The comparative wilderness of Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) in a sea of urbanity provides a refuge to many mammals. Click here for a complete list of CVNP's mammals.
Red and gray foxes take advantage of these same food sources, though gray foxes are considered rare in the park.
Read more about coyotes in our Coexisting With Coyotes site bulletin.
Presently researchers have radio collared fifteen coyotes, some with VHF collars and others with GPS collars. The coyotes' daytime whereabouts are recorded daily using a vehicle-mounted antenna, which picks up the radio signals, and once a week staff and volunteers go out at night to determine their evening locations. Those animals outfitted with the GPS collars allow biologists to simply download the animals' locations.
The University of Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and nonprofit conservation foundation Wild4Ever are providing partial funding and/or field biologists for the project. Support is also being provided by The Ohio State University and Cleveland Metroparks. For further information contact Metro Parks, Serving Summit County.
Small Mammals and Deer
Along roadsides, white-tailed deer and woodchucks graze on grasses and forbs in open fields. At night, you may catch a glimpse of raccoons or opossums scurrying across the road, in a hurry to find food or shelter before the day begins.
Many of the park's wetlands are filled with beaver and muskrat activity. Where a tree once stood, there may be nothing left but a stump and woodchips, signs of the beaver's need for food, shelter, or a dam. Mink, in search of fish, snakes, or other foods, often visit wetlands or streams are occasionally seen. River otter sightings usually occur in the very early morning when there is minimal human disturbance. In general, these mammals are also very active at dusk and throughout the night feeding on fish and at times, other aquatic animals.
Unfortunately, biologists from Metro Parks, Serving Summit County detected a bat-killing fungus, white-nose syndrome (WNS), at the Liberty Park Reservation in Twinsburg, when they discovered a dead little brown bat outside one of the park's off-trail caves in January 2012. White Nose Syndrome was confirmed in the specimen by researchers at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Georgia.
This emerging fungal disease has killed millions of bats in the northeastern and eastern United States and could soon threaten bats in CVNP. Read more about our bat population and WNS.