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Introduction

Specific Species

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Raccoon

 

Introduction

Mammals are of the class Mammalia. They are warm-blooded higher vertebrates (animals having a spinal column) that feed their young with milk secreted by mammary glands and have skin covered with at least some hair. About fifty species of mammals make their home around French Hill Pond. Mammals that make their homes in sea water or on the sea shore are not included in this group of fifty species. Domesticated mammals like pets, sheep, horses and dairy cattle, which are found on Mount Desert Island, are also not included in this group of fifty species. Occasionally, domestic animals like cats and rabbits may be introduced into the wild on Mount Desert Island but they do not normally reproduce. Sometimes mammals not native to Maine are introduced to Mount Desert Island in gear and luggage accompanying tourists or in shipping containers. These non-native mammals are often called accidental tourists and do not usually become established. For the purposes of this website, an accidental tourist is an animal inadvertently transported into the area of French Hill Pond by visitors or freight movers.

There are 19 orders in the class Mammalia. Only nine orders are found in the United States and Canada. They are Marsupialia (mammals with pouches), Insectivora (shrews and moles), Chiroptera (bats), Endentata (mammals without teeth), Lagomorpha (pikas, rabbits and hares), Rodentia (Rodents), Carnivora (carnivores), Sirenia (manatees and sea cows) and Artiodactyla (even-toed hoofed mammals).

The Opossum is the only mammal of the order Marsupialia in the United States but opossums are not found in Maine except in captivity or as accidental tourists.  Accidental tourists will not normally survive in Maine for very long. However, some accidental tourists will survive and can become a threat to other wildlife or a nuisance. Opossums have not been spotted in the area around French Hill Pond.

Insectivora are small animals that generally eat insects or other invertebrates (animals without spinal columns). They have short, dense fir. Their front and back feet have five clawed toes. Their ears may not be apparent, but they usually have excellent hearing. Shrews (Soricidae) are a major family in this order and are common around French Hill Pond. Moles (Talpidae) may also be found on Mount Desert Island. These tiny animals are very quick for their size and are difficult to spot. The shrews likely to be found in Maine include the Masked Shrew (Sorex cinercus), Water Shrew (Sorex palustris), Smokey Shrew (Sorex fumeus), Long-tailed Shrew (Sorex dispar), Pigmy Shrew (Microsorex hoyt)  and Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda). Moles that may be found in Maine include the Hairy-tailed Mole (Parascalops breweri) and Star-nosed Mole (Condylura cristata).

Chiroptera or bats are residents of the area around French Hill Pond. Bats eat insects on the fly. They are the only mammals that truly fly. Flying squirrels glide. They hunt near water, like French Hill Pond, where many insects breed and the bats can drink. Bats do not bite other mammals, including human beings, unless they are captured. They can be rabid and should not be handled. Bats are generally nocturnal and hunt using sonar at a frequency above that which humans can hear. However, they will let out a loud audible screech if disturbed. People living around French Hill Pond may find a bat in their home. Generally, an open window will provide a means for the bat to escape. Bats that may be found in Maine include the Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), Keen's Myotis (Myotis keenii), Silver-haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans), Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus), Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis) and Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus)

Endentata are not found in Maine except in captivity. This order includes anteaters and armadillos. Only the anteaters are toothless, which contradicts the Latin name that means toothless.

Lagomorpha is from the Greek meaning "hare form." This order of mammals eats only vegetables that they partially digest, regurgitate and eat a second time. They have two pairs of front incisor teeth that, like rodent incisors, grow continuously but are worn down by use. Lagomorpha are NOT rodents however. The only Lagomorpha found around French Hill Pond is the Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus).

 Rodentia are the most numerous of all the mammal species accounting for over half of all mammal species. Rodents have two pairs of incisors but no canine teeth. They eat plants and insects but will often gnaw on wood to keep their constantly growing teeth to a reasonable length. Rodents have eyes on both sides of their heads to see forward and behind. They may be seen at anytime but most rodents are nocturnal. Rodents can carry disease and should not be handled. The French Hill Pond area is home to a number of rodent species. Rodents in the Squirrel Family that may be found in Maine include the Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus), Woodchuck (Marmota monax), Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus).  The Beaver (Castor canadensis) is found in the waters of Mount Desert Island. Rodents in the New World Rats and Mice Family found in Maine include the Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), White-footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus), Southern Red-backed Vole (Clethrionomys gappers), Meadow Vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), Woodland Vole (Microtus pinetorum), Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), Southern Bog Lemming (Synaptomys cooperi) and Northern Bog Lemming (Synaptomys borealis). The Old World Rats and Mice Family in Maine includes the Black Rat (Rattus rattus), Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus), House Mouse (Mus musculus), Meadow Jumping Mouse (Zapus hudsonius) and Woodland Jumping Mouse (Napaeozapus insignis). The New World Porcupine Family includes the Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), very common but seldom seen on Mount Desert Island.

Carnivora is an order of mammals that eat meat. However, many carnivores will consume large amounts of vegetation. Carnivores in the area of French Hill Pond have three pairs of incisors and well-developed canine teeth. Seals, Sea Lions and Walruses are in this order but were previously placed in their own order, Pinnipedia, which is Latin for "fin feet." Some authorities may still list these sea mammals under this older order. Pinnipedia is currently the name of the superfamily, a special classification just above family, that includes aquatic mammals. Carnivores in the Wolves, Foxes and the Coyote Family found in Maine includes the Coyote (Canis latrans) and Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes). Black Bears (Ursus americanus) in the Bear Family are found on Mount Desert Island. The Raccoon, Ringtail and Coati Family in Maine includes only the Raccoon (Procyon lotor). The Weasels, Skunks, Badgers, Otters and Allies Family members found in Maine includes the Marten (Martes americana), Fisher (Martes pennanti), Ermine (Mustela erminea), Long-tailed Weasel (Mustela frenata), Mink (Mustela vison), Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) and River Otter (Lutra canadensis). The Cat Family in Maine has only one member that is commonly found, the Bobcat (Felis rufus). However, the Lynx (Felis lynx) member of the Cat Family may occasionally wander out of Canada. Aquatic Carnivores on the coast of Maine includes only the Hair Seal Family with the Maine natives Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) and Gray Seal (Halichoerus grypus).

Sirenia is an order of mammals, including manatees and sea cows, that are found in tropic regions. None are found in Maine except in captivity.

Artiodactyla are hoofed mammals including deer and moose. They are vegetarians and have no incisors. Artiodactyla have molar teeth to chew vegetable matter and a cartilaginous pad in their upper jaw with which they can rip off vegetation. many of the species of this order on Mount Desert Island are frequent visitors to French Hill Pond. The Deer Family members that may be found in Maine includes the White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and the Moose (Alces alces)

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Specific Species

The following columns are specific orders of mammals found in the area of French Hill Pond. Point and click on the photograph or name of the species for which you wish a detailed description.

Species will be added as information becomes available.

Insecttivora Chiropetera Lagomorpha Rodentia Carnivora Artiodactyla
    Snowshoe Hare
Snowshoe Hare

Eastern Chipmunk
Eastern Chipmunk

Raccoon
Raccoon
White-tailed Deer
White-tailed Deer
      Gray Squirrel
Gray Squirrel
   
      North American Porcupine
Procupine
   
      Red Squirrel
Red Squirrel
   

 

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Fauna of French Hill Pond