Mammals in Northwest Arkansas

fox by Arkansas ShutterbugOne of the great pleasures of being out in the wilderness is spotting wildlife. For some of us, the excitement of seeing a fox or a deer is enough, but others like to organize the experience and build on it.

If you like to make lists and create challenges for yourself, as well as getting a thrill from seeing wild animals, the Smithsonian has a tool for you.

The North American Mammal map tool is a fun interactive map that gives tons of information about animals in different eco regions of the United States. Click on the eco region button on the upper right of the map and then click on Northwest Arkansas’ green region to get a list of animals in our area.

You’ll notice that much of our area is actually in two separate eco regions, one for the mountainous area of the Ozarks and another for hardwood forests you’ll find in other states like Missouri and Tennessee. Further south you’ll find piney forests and towards the Mississippi you’ll discover lowland forests. While there are similarities among them, the differences in habitat affect the types of creatures you’ll find in each area. Between the Ozarks and the hardwood forests further north near Missouri, there are differences in the types of bats you’ll find as well as badgers.

For a fun activity, you can keep track of the different animals you see on the trail and try to see all of the different mammals we have here in Northwest Arkansas.

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