Mammals of New York State

Spending 6 days travelling across New York State in 3 weeks time and I am looking a the best sites to visit for mammals such as Porcupine, Fisher, Woodchuck and Coyote etc I have the Watchable Wildlife book, just looking for more local information. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My email is

Many thanks



  • vdinets

    I’ve heard that Allegany State Park is good for fishers and porcupines. Woodchucks are everywhere, but they are more commonly seen on roadsides in the western part of the state.

  • Andrew Block

    I agree that woodchucks are everywhere but they are common all over the state along roadsides. I see them all the time when driving the interstates or parkways even in the Bronx and Westchester. Just keep an eye out along these places and you’ll pretty much be guaranteed on seeing one. I see them most frequently along the Bronx River, Sprain Brook, Saw Mill River and Hutchinson River Parkways and I-87. I have also trapped them in my friends yards over the years in Westchester so they can pop up anywhere. Like the chucks the Coyotes are everywhere in NY including NYC. If you spend enough time looking especially in the evening/early morning you have a better chance. In the winter I used to see them regularly on the Kensico Res. in Valhalla and see them now and again along roadsides in Rockland and Westchester but can’t give you a specific place though I did have them denning awhile ago at Teatown Lake Res. in Ossining and my friend at the NY Botanical Garden in the Bronx says they are being seen there alot recently. The Fisher is a better bet in the Dacks or Catskills, but they are in Westchester and now the Bronx. You need to be pretty lucky to see them. The Porcupines are also a better bet in the large state parks but I have seen them in other places. Again it’s just luck of the draw unless you set out traps. Hope this helps.

  • cmh78

    The easiest way to see porcupines is to drive around at night. I prefer dirt roads, but also any road that has dead porcupines on it can be productive at night. I don;t know that I’ve ever found one walking around, I have had a few wander into camp. If you end up camping somewhere a couple days, a salt block, or peeing on the same tree all the time might bring one around.

  • kbrown217@

    Thanks for all the info so far, if anyone has information about mammals of northern Pennslyvania this would be appreciate as their App is not as informative as New York’s. Also the best sites for seeing Black Bear would be very useful. And going slightly off subject good areas for wild butterflies.

    Many thanks again


    • mattinidaho

      For Pennsylvania, the area around Benezette (in western PA) is known for elk viewing. This area would be good for black bear and other species you mention. There are large forests worth exploring.

      In Pennsylvania, I always came upon black bears by chance more than design. They could show up in any of the northern forest areas. Northern PA has changed quite a bit due to fracking but if you find large state game lands or state parks they are worth checking out. State parks include Black Moshannon, Ricketts Glenn and Poe Valley — all nice parks with the possibility of black bears and other mammals. It can be tough to spot wildlife in the thick eastern forest — I find it takes time more than anything.

      Good luck.

  • kbrown217

    Thanks again to everyone, the trip was not as fruitful has I had hope but may be I was expecting too much. Mammals seen are listed below :

    Beaver (3 sightings)
    Woodchuck ( 4 individuals, 3 together)
    Virginia Opposum ( 1 in torchlight, and rather upsetingly unborn offspring still moving within split stomach of road kill mother)
    Muskrat ( only 1 partly obscured individual )
    Otter ( 2 very brief views )
    Red Squirrel
    Gray Squirrel
    Black Squirrel ( variant)
    Cottontail Rabbit
    White tailed Deer

    Small unidentified rodent – large mouse size with back legs to front legs kind of run ?
    Bats – larger and smaller ones at Bashkill near Wurtsboro.
    Using Bat detector one had shortish dry click, smaller one I think, and the larger one seemed to have a wetter sounding click which had more resonance.

    Most other mammals targets apart from Bear and Fisher seen as road kill.

    We did dawn and dusk drives or walks but seen almost nothing at these times.

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