region

Animals of Minnesota

52 species

Minnesota is a state in the upper Midwestern United States with over 5.75 million residents. Minnesota's geography consists of western prairies, now given over to intensive agriculture; deciduous forests in the southeast, now partially cleared, farmed, and settled; and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation. Roughly a third of the state is covered in forests, and it is known as the 'Land of 10,000 Lakes' for having over 14,000 bodies of fresh water of at least ten acres.

Minnesota has four ecological provinces: prairie parkland, in the southwestern and western parts of the state; the eastern broadleaf forest in the southeast, extending in a narrowing strip to the state's northwestern part, where it transitions into tallgrass aspen parkland; and the northern Laurentian mixed forest, a transitional forest between the northern boreal forest and the broadleaf forests to the south. These northern forests are a vast wilderness of pine and spruce trees mixed with patchy stands of birch and poplar.

Much of Minnesota's northern forest has undergone logging, leaving only a few patches of old growth forest today in areas such as the Chippewa National Forest and the Superior National Forest, where the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has some 400,000 acres of unlogged land. Although logging continues, regrowth and replanting keep about a third of the state forested. Nearly all Minnesota's prairies and oak savannas have been fragmented by farming, grazing, logging, and suburban development.

While loss of habitat has affected native animals such as the pine marten, elk, woodland caribou, and bison, others like whitetail deer and bobcat thrive. Minnesota has the nation's largest population of timber wolves outside Alaska, and supports healthy populations of black bears, moose, and gophers. Located on the Mississippi Flyway, Minnesota hosts migratory waterfowl such as geese and ducks, and game birds such as grouse, pheasants, and turkeys. It is home to birds of prey, including the largest number of breeding pairs of bald eagles in the lower 48 states as of 2007, red-tailed hawks, and snowy owls. Hawk Ridge is one of the premier bird watching sites in North America. The lakes teem with sport fish such as walleye, bass, muskellunge, and northern pike, and brook, brown, and rainbow trout populate streams in the southeast and northeast.

show less

Minnesota is a state in the upper Midwestern United States with over 5.75 million residents. Minnesota's geography consists of western prairies, now given over to intensive agriculture; deciduous forests in the southeast, now partially cleared, farmed, and settled; and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation. Roughly a third of the state is covered in forests, and it is known as the 'Land of 10,000 Lakes' for having over 14,000 bodies of fresh water of at least ten acres.

Minnesota has four ecological provinces: prairie parkland, in the southwestern and western parts of the state; the eastern broadleaf forest in the southeast, extending in a narrowing strip to the state's northwestern part, where it transitions into tallgrass aspen parkland; and the northern Laurentian mixed forest, a transitional forest between the northern boreal forest and the broadleaf forests to the south. These northern forests are a vast wilderness of pine and spruce trees mixed with patchy stands of birch and poplar.

Much of Minnesota's northern forest has undergone logging, leaving only a few patches of old growth forest today in areas such as the Chippewa National Forest and the Superior National Forest, where the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has some 400,000 acres of unlogged land. Although logging continues, regrowth and replanting keep about a third of the state forested. Nearly all Minnesota's prairies and oak savannas have been fragmented by farming, grazing, logging, and suburban development.

While loss of habitat has affected native animals such as the pine marten, elk, woodland caribou, and bison, others like whitetail deer and bobcat thrive. Minnesota has the nation's largest population of timber wolves outside Alaska, and supports healthy populations of black bears, moose, and gophers. Located on the Mississippi Flyway, Minnesota hosts migratory waterfowl such as geese and ducks, and game birds such as grouse, pheasants, and turkeys. It is home to birds of prey, including the largest number of breeding pairs of bald eagles in the lower 48 states as of 2007, red-tailed hawks, and snowy owls. Hawk Ridge is one of the premier bird watching sites in North America. The lakes teem with sport fish such as walleye, bass, muskellunge, and northern pike, and brook, brown, and rainbow trout populate streams in the southeast and northeast.

show less