• Autumn colors along Chapel Beach on a sunny fall day.

    Pictured Rocks

    National Lakeshore Michigan

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Grand Sable Dunes temporary closure to all public entry for visitor safety

    Grand Sable Dunes are rapidly eroding into Sable Creek and Lake Superior. The area from the Ghost Forest Trail north to Lake Superior then along the shoreline to the west side of Sable Creek is temporarily closed. Follow closure signs for your safety. More »

Animals

An American marten, which is a slender weasel about the size of a mink, looks up alertly at the camera over some forest wildflowers.

American Marten

USFWS photo

Though animal life is abundant within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, visitors often do not see many animals during their visit beyond chipmunks and perching birds. A walk down park trails may reveal bear scat, a pile of pine cone bracts from a feeding red squirrel, or deer tracks in the mud. Keep an eye open for beaver-chewed tree stumps around a pond or a raven's nest high on a rocky ledge.

Wildlife in this varied habitat of wetland, sand dune, cliff, and northern hardwood forest includes white-tailed deer, black bear, gray wolves, and an occasional moose. Migratory and nesting songbirds share the park with bald eagle, osprey, and several species of hawks and falcons. Fisher, mink, American marten, beaver, skunk, red squirrel, and numerous small rodents such as shrews and mice inhabit lakeshore habitats. Butterflies, dragonflies, and other insects abound during the summer. Many species of fish, as well as aquatic organisms such as freshwater mussels and tiny crustaceans, live in the park's lakes and streams.

The national lakeshore contains nearly 300 native vertebrates, with 48 fish, 12 amphibian, 5 reptile, 182 bird and 42 mammal species currently identified. One Federally listed endangered species, the piping plover, has habitat within park boundaries. Several Michigan state-listed species are also protected within the lakeshore.

 

Wildlife Populations
Due to the park's long narrow shape, wildlife populations and ranges extend far beyond the lakeshore's official borders. The health of many species depends on their connection to the greater "metapopulation" in surrounding areas and the condition of ecosystems outside lakeshore boundaries. Habitat fragmentation and other threats could "cut-off" park wildlife from the larger regional population, resulting in genetic isolation and loss of species vitality. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore works with adjacent landowners and other government agencies to maintain wildlife corridors and habitat health throughout the region.

 

Wildlife Viewing
For your safety and the well-being of the animals, always keep a safe and respectful distance when viewing wildlife. Wild animals are unpredictable – especially when approached. Nesting birds can become quite stressed when humans get too close, which might lead to nest failure. Leave frogs and turtles undisturbed. Never feed squirrels, chipmunks, or any other animals. Show respect for all the creatures that live in this special place.

 
 

Did You Know?

The Grand Sable Dunes are located just west of Grand Marais, Michigan, in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

The Grand Sable Dunes are a federally designated Research Natural Area. The five square miles of dunes are an unusual glacial kame terrace with overlying dunes caused by fluctuating lake levels over the centuries. The dunes are located in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, near Grand Marais, Mich. More...