yellow to dark brown to nearly black; fur on back usually white-tipped giving grizzled effect. Distinguished from black bear by noticeable hump above shoulders.

Habitat and Habits:

Lives in open, mountainous areas in West and on tundra in far north. Omnivorous. Lives 15 - 34 years. Nocturnal. Mates Jun. - Jul. Typically two cubs, born in winter.
Grizzly Bear Area Map
Bighorn Sheep
Bighorn Sheep
Credit:Texas Parks & Wildlife
Bighorn Sheep Tracks
Dark brown to gray coloring; white rump patch with short darker tail. Two heavy, tapering, curled brown horns on male; smaller and less curled on female.

Habitat and Habits:

Lives in rocky, mountainous terrain, preferring bluffs or steep slopes. Herbivorous. Lives for 15 years. Male is polygamous; rut runs Nov. - Dec.; males engage in battles, butting heads. One small brown lamb typical.
Bighorn Sheep Area Map
Bobcat
Bobcat
Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, R. V. Shiver
obcat Tracks
Medium-sized with reddish-spotted fur (grayer in winter) and black on top and at tip of very short tail. Light-spotted underside including face.

Habitat and Habits:
Lives in thickets of shrubs or trees, swamplands, woodlands, rimrock, and rocky prairies. Carnivorous. Mainly nocturnal and solitary. Two to four kittens in one litter can be born throughout the year.

Bobcat Area Map

Buffalo
Buffalo Buffalo tracks
Brown coloring. Large head with smaller, curving horns. Shaggy hair on shoulders and front legs; shorter, finer hair on rest of body. Male is typically larger than female.

Habitat and Habits:

Lives on open prairies. Poor eyesight; good hearing and sense of smell. Can run up to 30 mph. Travels in herds of 20 - 50. Females lead family groups; males remain alone or in small groups. Rut runs Jul. - Sept. Calves born once every two years, typically late Apr. to mid-May.
Buffalo Area
Caribou, Woodland
Woodland Caribou
Credit: Tom J. Ulrich
Woodland Caribou Tracks
The largest of the caribou; dark brown with whitish neck, underside, rump, and above each hoof. All males and more than half of females have semipalmated antlers with a prominent vertical tine over nose. Females’ antlers are smaller.

Habitat and Habits:

Found in boreal coniferous forests, alpine tundra, and in muskegs (peat bogs). Herbivorous. Male is polygamous; rut runs late Sept. Grayish-brown fawns.
Woodland Caribou Area Map
Coyote
Coyote
Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife
Coyote Tracks
Medium-sized with gray to reddish-gray fur, more red on legs, feet, and ears; dark-tipped tail; whitish belly and throat.

Habitat and Habits:

Lives in prairies, open woodlands, shrublands, and a variety of habitats. Carnivorous. Mainly nocturnal but can be active anytime. Five to ten pups born Apr. - May.

Coyote Area Map

Deer, Black-Tailed
Black-tailed Deer
Credit: Tom J. Ulrich
Black-tailed Deer Tracks
Smaller than mule deer with a less extensive range. Can be distinguished from mule deer by its blackish or brown coloring on top of tail.

Habitat and Habits:

Lives in mixed open to wooded terrain along the Pacific Coast. Herbivorous. Lives up to 16 years. Male is polygamous; rut runs Oct. - Dec. One to two spotted fawns typical.
Black-tailed Deer Area Map
Deer, Mule
Mule Deer
Credit: Tom J. Ulrich
Mule Deer Tracks
Reddish coloring in summer and blue-gray in winter. Rump patch is cream-colored with black tip; tail is cream-colored. Ears are larger than the white-tailed deer. Antlers branch equally.

Habitat and Habits:
Lives in forests, desert shrubs, thickets of shrubs or trees, grasslands, plains, foothills, and river bottoms. Herbivorous. Lives up to 16 years. Male is polygamous; rut runs Oct .- Dec. One to two spotted fawns typical.

Mule Deer Area Map

Deer, White-Tailed
White-tailed Deer
Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife
White-tailed Deer Tracks
Reddish-brown to blue-gray or tan coloring; underside of tail is white, producing a “flag” when raised off the rump. Antlers on males consist mainly of main beam with tines growing from it.

Habitat and Habits:

Lives in forests, swamps, open brushy areas, foothills, plains, and river bottoms. Herbivorous. Movement limited from one to two miles. Lives up to 16 years. Male is polygamous; rut runs Oct. - Dec. One to two spotted fawns typical.

White-tailed Deer Area Map

Elk (Wapiti)
Elk (Wapiti)
Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife
Elk (Wapiti) Tracks
Dark brown to tan coloring; yellowish rump patch and tail. Large, spreading antlers on male.

Habitat and Habits:

Lives in mountain terrain in summer and may move to lower elevations, wooded slopes in winter. Herbivorous. Lives up to 15 years. Male is polygamous; rut runs Sept. - Nov. Usually one calf; spotted until 3 months of age.

Elk (Wapiti) Area Map

Feral Hog (Wild Pig)
Feral Hog (Wild Pig)
Credit:Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Comm.
Feral Hog (Wild Pig) Tracks
Color varies extremely from black or brown to white with spots; coarse bristle-like hair; up to 300 pounds or more. Male has tusks.

Habitat and Habits:

Lives in forested bottomland along streams, rivers or in swamps. Omnivorous. Lives ten years typically. Active during dawn and dusk. One to ten young per litter; up to 2 litters per year.

Feral Hog (Wild Pig) Area Map

Javelina (Peccary)
Javelina
Credit:Texas Parks & Wildlife
Javelina Tracks
Pig-like with coarse black and gray hair and collar of light-colored hair around neck. Upper tusks are sharp and pointed downward.

Habitat and Habits:

Lives in brushy, dense semi-arid deserts; thickets of shrubs or trees; mesquite and cacti regions along cliffs; and near water holes. Omnivorous. Travels in groups. Two young born throughout the year.

Javelina Area Map

Lynx
Lynx
Credit: Tom J. Ulrich
Lynx Tracks
Distinguished from bobcat by black-tipped tail and tufted ears. Has extremely large feet, allowing it to move easily in snowy terrain.

Habitat and Habits:
Lives in forested areas and swamps. Dens in hollow logs below roots and other sheltered spaces. Carnivorous. One to four kittens in a litter.

Lynx Area Map

Moose
Moose
Credit: Tom J. Ulrich
Moose Tracks
Dark brown coloring; legs are grayish. Large overhanging snout; dewlap on throat. Antlers on male are massive, palmate, and flat.

Habitat and Habits:
Lives in forests with lakes and swamps. Herbivorous. Lives up to 20 years. Male is polygamous; rut runs Sept. - Oct. Usually one calf; light reddish-brown with dark stripe down back.

Moose Area Map

Mountain Goat
Mountain Goat
Credit: Tom J. Ulrich
Mountain Goat Tracks
Long white fur that turns yellowish in winter, black hooves and horns that curve slightly backward, and a distinctive beard.

Habitat and Habits:

Usually found above timberline on rocky precipices or steep slopes; moves closer to the timberline during winter months. Herbivorous. Lives up to 12 years. Movement limited to three to six miles. Male is polygamous; rut runs Nov. - Dec. Typically one to two kids; brown hairs along back.

Mountain Goat Area Map

Mountain Lion
Mountain Lion
Credit: Tom J. Ulrich
Mountain Lion Tracks
Large tan cat with long dark-tipped tail.

Habitat and Habits:

Lives mainly in rugged mountains and sometimes in forests and swamplands with dens in caves, rock crevices, and other concealed locations. Carnivorous; makes a food “cache” out of uneaten prey. Mainly nocturnal. Typically two to four spotted cubs born throughout the year.

Mountain Lion Area Map

Pronghorn
Pronghorn
Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Pronghorn Tracks
Reddish to tan coloring. Large white rump patch with short white tail; rump hair stands up when alerted or fleeing. Two broad white bands across neck. Male has large black jaw patch and larger, slightly curved horns with single prong growing forward.

Habitat and Habits:

Lives in open prairies, plains, and brushlands. Herbivorous. Lives for 14 years. Male is polygamous; rut runs Aug. - Nov. Two fawns typical.

Pronghorn Area Map

Wolf, Mexican Gray
Mexican Gray Wolf Mexican Gray Wolf tracks
Protected. Smallest and rarest gray wolf in North America and a protected sub-species. Richly colored buff, gray, rust, and black coat. Habitat and Habits:
Prefers mountainous woodlands; nearly extinct in 1976, there are now around 350 Mexican gray wolves, 50 reintroduced into the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in Arizona and New Mexico; the remaining controlled locations around the U.S. Carnivorous.
Wolf, Gray (Timber Wolf)
Gray Wolf
Credit: Tom J. Ulrich
Gray Wolf Tracks
Largest wild dog. Color varies from white (arctic) to black, but usually a grizzled gray. Tails often black-tipped. Unlike coyote, holds tail straight out when running.

Habitat and Habits:

Lives in north wilderness forests and tundra, and all habitats in other ranges except desert and high mountains. Carnivorous. Mainly nocturnal but can be active anytime. One to eleven pups born Apr. - Jun.

Gray Wolf Area Map

Wildlife Guide
White-tailed deer tracks
< Back to Previous Page Table of Contents Go to Next Page >
 
Online wildlife identification guide last modified: January 3, 2008
Copyright © 2002 - 2008 Kalkomey, Inc. All rights reserved.
Rounder