Animal Habitat

Besides the many bird species, the Sanctuary offers a home to many animals, large and small. The backwaters of the Battenkill, for instance, provide the kind of slow insect-filled water favored by many amphibian species and which, in turn, become the prey of animals like the Fisher, Fox, Coyote, Skunk, Raccoon, and Heron. Both the Painted Turtle and Wood Tortoise find good conditions in these areas. Beavers are commonly found here and lodges are evident in most years at the river bank or in an island of wood debris which they construct. Fields attract Woodchucks; woodlands attract Squirrels, red and grey. The combination of woods and fields creates the ideal home for White Tailed Deer. Though hunting is not permitted within the Sanctuary, its varied habitat provides an ideal breeding ground for Deer. This is important for those who do hunt because the encroachment of suburbia in a formerly rural county reduces not only hunting areas but areas where Deer can breed. The Eastern Black Bear has been seen on the Sanctuary, but of course its wide territory precludes listing it as a regular resident. The same can be said of the Red Fox, Grey Fox, and Eastern Coyote. Although often observed here their territorial range is always wider than the Sanctuary's borders. In the undergrowth of the forested land lives a variety of snakes: Green, Ring-necked, "Brown" and Red King snakes among others. Snakes, of course, don't readily show themselves; even less so do we encounter the various species of salamanders who find homes on the forest floor and in places as inauspicious as fallen trees and rotting logs. The Red Eft and the Jefferson Salamander are examples of these. Others live in the creeks under rocks.