Eastern cottontail

An alert eastern cottontail remains vigilant even while grazing at Fort Harrison

(NPS photo)

Richmond National Battlefield Park encompasses a variety of habitats that support many native mammal populations. Managed fields provide whitetail deer with optimal foraging and bedding areas without sacrificing the security of a nearby forest boundary. The park's forests range from recently reclaimed fields to old-growth forest. The dense undergrowth of emergent forests provides cover necessary for smaller mammals such as the eastern cottontail rabbit. The hardwood dominated old-growth forests provide nesting habitat and a food supply to grey and flying squirrel populations within the park. The many streams and wetlands within the park serve as excellent foraging grounds for the park's raccoon population, while roadside clearings are a likely spot for a groundhog encounter. Grey foxes can be found throughout the park, although sightings are most likely around dawn and dusk when they are most active.

Richmond National Battlefield Park provides a necessary refuge from hunting and development pressures on these animals. Undisturbed natural areas, such as those within the park, are an important part of our heritage allowing us to safeguard these species for generations to come.

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