Hall of New York State Mammals
The Hall of New York State Mammals introduces visitors to the diversity of local wildlife. Arranged in cased displays of discrete specimens, the hall presents a range of more than 50 land mammals—from shrews to bats, beavers to bobcats—and invites comparisons of their distinctive external features, such as fur, claws, ears, body shape, and size.
Here one finds the squirrel, chipmunk, woodchuck, porcupine, rabbit, lynx, coyote, fisher, marten, mink, weasel, otter, skunk, raccoon, mice, rats, and the white-tailed deer. Many of these mammals are familiar to rural and even suburban residents, while others—dun-colored, silent, and secretive—are rarely seen.
Pressures on mammal populations in the state once included over-hunting and over-trapping. Today, the greatest pressures stem from human population growth and urbanization, which have driven some large New York State mammals, including the bison, elk, wolverine, cougar, timber wolf, and woodland caribou, to local extinction. As hunting and trapping have declined, other species are now on the increase, notably the white-tailed deer, moose, fisher, and coyote.