Other Wildlife

The following is a guide to other wildlife that may be encountered in the Linnaeus Arboretum.

Key to species accounts:

Species name: common name with scientific (Latin) name in parentheses; “L.” following scientific name designates a species named by Linnaeus circa. 1760 A.D.

  1. Status at Gustavus, when and how often it is seen on campus
  2. Habitat: where it can be found in southern Minnesota
  3. Most commonly heard vocalizations
  4. Size
  5. Diet
  6. Additional pertinent information

*All photos taken at Gustavus by Bob Dunlap, Arboretum Naturalist unless otherwise noted.

Mammals

Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

Red Squirrel

  • Status: commonly seen near coniferous trees in Arb throughout the year, more often encountered in winter near Interpretive Center
  • Habitat: coniferous and mixed woodlands, suburban areas near bird feeders
  • Vocalizations include a loud, sharp “chek,” also a series of similar notes
  • Length up to 16 inches
  • Diet: nuts, seeds, fruit, berries, insects

Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

Gray Squirrel

  • Status: commonly seen near trees in Arb throughout the year, especially near the Interpretive Center
  • Habitat: woodlands, forested areas, suburban areas near bird feeders
  • Vocalizations include chirps and harsh scolding notes
  • Length up to 2 feet
  • Diet: nuts, seeds, fruit, berries, insects

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus)

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel

  • Status: abundant across campus from early April to mid-October, frequently seen foraging in lawns
  • Habitat: grassy, open areas, suburban lawns and gardens, prairies
  • Vocalizations include a high, sharp squeak
  • Length up to 12 inches
  • Diet: plants, fruit, seeds, insects
  • Commonly called "gopher"

Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) L.

  • Status: infrequently seen in Arb, most often near wooded areas
  • Habitat: woodlands, forested areas, suburban lawns and gardens
  • Vocalizations include variety of chirping notes
  • Length up to 8 inches
  • Diet: plants, fungi, seeds, nuts, fruit, insects

American Badger (Taxidea taxus)

badger hole

  • Status: burrows frequently found in open areas in Arb, especially in Coneflower Prairie, but animal itself is rarely seen
  • Habitat: grasslands, large lawn expanses, agricultural fields
  • Vocalizations include growling and harsh hissing sounds
  • Length up to 3 feet
  • Diet: ground squirrels and other small mammals are preferred, but small reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and insects are also consumed
  • Primarily nocturnal

White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

White-tailed Deer
Photo taken west of St. Peter, Nicollet County by Andy Frederick

  • Status: infrequently seen in Arb throughout the year, most often in woodlands during morning and evening hours
  • Habitat: woodlands, forested areas
  • Vocalizations include a loud, abrupt snort
  • Length up to 7 feet, height up to 5 feet
  • Diet: plants, fungi, seeds, nuts, berries

Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)

Eastern Cottontail

  • Status: abundant most years across campus, frequently seen foraging in lawns
  • Habitat: grassy, open areas, suburban lawns and gardens
  • Generally silent
  • Length up to 16 inches
  • Diet: plants, fruit, seeds

Northern Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda)

Northern Short-tailed Shrew

  • Status: infrequently seen in Arb, most often near dense cover or bird feeders
  • Habitat: grasslands, woodlands, forested areas, suburban lawns and gardens
  • Generally silent or inaudible
  • Length up to 5 inches
  • Diet: seeds, fungi, insects, earthworms, other small rodents
  • Highly carnivorous, consumes up to three times its weight in food each day

Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)

  • Status: infrequently seen in Arb during warm months, often near wooded areas
  • Habitat: variety of habitats, most often woodlands and forested areas
  • Generally silent or inaudible
  • Length up to 10 inches
  • Diet: plants, fungi, seeds, fruit, insects
  • Primarily nocturnal

Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus)

Little Brown Myotis

  • Status: commonly seen flying around Arb near dusk and lighted areas around campus at night mid-May to late September, sometimes found sleeping on sides of buildings during daytime
  • Habitat: variety of habitats, roosts in trees and old buildings
  • Vocalizations generally inaudible
  • Length up to 4 inches, wingspan up to 11 inches
  • Diet: flying insects (including mosquitoes)
  • Hibernates through winter in caves or other protected, enclosed spaces

Reptiles and Amphibians

Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) L.

  • Status: infrequently seen throughout Arb early April to late October, especially near wetlands
  • Habitat: variety of habitats, open areas near woody or grassy cover
  • Generally silent
  • Length up to 3 feet
  • Diet: variety of prey including insects, small birds and rodents, frogs
  • Not harmful to humans

Eastern Plains Garter Snake (Thamnophis radix)

  • Status: infrequently seen in Arb early May to late October, most often foraging in lawns or near prairie
  • Habitat: variety of habitats, most often seen in open areas near woody or grassy cover
  • Generally silent
  • Length up to 3 feet
  • Diet: variety of prey including insects, small birds and rodents, frogs
  • Not harmful to humans

American Toad (Bufo americanus)

American Toad

  • Status: infrequently seen in Arb early April to mid-October, most often near wetlands and wooded areas
  • Habitat: wetlands, woodlands, forested areas, suburban lawns near water
  • Call is a high-pitched trill lasting around ten seconds
  • Length up to 4 inches
  • Diet: insects, worms, other small invertebrates
  • Hibernates through winter in underground burrows

Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata)

  • Status: infrequently seen but easily heard near Arb ponds late March to early November, most often heard in spring
  • Habitat: wetlands, cattail marshes
  • Call is a loud, rising clicking sound, reminiscent of running a thumb across the teeth of a comb
  • Length up to 1 inch
  • Diet: flies, mosquitoes, other small invertebrates
  • Often called “cricket frogs”

Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor)

Gray Treefrog

  • Status: commonly found in Arb early May to early October, often sitting on plant leaves or tree limbs
  • Habitat: variety of habitats, often near gardens or wetlands, suburban areas near trees
  • Call is a high trill lasting a couple seconds, often sounding like a soft police whistle
  • Length up to 2 inches
  • Diet: insects, other small invertebrates
  • Ability to camouflage skin with its surroundings; found in shades of green, brown, and gray

Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica)

  • Status: infrequently heard (and rarely seen) in Arb near Jones Northern Forest Ponds early April to early October, most often heard in April
  • Habitat: wooded wetlands
  • Call is a “quacking” similar to that of a duck but softer more subtle
  • Length up to 3 inches
  • Diet: insects, other invertebrates
  • One of the first frogs to call in spring along with Western Chorus Frog

Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)

Northern Leopard Frog

  • Status: commonly seen and heard near Arb ponds late April to late October
  • Habitat: ponds, wetlands, suburban lawns near water
  • Call is a low croaking sound followed by quick, soft notes
  • Length up to 5 inches
  • Diet: insects, other invertebrates, small frogs
  • State Amphibian of Minnesota