Fauna

The Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab contains an assortment of interesting animals, with many left to be discovered. Mammals include beaver, muskrat, red fox, raccoon, fox squirrel, red tree squirrel, mink, striped skunk, white-tailed deer, opossum, and others. Mammal tracks are fun to find in muddy areas near water and after a light snow.

The NMP EcoLab contains a diverse array of habitats and therefore, is quite good for birding. We have seen over 165 species, but weekly bird surveys continue to turn up new ones, so it’s always exciting! Birdwalks are most Wednesdays during ​spring and fall seasons at 8 a.m. Check the calendar for details. The data collected on these walks are used to monitor the changes in bird populations as the restoration of the NMP EcoLab continues. Great horned owls, cooper’s hawks, and American woodcock typically nest in the NMP EcoLab. 

The herpetologist (reptile and amphibian expert) will be interested in surveying the NMP EcoLab’s wetlands. So far, amphibian diversity is strangely low, considering the area and quality of wetlands. Frog species heard during our yearly frog surveys include bullfrogs, American toads, green frogs, and cricket frogs. The salamander species that has been found consistently in certain areas of the NMP EcoLab is the two-lined Salamander, and marbled salamanders were found in 2019. Turtle species in the EcoLab include painted, red-eared sliders, snapping, and box turtles. Soft shell turtles can be found on occasion roaming from their primary habitat in Crooked Creek.

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