Animals In Vermont

Vermont is located in the northeast United States, known for its scenic forests and snowy winters. There is natural beauty in every corner of this state, from hiking trails to green mountains.

But nature isn’t the only thing Vermont is known for. This region also has many animals native to its green forests. From rodents to mighty beasts like bears, there are over 58 mammal species that you can find in Vermont.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common animals.

More About Animals in Vermont

1. Snowshoe Hare

This rabbit species can be found in Vermont and gets its name from its large hind feet. They are scattered throughout the state but prefer to live in forests. Their feet help them hop on snow during winter without sinking in. When the temperature drops, the snowshoe hare’s fur goes from brown to white. This allows them to camouflage against their predators during the colder months. Their diet also changes along with the season.

During summer, they usually eat a diet of berries, grass and clovers. They switch to easily available foods like bark, buds, and seedlings in the winter. They may even eat meat to survive and quite enjoy it too.

When it comes to surviving the snowy winter of Vermont, snowshoe hares take cover in logs or under tree roots. They stay active throughout the year and can even be seen hopping around during the night. The best place to find this animal in Vermont is in coniferous forests.

2. Mink

Mink is another adorable furry animal known for its soft fur and long tail. The mink belongs to the weasel family and is a semi-aquatic animal. There are two different species known as the American mink and the European mink. The one found in Vermont belongs to the American mink variety. These fluffy animals tend to live in water-based areas like lakes and marshes. But you can also find them residing in coniferous forests. Minks live in burrows they make but can also find shelter in dens made by other animals.

Minks use soft items like grass and shrubs to create a lining for their den. This animal is also quite territorial and uses its scent to mark their burrows. These small animals are carnivores, and their diet consists of small animals like rabbits, fish and rodents. Since most small animals hibernate during winter, minks will hunt extra during colder months.

Are minks friendly or dangerous? There’s a lot of misconception about this animals and the facts shared in this video will help you clear the confusion.

3. Gray Fox

This species of fox resides in the snowy forests of Vermont and is known for its gray fur. Although these foxes can be found throughout the United States, it is native to Vermont. It is also known as a flying fox because it can climb trees. They can do this by using their retractable claws. 

When creating its habitat, the gray fox puts a lot of work into building its burrows. They can use tree logs or even piles of stones to make their den. Just like most winter animals, this fox species lines its den with soft materials like leaves. They also stay in their den during the day and get out to hunt at nighttime.

You may think this fox has a carnivorous diet, but they are omnivores. They eat everything from corn and bugs to small rodents. You can find this fox in the lower elevated areas of Vermont.

4. Beaver

Beavers are native to North America and can be found in Vermont. They live along the marshes or in any area with flowing water. This animal is quite intelligent and creates dams and burrows using wood. To do this, they locate nearby areas with many trees. They use their large front teeth to help trim the wood down to size. Once the dam is created, they use it to get food without having to leave the water. 

Beavers even create their homes along the water bank, making deep burrows, using materials like stones, sticks and mud. Since Vermont has freezing temperatures during winter, beavers use sticks to insulate their burrows. But you may be wondering, how do they breathe underground? These smart animals create insulation holes for fresh air to enter through. 

Beavers are semi-aquatic animals and can swim for long periods without coming up for air.

5. Moose

This animal is the largest species of the deer family, and is known for its massive antlers. An adult moose can grow to be around 2.1m tall and weigh above 700kg. Moose have dark fur, a big hump on their back and loose skin that hangs from the neck. Their big size makes it easier for them to walk in snow during the winter. During warmer months, these massive creatures can be seen lurking near ponds. They know how to swim and may do it to cool off during summer. 

When the weather gets colder, they take shelter under softwood to stay warm. An interesting fact about moose is that their antlers are covered in velvet. They rub their antlers against trees during colder months to shed the velvet off. Their antlers fall off entirely during fall and then regrow.

You can find around 2000 or more moose residing in Vermont. They usually hang out around salt licks, forests or near ponds.

6. Striped Skunk

When you think of a skunk, the first that comes to mind is probably its stinky scent. This small animal can be found in Vermont and adapt to the cold winters. You can find these animals living in forests, but they can also be found in urban areas. When cold weather rolls in, the skunks tend to find shelter in logs or any other enclosed space they can find. During this time, they are mostly inactive, although they don’t hibernate like other mammals.

A striped skunk is an omnivore who lives on a diet of plants, bugs and garbage. In urban areas, you can often find this stinky animal rustling through the trash to find food. They have a fantastic sense of smell that allows them to locate food easily.

The most notable thing about skunks is their stink spray. When they feel threatened, they release an oily, sulfuric spray from their anus. This spray can even cause pain for predators, while the stink can last for hours.

7. River Otter

This semi-aquatic animal is part of the weasel family and resides near water bodies. The otter population in Vermont has only made a comeback during the last few decades. You can find them in streams and lakes. They usually seek out locations with ample vegetation along with a water body. Just like beavers, this animal makes burrows as well. They prefer making their burrows underneath submerged trees. Otters are also known to live in abandoned burrows made by other animals.

But what happens when ponds freeze during winter? During that time, the otter will switch to streams or any other open body of water they can find. They are also quite territorial animals and will mark their burrows with their scent. This animal is not only friendly but also very social.

They are one of the smartest animals on this planet, as they’re known to use tools such as rocks to break open clams and crab shells.

8. White-Tailed Deer

If you’ve seen the Vermont state seal, you’ll know that the deer is a very important animal to them. This species of deer can be found scattered throughout the state of Vermont. They reside in forests but can also be found in the mountains. During the cold weather, these deer take shelter under fallen trees. They are vegetarian animals that eat a diet of leaves, grass and fruit. When winter rolls around, they switch their diet to more available food, such as barks, seeds and acorns.

They may be gentle creatures, but deer-vehicle collisions are a severe problem in Vermont. Signs have been placed on roads to warn drivers of deer passing by. Deer hunting is also quite common in Vermont, and is considered a way to keep deer overpopulation in control. A lot of Vermont natives enjoy meals made with venison.

Male deer have large antlers that shed around December. Once they shed, new antler growth starts immediately. This is a process that takes place every year.

White-tailed deer 101 – everything you want to know about this amazing animal.

9. Eastern Bobcat

The eastern bobcat, also known as a bay lynx, is a wild cat commonly found in Vermont. Although this animal resides in Vermont, you can barely ever see it since they are nocturnal animals. Remember the snowshoe hare we mentioned earlier? Eastern bobcats are one of their main predators. These carnivorous wildcats eat a diet of small animals like mice, birds, rabbits and deer. They may also eat decomposing carcasses to fuel up during cold months when most animals hibernate

During the 1930s, there was a larger population of bobcats present in Vermont. Now that number has decreased significantly, although quite a few remain. These wildcats create their dens along the mountainside. Their dens are warm and often have food supply as well. This is because the females mainly use bobcat dens to give birth. The dens then become home for their young until they are old enough to hunt. Young bobcats are given hunting training sessions by their mothers.

10. Muskrat

Muskrat is another fluffy rodent that can be found in Vermont. They may resemble a beaver because of their fur color, but they are far different. Muskrats are known for their long tails and their sharp front claws. These semi-aquatic animals prefer to live near water and make burrows as well. They use their sharp claws to dig a hole and fill it up with sticks and leaves.

Their burrows are quite hollow and can connect to other burrows. They also dig canals to help them escape from predators. Muskrats also create holes in their burrows for fresh air. You can often find a family of muskrats living in interconnected burrows by the water banks.

Although muskrats have a primarily herbivorous diet, they often eat clams and fish. It gets harder for the muskrat during winter since they can’t camouflage against the snow. During this time, they usually stay in their burrows and eat aquatic plant roots.

11. Coyote

The coyote is a species of wolf that usually resides in colder countries. Although not native to Vermont, this species started appearing in the region around the 40s. This animal can adapt to different temperatures quite easily and can be seen outside the forest. You can recognise this animal by its howls, along with yips and bark. Just like bobcats, coyotes build dens for their mates. After giving birth, female coyotes stay in the dens along with their young.

Coyote pups are given hunting training by their parents so they can survive. During the winter, these animals live on a diet of deer, rodents and rabbits. They can also eat animal carcasses to survive when no food is around. Coyotes easily adapt to different environments and can even be found in urban areas.

However, if you see a coyote, it’s best to walk away. They can be pretty aggressive towards humans and are also known to bite.

12. Gray Squirrel

The gray squirrel is one of many rodents that can be found in Vermont. These squirrels are known for their silvery fur and large, curled, bushy tails. You can find these critters in the hardwood forests of Vermont. They mainly live in areas that are abundant in food sources like nuts. Squirrels also prefer to live in trees to avoid being hunted by predators. You’ll often see them gliding from branch to branch for food.

When finding homes, they often reside in hollow tree trunks. Gray squirrels are also known to live in nests abandoned by other animals. They prefer nests with a smaller entrance since this keeps other animals from entering. Squirrels also pad their nests with ample leaves and twigs to make them warmer and more comfortable.

During the colder months, squirrels will often store food like nuts to last them throughout the season. They bury these nuts underneath their nests to hide them from other animals.

13. Woodchuck

Sticking to the theme of rodents, a woodchuck is another species found in Vermont. This animal is also similar to beavers and muskrats. They create burrows and channels underground to keep themselves safe. The only difference is that woodchucks make their burrows under open fields instead of near water banks. Woodchucks come in handy for other animals during winter. This is because many animals use their abandoned burrows to stay warm.

Their location depends on the weather since they change it accordingly. During the winter, they use their burrows to hibernate. When it’s time to hibernate, woodchucks load up on food before retreating into their dens. Their body fat keeps them from starving while they are in hibernation. Once spring rolls around, they emerge from their burrows. 

Woodchucks are known for their loud whistling noises. They make these noises to drive away any predators nearby. You can even find these critters in gardens in Vermont.

14. Little Brown Bat

Little brown bats are one of eight bat species that reside in Vermont. They may be small but they play a massive role in keeping the ecological system healthy. But before we get into that, let’s look at this animal in detail. Little brown bats are nocturnal animals that hunt during the night. They use echolocation to find their prey, using their wings to catch them. Now back to how these animals help the ecological system! 

These bats eat a diet of bugs, most of which are considered pests. Little brown bats keep the environment free from these pests by eating these bugs. When it comes to their habitat, you can often find these bats in the forest. They reside in tree bark and are equally populated in urban areas. These little creatures can also take shelter in abandoned buildings.

A fun fact about this bat species is that they can eat a lot! They often consume half their body weight in food each night.

15. Black Bear

Lastly, let’s talk about the majestic animal, which is the black bear. This is the only bear species you can find in Vermont. They usually reside in the forests and like to stay secluded. Black bears are another animal that hibernates during the winter.

Around this time, they usually store food in their dens. If they cannot find food, they may even wander to urban areas. But beware! If a bear approaches you, do not go near it!


Vermont is home to hundreds of bird species, including several migratory birds.  Its numerous forest creatures include black bears, muskrats, raccoons, bobcats, and foxes. The state is also home to opossums, rabbits, and rodents. There are many species of frogs and toads, and you can hear them sing in the well-known “spring chorus,” which announces the start of warmer weather.

This article included the most common creatures native to the region; animals you may encounter if you’re in Vermont. All of these animals know how to survive well in the cold winters of this state. From building burrows to scavenging for food, most species know how to adapt to their changing environment.

We hope you learned awesome facts about Vermont and it’s animals.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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