Porcupine in the Sand Point boathouse
NPS photo by Gregg Bruff
The federally endangered gray wolf (Canis lupus) is found occasionally within the Lakeshore during snow-free seasons; however, no established individuals or packs are known to reside in for any length of time or breed in the park.
Other mammals of interest include moose (Alces alces), lynx (Lynx canadensis), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), river otter (Lutra canadensis), fisher (Martes pennanti), badger (Taxidea taxus), star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata), and beaver (Castor canadensis).
Moose are uncommon in the Upper Peninsula due to the meningial worm transmitted from deer, and are rarely seen in the lakeshore. Lynx are uncommon.
Otter, marten, and fisher were virtually extirpated in the area but have made a comeback. Badger expanded their range from the western prairies as settlement cleared forests; records in the Upper Peninsula are rare. Beaver are common and are important for the major changes their activities have on the forest ecosystems near streams.
Other common mammals include black bear (Ursus americanus), coyote (Canis latrans), bobcat (Lynx rufus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), mink (Mustela vison), muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), skunk (Mephitis mephitis), raccoon (Procyon lotor), snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), and eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus). Bear and deer are the primary prey species for Upper Peninsula hunters. Porcupine frequently attack park structures, seeking minerals from plywood and salt-impregnated wood.
Extirpated mammalian species include caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and wolverine (Gulo gulo). Caribou historically ranged throughout the Upper Peninsula, but were rare by 1850 and last seen around 1910 probably disappearing due to habitat changes brought about by human activity.