Of the 181 mammals listed as occurring in the state of Texas, nearly 60 species have been verified in Big Thicket National Preserve. Beaver and river otter are sometimes seen in the rivers and streams. Eleven species of bats may be seen flying overhead at dusk, consuming the plentiful moths (over 1600 species), beetles, and mosquitoes. An array of rodents scurry in the understory while gray squirrels, fox squirrels, and flying squirrels move through the trees overhead. Skunks, raccoons, ringtails, opossums, and armadillos are common, but their nocturnal behavior makes them difficult to see during the day. White-tailed deer are the only native ungulate in the preserve and must compete for food with invasive feral hogs, who eat just about anything. Gray and red fox, coyotes, and bobcats are the primary predators on the prowl looking for a rodent, bird, or snake to fill their bellies.
Meet Our Mammals
Last updated: February 8, 2021