Mammals

Mammals are perhaps the area’s most recognizable wildlife. With over 40 species, from the least shrew, which weighs as much as a deck of cards, to the white-tailed deer, they are an irreplaceable part of the overall diversity of DuPage County’s forest preserves.

Bats

Bats are truly unique among mammals because they are the only ones in the world that can fly.

Beavers

At 4 feet long and 40 to 60 pounds, the American beaver (Castor canadensis) is North America’s largest rodent.

Chipmunks and 13-Lined Ground Squirrels

People commonly mistake eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) and 13-lined ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) for the same animal, but both species have distinguishing marks and habits.

Eastern Cottontails

Eastern cottontails (Sylvilagus floridanus) vary in color from gray to brown. They have big ears, large hind feet and small white tails.

Mice, Voles, Shrews and Moles

Next to perhaps bats and chipmunks, these are some of the smallest mammals in the county.

Muskrats

A muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) has a stocky dark brown body, small eyes and ears, and webbed hind feet.

Opossums

Virginia opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) have white fur tipped with gray or black; long snouts with pink noses; bare ears; nearly hairless tails; and 50 teeth, the most of any North American land mammal.

Raccoons

The raccoon (Procyon lotor) has grayish brown fur, a black “mask” and a ringed tail. It’s dexterous, intelligent and shy by nature, although individuals can become bold when near humans.

Skunks

Aside from their recognizable black-and-white-striped coats, striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) have small, pointed faces and sharp front claws, which they use for digging.

Tree Squirrels

Two species of tree squirrels are common in DuPage County: the eastern gray (Sciurus carolinensis) and the fox (Sciurus niger).

White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are perhaps the most recognizable animals in DuPage County.

Woodchucks

At roughly 14 pounds and 24 inches long, woodchucks (Marmota monax), also known as groundhogs, are the largest members of the squirrel family in Illinois.
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