Mammals in Massachusetts

List of mammals found in Massachusetts

Didelphimorphia

Didelphidae (New World Opossums)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Virginia Opossum Didelphis virginiana Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties.

Sirenia

Trichechidae (Manatees and Dugongs)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
West Indian Manatee Trichechus manatus Accidental. Coastal Barnstable and Bristol counties, 2006 & 2008.

Rodentia

Sciuridae (Tree Squirrels and Marmots)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Eastern Gray Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis Statewide. Recently introduced to Nantucket County.
Red Squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties.
Northern Flying Squirrel Glaucomys sabrinus Northeastern, central, and western Massachusetts. No recent records.
Southern Flying Squirrel Glaucomys volans Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties.
Woodchuck Marmota monax Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties.
Eastern Chipmunk Tamias striatus Statewide except Nantucket County.

 

Castoridae (American Beaver)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
American Beaver Castor canadensis Northeastern, central, and western Massachusetts. Occasionally in southeastern Massachusetts.

 

Dipodidae (Jumping Mice)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Woodland Jumping Mouse Napaeozapus insignis Central and western Massachusetts.
Meadow Jumping Mouse Zapus hudsonius Statewide.

 

Cricetidae (Mice, Voles, and Lemmings)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Meadow Vole Microtus pennsylvanicus Statewide. The vole of Muskeget Island is sometimes considered a separate species, Microtus breweri.
Woodland Vole Microtus pinetorum Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties.
Southern Red-backed Vole Myodes gapperi Statewide except Martha's Vineyard island and Nantucket County.
Common Muskrat Ondatra zibethicus Statewide except Nantucket County.
Southern Bog Lemming* Synaptomys cooperi Franklin, Hampshire, Plymouth, and Worcester counties. Listed as a Species of Special Concern.
White-footed Deermouse Peromyscus leucopus Statewide.
North American Deermouse Peromyscus maniculatus Central and western Massachusetts.

 

Muridae (Old World Rats and Mice)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
House Mouse Mus musculus Introduced. Nearly statewide except for Martha's Vineyard island.
Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus Introduced. Statewide
Roof (Black) Rat Rattus rattus Introduced. Eradicated.

 

Erethizontidae (New World Porcupines)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
North American Porcupine Erethizon dorsatum Northeastern, central, and western Massachusetts. Recently in Barnstable and Plymouth counties.

Lagomorpha

Leporidae (Hares and Rabbits)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Black-tailed Jackrabbit Lepus californicus Introduced. Found only in Nantucket County. May be extirpated.
Snowshoe Hare Lepus americanus Introduced, primarily Lepus americanus americanus. Statewide except Dukes and possibly Nantucket counties. 
European Hare Lepus europaeus Berkshire County prior to 1930s. Extirpated.
European Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus Introduced in 1920s and 1930s. Feral populations may still exist on some Boston Harbor islands.
Eastern Cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus Statewide. Introduced,primarily Sylvilagus floridanus mallurus and S.f. alacer (mearnsi).
New England Cottontail Sylvilagus transitionalis Statewide, but spotty. Extirpated from Dukes and Nantucket counties

Soricomorpha

Soricidae (Shrews)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Northern Short-tailed Shrew Blarina brevicauda Statewide.
Cinereus Shrew Sorex cinereus Statewide.
Long-tailed Shrew* Sorex dispar Berkshire County. Listed as a Species of Special Concern.
Smoky Shrew Sorex fumeus Central and western Massachusetts.
American Pygmy Shrew Sorex hoyi Berkshire County (1991).
American Water Shrew* Sorex palustris Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties. Listed as a Species of Special Concern.

 

Talpidae (Moles and Shrew-Moles)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Star-nosed Mole Condylura cristata Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties.
Hairy-tailed Mole Parascalops breweri Northeastern, central, and western Massachusetts.
Eastern Mole Scalopus aquaticus Southern Connecticut River Valley; Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties.

Chiroptera

Vespertilionidae (Vesper Bats)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus Statewide. 
Eastern Red Bat Lasiurus borealis Migratory. May occur statewide.
Hoary Bat Lasiurus cinereus Migratory. May occur statewide.
Tricolored Bat* Pipistrellus subflavus Statewide. Listed as Endangered
Silver-haired Bat Lasionycteris noctivagans Migratory. May occur statewide.
Eastern Small-footed Bat* Myotis leibii Berkshire and Hampden counties. Listed as Endangered.
Little Brown Bat* Myotis lucifugus Statewide. Listed as Endangered.
Northern Long-eared Bat* Myotis septentrionalis Statewide. Listed as Endangered in Massachusetts and Threatened at the federal level.
Indiana Bat* Myotis sodalis Last recorded in 1939 from Berkshire and Hampden counties; most likely extirpated Listed as Endangered both in Massachusetts and at the federal level.

Carnivora

Felidae (Cats)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Domestic Cat Felis catus Statewide; feral.
Canadian Lynx Lynx canadensis Extirpated. Hampshire (1866) and Worcester County (1884-1885). 2 records in 1991 were wandering lynx from a New York released. Listed federally as Threatened.
Bobcat Lynx rufus Northeastern, central, and western Massachusetts. Occasionally in southeastern Massachusetts.

Cougar (Mountain Lion)--external link

Puma concolor Extirpated; last known record 1958. One confirmed scat in Franklin County in 1997. Listed federally as Endangered as Felis concolor couguar.

 

Canidae (Dogs, Foxes, and Wolves)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Coyote Canis latrans Statewide except Nantucket County and Martha's Vineyard island.
Wolf Canis lupus Extirpated by 1840. 1918 record is an escaped captive. One record in Franklin County in 2007. Listed federally as Endangered as Canis lupus lycaon.
Domestic Dog Canis lupus familiaris Statewide; occasionally feral.
Gray Fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus Statewide except Dukes, Nantucket, and Suffolk counties.
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes Statewide except Nantucket County and Martha's Vineyard island.

 

Ursidae (Bears)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
American Black Bear Ursus americanus Statewide.

 

Phocidae (Earless Seals)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Hooded Seal Cystophora cristata Extremely rare in MA. Occasionally will enter MA waters.
Bearded Seal Erignathus barbatus Extremely rare in MA. Occasionally will enter MA waters.
Gray Seal Halichoerus grypus Essex, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties.
Harp Seal Pagophilus groenlandicus Seen mainly from January to May in Essex, Suffolk, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties.
Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Plymouth, Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, and Nantucket counties.
Ringed Seal Pusa hispida Extremely rare in MA. Occasionally will enter MA waters

 

Mustelidae (Weasels, Minks, Martens, and Otters)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
North American River Otter Lontra canadensis Statewide except Nantucket and Suffolk counties.
Wolverine Gulo gulo Extirpated. Western Massachusetts prior to 1835.
American Marten Martes americana Extirpated. Worcester County and west prior to 1880.
Fisher Martes pennanti Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties.
Ermine Mustela erminea Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties.
Long-tailed Weasel Mustela frenata Statewide except Dukes and Nantucket counties.
American Mink Neovison vison Statewide except Nantucket County.

 

Mephitidae (Skunks)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Striped Skunk Mephitis mephitis Statewide except Nantucket County.

 

Procyonidae (Raccoons, Coastis, Ringtails)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Raccoon Procyon lotor Statewide except Nantucket County.

Artiodactyla

Cervidae (Deer, Elk, and Moose)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Moose Alces americanus Resident in northeastern, central, and western Massachusetts. May occur in southeastern Massachusetts.
Elk Cervus elaphus Extirpated. Last record from Worcester County in 1732.
White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus Statewide.
Fallow Deer Dama dama Introduced to Dukes County. None reported since early 1980s.

Cetacea

Balaenidae (Right and Bowhead Whales)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
North Atlantic Right Whale* Eubalaena glacialis Seen mainly off the coast off Plymouth, Barnstable, and Dukes counties. Enter local feeding grounds in late winter through spring. Listed as Endangered both in Massachusetts and at the federal level.

 

Balaenopteridae (Rorqual Whales)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata Seen mainly off the coast of Essex, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties. Enter local feeding ground in spring through mid-fall. Typically offshore.
Sei Whale* Balaenoptera borealis Seen mainly off the coast of Essex and Barnstable counties. Enter local feeding grounds in spring through fall. Typically offshore. Listed as Endangered both in Massachusetts and at the federal level.
Blue Whale* Balaenoptera musculus Rarely seen, mainly off Essex and Barnstable counties. Enter local feeding grounds in summer through fall. Rarely venture onto the continental shelf. Listed as Endangered both in Massachusetts and at the federal level.
Fin Whale* Balaenoptera physalus Seen mainly off the coast of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Barnstable counties. Enter local feeding grounds in spring through late summer. Typically offshore. Listed as Endangered in both Massachusetts and at the federal level.
Humpback Whale* Megaptera novaeangliae Seen mainly off the coast of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Plymouth, Barnstable, and Nantucket counties. Enter local feeding grounds in spring through fall. Listed as Endangered.

 

Delphinidae (Dolphins and Pilot Whales)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis Seen mainly off the coast of Essex, Barnstable, and Nantucket counties. Typically offshore.
Short-finned Pilot Whale Globicephala macrorhynchus Rarely seen, mainly off the coast of Essex, Barnstable, and Nantucket counties. Typically offshore.
Long-finned Pilot Whale Globicephala melas Rarely seen, mainly off the coast of Essex, Barnstable, and Nantucket counties. Typically offshore.
Risso's Dolphin Grampus griseus Rarely seen, mainly off the coast of Essex, Barnstable, and Nantucket counties. Rarely venture onto the continental shelf.
Atlantic White-sided Dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus Rarely seen, mainly off the coast of Essex, Barnstable, and Nantucket counties. Rarely venture onto the continental shelf.
White-beaked Dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris Rarely seen, mainly off the coast of Essex and Barnstable counties.
Killer Whale Orcinus orca Seen mainly off the coast of Essex, Barnstable, Nantucket, and Dukes counties. Typically offshore.
Pantropicial Spotted Dolphin Stenella attenuata Seen mainly off the coast of Barnstable, Nantucket, and Dukes counties. Typically offshore.
Striped Dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba Rarely seen, mainly off the coast of Essex, Barnstable, and Nantucket counties. Rarely venture onto the continental shelf.
Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus Seen mainly off the coast of Essex, Plymouth, Barnstable, Nantucket, and Dukes counties. Typically offshore.

 

Monodontidae (Belugas and Narwhals)

Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Beluga Delphinapterus leucas Extremely rare. Occasionally will enter MA waters.  

 

Phocoenidae (Porpoises)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Harbor Porpoise Phocoena phocoena Seen mainly off the coast of Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Plymouth, Barnstable, Nantucket, Dukes, and Bristol counties.

 

Physeteridae (Sperm and Pygmy Sperm Whales)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Pygmy Sperm Whale Kogia breviceps Rarely seen, mainly off the coast of Essex, Barnstable, and Nantucket counties. Rarely venture onto the continental shelf.
Dwarf Sperm Whale Kogia sima Rarely seen, mainly off the coast of Essex, Barnstable, and Nantucket counties. Rarely venture onto the continental shelf.
Sperm Whale* Physeter catodon Not seen close to shore. Do not venture onto the continental shelf. Listed as Endangered both in Massachusetts and at the federal level.

 

Ziphiidae (Beaked Whales)
Common Name Scientific Name Distribution
Northern Bottlenose Whale Hyperoodon ampullatus Not seen close to shore. Do not venture onto the continental shelf.
Sowerby's Beaked Whale Mesoplodon bidens Rarely seen, mainly off the coast of Essex, Barnstable, and Nantucket counties. Rarely venture onto the continental shelf.
Blainville's Beaked Whale Mesoplodon densirostris Not seen close to shore. Do not venture onto the continental shelf.
True's Beaked Whale Mesoplodon mirus Not seen close to shore. Do not venture onto the continental shelf.
Cuvier's Beaked Whale Ziphius caviorstris Not seen close to shore. Do not venture onto the continental shelf.

 

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