Native Animals in the Northeast US

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According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the northeast region of the United States comprises thirteen states from Maine to Virginia. This area includes the ecosystems of the Atlantic northern forest and Appalachian Mountains as well as big rivers, freshwater and salt marshes, coastal plains, estuaries, barrier reaches, and coastal islands. With such a large area and varied landscapes, there are many birds, wildlife, and aquatic animals native to the northeast section of the United States.

Mountain landscape typically found in the northeastern United States.
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The northeastern section of the United States is rich with species of wildlife that run, crawl, and creep. Wolves once lived in nearly every state, but now the only state with an abundance of gray wolves is Minnesota. Bog turtles, the tiniest turtles in America, may be found in small, sunny, wet meadows scattered along the northeastern regions. Although it is named the Canada lynx, this species of lynx with compact long-legs and thick fur to protect against cold may be found in the northern most states. Other larger mammals include the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel, Eastern cougar, New England cottontail, and West Virginia northern flying squirrel. There are also a variety of snails that are native to the northeast including the Chittenango ovate amber snail, Flat-spired three-toothed snail, and Virginia fringed mountain snail.

Gray wolves may be found in Minnesota.
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There are many migratory birds found in the northeastern section of the United States, however a variety of bird species are permanent residents of the area as well. Bluebirds, identified by a brilliant blue and black coat, are usually found in fields, open woodlands, or other open areas. Purple Martins may also be found nesting in purple martin houses and gourds provided by humans. Other permanent residents in the northeast region include the Mallard, Ruffed Grouse, Northern Bobwhite, Herring Gull, Eastern Screech-Owl, and Great Horned Owl.

Eastern bluebird perched on a branch.
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There is a rich variety of aquatic life on the Atlantic coast that borders the northeastern United States. Some of the aquatic life is very small, such as the isopod, a cave water-dwelling organism. Varieties of isopod that may be found in the northeast region include the Lee County cave isopod and Madison cave isopod. Larger aquatic life include the northern-red-bellied cooter, a freshwater turtle native to Massachusetts. The purple bean, a kind of mussel, lives in the free-flowing river waters in Virginia. The horseshoe crab may be found in abundance on the Atlantic coast from Maine to the Yucatan Peninsula, and is a key source of food for the many migratory birds that fly along the northeast coast.

Horseshoe crabs have remained relatively unchanged  over a million years.
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Deforestation and pollution have taken a toll on many species of animal across the entire Unites States and the northeast is no exception. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partner organizations are making a concerted effort to list endangered species and repair or reestablish habitats that have been destroyed. Mammals that are in danger include Eastern Cougar, Gray Wolf, Indiana Bat, and Canada Lynx. Birds on the endangered list include Atlantic Coast Piping Plover, Roseate Tern, and the Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Reptiles and amphibians on the endangered list include the Bog Turtle, Northern Redbelly Cooter, and Atlantic Salmon.

Atlantic salmon is at risk from overfishing.
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