The mammals of Black Rock Forest are numerous, although often elusive. Becoming familiar with Black Rock’s different animal habitats can help your chance for a rare sighting. The waterways and ponds are pathways for beaver, otter, mink and muskrat. The forest trees are home to grey squirrel, raccoon, opossum and the elusive flying squirrel. The forest floor is habitat for white-tailed deer, black bear and predators such as red and gray fox, coyote, bobcat and fisher, and the smaller mammals that they hunt, such as rabbit, mice, voles and chipmunks. The acorns that drop in fall from red, white and chestnut oak trees provide a critical energy source for the food web supporting mammal life in Black Rock Forest.
A sighting of many Forest mammal species is a rare occurrence because they usually see, smell, and/or hear us before we know they are there. Their survival depends on these senses, which are often much greater than ours. Seeing the wildlife of Black Rock Forest as a visitor in their habitat is always an exciting experience. Your chances of an encounter are greater if you move quietly through the Forest, keeping alert for sounds, movements and smells. Winter time with snow cover is an ideal time to track winter-active mammals and study their behavior. Another good way to observe forest mammals is to use remote camera traps deep in the Forest away from areas of heavy human activity.
Always keep in mind that the Forest is the home of these wild animals and respect their personal space. Observing them in a quiet, calm manner will reward you by seeing how they behave naturally in their own environment.