North America’s only marsupial (female has a pouch) mammal. One of the shortest lived mammals for its size, typically 2 to 4 years. Killed by many predators: humans (and cars), dogs, cats, owls, and larger wildlife.
Variety of habitats
Masked Shrew (Sorex cinereus)
The masked shrew’s “mask” is not a very noticeable feature but the nose is long, extending well beyond the mouth, and quite mobile.
Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
Banding records show that this bat may live as long as nine years. The big brown bat usually hibernates in caves or man-made dwellings once food sources begin to dwindle.
Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus)
This is our most common species of bat. It frequently establishes nursing colonies at sites to which the females return each year. In 1939 during planning for the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Charles Mohr banded and transplanted an estimated 2,500 Myotis from tunnels that had originally been constructed for a railroad. Unfortunately, the bats did not accept this relocation some 80 miles away from the tunnels which had existed, largely undisturbed, since 1885. In late 1940, bats were still seen flying through the completed turnpike tunnels.
Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis)
The ears of this bat are longer than those of any other member of the genus Myotis in Pennsylvania.
Evening Bat (Nycticeius humeralis)
Reported from only a few southern counties in Pennsylvania, this is probably an accidental visitor and not a regular resident.
Eastern Pipistrelle (Perimyotis subflavus)
This bat is known to live up to seven years. Its flight is said to be weak and fluttery, thus earning it the nickname the “butterfly bat.”
Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)
This species has benefited greatly from the clearing and farming of the Commonwealth.
Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)
There are three different subspecies of deer mouse that occur in Pennsylvania. The two most abundant varieties prefer a woodland habitat. The third subspecies prefers open fields and other areas with little cover.
Coyote (Canis latrans)
The coyote is an extremely secretive animal and is rarely seen in Pennsylvania. Several canids brought to the Section of Mammals for identification in recent years have proven to be coyotes from various parts of the Commonwealth. There have also been several apparent coyote–dog hybrids, also called coydogs, presented for identification. Determinations are based mostly on examination of the skulls.
Long-tailed Weasel (Mustela frenata)
Several sources indicate that weasels have a reputation for killing more than they can eat at a given time. This is probably a mistaken impression from observations of weasels moving a kill to its den. However, the animal may move a carcass to its burrow to feed the young or to cache for future meals.
Least Weasel (Mustela nivalis)
This is the smallest carnivore in Pennsylvania with a total length of only eight inches and weight of only two ounces!
Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)
Valued for its fur, the skunk is also an important predator of rodents and insects.
Mountain Lion (Puma concolor)
Although reports of sightings in Pennsylvania have persisted to the present day, virtually all have been undocumented. The most recent mountain lion kill in Pennsylvania occurred in 1967 and has been determined to be a released captive of a southern subspecies. The last known Pennsylvania mountain lion was killed in the 1856 in Susquehanna County. This specimen was preserved as a body mount that has recently been refurbished and is exhibited on Penn State’s main campus.