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Discovering Michigan’s Wildlife

Lake Michigan and the beach
John Menard

Known as the Great Lakes State, Michigan boasts an array of diverse landscapes, making it a nature lover’s paradise. While Lake Huron and Lake Michigan may grab all the attention, the latter of which is the third largest lake in North America, the state is home to some of the country’s most beautiful terrains, including dense forests, wetlands, lakes, serene coastlines, and the Porcupine Mountains – I wonder what animals they find there – which forms a segment of one of the world’s most ancient mountain ranges, reaching heights of nearly 2,000 feet. 

Michigan’s Landscapes

Hypothetically, if you saw America from above, you’d notice that Michigan is the only U.S. state predominantly encircled by lakes. This unique geographical feature, alongside its rivers, wetlands, and forests, makes it a prime habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including birds, fish, insects, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, creating a veritable haven for biodiversity.

What Animals Are in The State?  

The state’s rich biodiversity and diverse landscapes make it an excellent destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. Below, you’ll find a glimpse of the wildlife that inhabits this picturesque state:

White-Tailed Deer: These are the most common large mammals in the state and are frequently seen in urban and rural areas.

Black Bears: Michigan has a healthy population of black bears, primarily in the northern and Upper Peninsula regions.

Eastern Gray Squirrels and Chipmunks: These small rodents are abundant in urban and forested areas.

Bald Eagles: These majestic birds of prey can be spotted near lakes and rivers.

Wild Turkeys: Michigan is home to a growing population of wild turkeys, particularly in the wooded regions.

Coyotes: Coyotes are adaptable and can be found throughout the state, even in suburban areas.

Great Lakes Fish: The state’s many lakes are teeming with various fish species, including trout, salmon, bass, and walleye.

Raccoons: These nocturnal animals are found in a variety of habitats.

Migratory Birds: Michigan is a critical stopover point for many migratory bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers.

Beavers: These industrious rodents are responsible for many of the state’s wetlands and lakes.

Eastern Box Turtles: These terrestrial turtles inhabit the wooded areas of Michigan.

Red Foxes: These canids are found in various habitats, from urban areas to farmland.

American Mink: These semi-aquatic mammals can be seen around water bodies.

Common Loons: Known for their distinctive calls, loons are often found on Michigan’s lakes.

Various Amphibians and Reptiles: Michigan is home to frogs, toads, salamanders, snakes, and turtles.

Wolves: In recent years, there have been reports of gray wolves returning to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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