A wide variety of animals may be found at Voyageurs, with over 240 bird species, 10 reptile and amphibian species, 53 aquatic species, 42 mammal species, and several invertebrates. In this article, we’ll discuss which animals you should keep an eye out for when visiting this national park.
Moose, gray wolves, black bears, beavers, and amphibians are typical North Woods inhabitants that live all year round in the woods and marshes. The park’s woodlands, waterways, and skies are frequently home to bald eagles, loons, double-crested cormorants, owls, and warblers.
Keep reading below for more information on these animals.
Animals to Look for in Voyageurs National Park
Some of the animals you must have a look at when you visit Voyageurs National Park are discussed in this section. For more information on wildlife in Voyageurs, watch this video below:
Northwoods wildlife deep in the heart of Voyageurs National Park
Moose have always lived in the lush boreal forest in the voyageurs. Voyageurs is among the handful of national parks in the lower 48 states that offer a chance to view one since it is situated in the southern part of the moose’s habitat in North America. The biggest mammals in the area are moose, and spotting one of these enormous creatures may be a life-changing experience.
The Kabetogama Peninsula is where the majority of the moose in the park live. The Cruiser Lake Trail or even a distant beaver pond, where you could spot a moose passing by for a water break in the early hours, may offer the best chances of spotting one throughout the summer.
Ten amphibian species have been identified in Voyageurs National Park; they may be further broken down into one toad species, seven frog species, one salamander species, and one newt species. Among the earliest frogs to appear and begin chirping in the spring are Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs, frequently while some snow is still covering the ground.
As the weather continues to become hotter, frog species, including the northern leopard frog, northern green frog, mink frog, and gray treefrog, begin to appear and start their mating cycles later in the year and into the warmer months.
Mid-spring to mid-summer is when the American toad starts its mating season. Compared to adult frogs, which lead more aquatic (water-based) lives, American toads lead more terrestrial (land-based) lives. Both the Blue Spotted Salamander and the Central Newt have aquatic life phases and lives, but the adult salamanders favor dry forest regions and fallen leaves. In contrast, adult Central Newts totally belong in the water.
Both the Blue Spotted Salamander and the Central Newt have aquatic life phases and lives, but the adult salamanders favor dry forest regions and fallen leaves, while the adult Central Newts totally belong in the water.
This area has been shaped by the American beaver for centuries. French-Canadian explorers who traveled through these waterways in the middle of the eighteenth century exchanged European goods for beaver furs caught by Ojibwe Indians. Beavers still dominate the park’s environment and are a common sight there. A lodge, a dam, or branches that beavers have nibbled are signs of beaver habitat.
The remarkable capacity of beavers to modify an environment to suit their needs has earned them the nickname “nature’s engineers.” To make a suitable pond where they may rear their offspring, they would dam up rivers and streams, drowning the nearby woodlands. They start building a complex structure out of wood and mud while the pond fills up. Predators are discouraged by the lodge’s single underwater entryway.
There are several beaver ponds scattered throughout the park’s landscape. These ponds are also a great habitat for moose, waterfowl, and other aquatic animals. Large lakes also have beaver lodges built along their shores, so there is no need to make a pond.
In addition to occasionally being spotted taking down trees close to the water’s edge, beavers can sometimes be observed swimming around the shorelines of the park’s lakes. Peeled logs resting on top of a lodge and a new layer of mud helps to identify the park’s numerous operational beaver lodges.
You may reach beaver ponds by hiking on the Black Bay Beaver Pond Trail, Locator Lake Trail, or Cruiser Lake Trail. Here, you can have a chance to witness this sizable rodent working hard.
Voyageurs afford the Gray Wolf an abundance of woodland habitat on its more than 120,000 acres of land (Canis lupus). This species, sometimes known as the Timber Wolf, is the main predator in the Voyageurs and mostly eats deer, moose, and beavers.
Wolves spend the winter months in large packs of between four and eight individuals, and they frequently cooperate to hunt huge prey. In the warmer months, when wolves are more prone to hunt alone, park experts are actively examining wolf behavior.
A wolf will frequently hear or smell you before it approaches, so if you are fortunate enough to see one, maintain a safe distance. Give the animal some room as you gently and quietly walk back.
Despite the fact that Voyageurs is home to a strong wolf population, the best time to view one is during the winter, when they are hunting or wandering around the shorelines of the large lakes. Additionally, wolves are frequently seen crossing the roads leading to the park.
Voyageurs is one of the few national parks in the continental United States that has the ideal combination of towering, ancient white pines against the shores of vast, deep lakes rich with fish and water that the bald eagle prefers. The view of one flying over the open lake contributes to the park’s breathtaking landscape. This national bird lives there all year.
Keep your eyes on the skies or check the tops of the towering trees along the lakefront if you’re one of the tourists hoping to spot a bald eagle. Even though eagle sightings are frequent throughout the park, some locations traditionally have more nesting eagles. Eagle sightings are more common in these places, which include the islands and shorelines of West Rainy, North and East Kabetogama, and West Namakan Lakes.
The common loon is one of the few species that reminds people of the North Woods. Visitors who hear this timeless rendition of the Voyageurs’ spooky yodel reverberating across the lake are left with a strong impression. The common loon is (appropriately) the state bird for Minnesota since it is home to the majority of the lower 48 states’ loon population.
Visitors won’t have to look very far to see this stunning bird. The four main lakes in the park are home to a huge population of loons, which may frequently be seen swimming in the deep water. Late in the summer, isolated bays with little human activity can be home to loon families with young chicks.
The large lakes, variety of species of fish, and numerous rocky islands in Voyageurs make it the ideal haven for the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus).
Cormorants may be seen often at Rainy Lake, where numerous huge colonies can be found in Ontario. In the shallow waters of the park, they frequently graze individually or in flocks, or they sunbathe on the stones to dry their wings.
A visit to the Voyageurs National Park is incomplete without the chance to appreciate its wildlife. For this reason, we’ve put together a list of the species you really must see when you visit this wonderful national park.