hyla crucifer

Wildlife of North Carolina

This article seeks to serve as a field-guide, central repository, listing, and tour-guide for the flora and fauna of North Carolina and surrounding territories.

State ecology

North Carolina's geography is usually divided into three biomes: Coastal, Piedmont, and the Appalachian Mountains.

North Carolina is the most ecologically unique state in the southeast because its borders contain sub-tropical, temperate, and boreal habitats. Although the state is at temperate latitudes, the Applachian mountains and the Gulf Stream influence climate and, hence, the vegetation (flora) and animals (fauna).

Coastal Region

Located in eastern North Carolina, the coastal region is much warmer and more humid.


This region includes the urban biomes of Raleigh and Durham, as well as a large area of semi-mountainous, rolling hills.

  • Climate: Humid Subtropical
  • Geography: Rolling, gentle hills and flat valleys. The Piedmont ranges from about 300-400 feet (90-120 m) elevation in the east to over 1,000 feet (300 m) in the west


Animal life


See also List of North Carolina Birds

North Carolina has a large number of birds, with 465 recorded within its boundaries.

  • Canada Goose: The North Carolina coastal and Piedmont regions are the winter resting ground of the Canada Goose. However, habitat destruction, especially with respect to the Outlying Landing Field proposed by the U.S. Navy may cause significant populations to suffer.

Other birds include: Cardinal, Wild Turkey, Bald Eagles, Red-cockaded woodpeckers, Barred Owl Snow Goose, and Carolina Wren.


Common mammals in North Carolina:

Endangered, non-marine mammals in North Carolina:

In the mountains, there are small populations cougars, bobcats and bears as well as re-introduced grey wolves and elk. (a comprehensive list of North Carolina mammals)


Commonly seen species in North Carolina:

Venomous snakes:

Other common reptiles in North Carolina: American Alligator, Stinkpot, Spotted Turtle, Bog Turtle, Green Anole, Texas Horned Lizard, Coal Skink, Broad-headed Skink, Eastern Six-lined Racerunner, Corn Snake, Scarlet Kingsnake, Red-bellied Watersnake


Frogs are common in the marshy and wet regions of the Piedmont. The frog pictured at left is a Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysocelis) or gray treefrog (H. versicolor). These two species cannot be differentiated except by their call or genetic analysis. However, H. versicolor is rare in the state and likely to not be pictured here. They are most abundant in some northern Piedmont counties. Other frogs of North Carolina include Spring peepers, Pseudacris crucifer or Hyla crucifer. Common among North Carolina forests, this frog lives in high branches of trees, although it is also seen on the ground and commonly on roadways.

Some common amphibians in North Carolina: Two-toed Amphiuma, Common Mudpuppy, Dwarf Waterdog, Eastern Lesser Siren, Greater Siren, Red-spotted Newt, Mabee's Salamander, Spotted Salamander, Marbled Salamander, Mole Salamander, Eastern Tiger Salamander, Southern Dusky Salamander, Dwarf Salamander, Four-toed Salamander, Wehrle's Salamander, Eastern Spadefoot, Southern Toad, Pine Barrens Treefrog, Cope's Gray Treefrog, Green Treefrog, Squirrel Treefrog, Gray Treefrog, Little Grass Frog, Ornate Chorus Frog, Upland Chorus Frog, American Bullfrog, Bronze Frog, Pickerel Frog, Southern Leopard Frog, Wood Frog


Freshwater: Bodie bass, Roanoke bass, largemouth bass, rock bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass, white bass, blue catfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, white catfish, brown bullhead, white perch, yellow perch, chain pickerel, redfin pickerel, American shad, hickory shad, pumpkinseed, redgear, bluegill, flier, green sunfish, redbrest, warmouth, brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, longnose gar, bowfin, carp, crappie, freshwater drum, grass carp, kokanee salmon, longnose gar, muskellunge, tiger muskellunge, northern pike, sauger, smallmouth buffalo, walleye , the endemic Cape Fear Shiner

Saltwater: Albacore, Amberjack, Atlantic Bonito, Bank Sea Bass, Barracuda, Bigeye Tuna, Blackfin Tuna, Black Drum, Black Sea Bass, Blacktip Shark, Bluefish, Bluefin Tuna, Blue Marlin, Blueline Tilefish, Butterfish, Cobia, Croaker, Dolphin, Flounder, Gag, Gray Triggerfish, Gray Trout, Hammerhead, Hickory Shad, Hogfish, Jumping Mullet, King Mackerel, Knobbed Porgy, Lizardfish, Little Tunny, Mako Shark, Menhaden, Northern Puffer, Oyster Toadfish, Pigfish, Pinfish, Pompano, Red Drum, Red Grouper, Red Snapper, Sailfish, Scamp, Sea Mullet, Searobin, Sheepshead, Silver Perch, Silver Snapper, Skate, Skipjack Tuna, Spadefish, Spanish Mackerel, Speckled Hind, Spottail Pinfish, Spot, Speckled Trout, Stingray, Striped Bass, Swordfish, Tarpon, Tiger Shark, Vermillion Snapper, Wahoo, White Marlin, White Grunt, Yellowfin Tuna, Yellowedge Grouper, Yellowtail Snapper


Various jellyfish, millipedes, centipedes, freshwater crayfish, and freshwater mollusks

Plant life

Loblolly Pine (Carolina Pine), Longleaf_Pine, American Sweetgum, red spruce, cherry trees, fir trees, rhododendron, wild flowers, beach grasses, wax myrtle, red cedar, flame azalea, dogwood and, mountain laurel

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