Mammals

White-Tailed Deer
White-tailed Deer

Photo by John Graves

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park abounds with a variety of animal and plant life. With a wide diversity of habitats the park is home to at least forty species of mammals. Most mammals in the parks are nocturnal and those that are active during daylight hours are often secretive. Generally, it is best to look for animals in the early morning or just before sunset when many animals are most active and most visable. Almost every visitor will see some of the more noticable, including white-tailed deer and gray squirrels along roadsides and trails.

Black bears are rarely seen by visitors, but are increasing in numbers in the park. The most opportunistic mammals-racoons and opossums-are common in campgrounds and picnic areas. Other animals, such as the indiana bat, are threatened or endangered.

All are protected in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Please observe wildlife safely and responsibly.

Download a copy of the park's Mammals Checklist


Mammal Checklist

Key to Abbreviations

NPS - Species listed for Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

B - Species listed for Bell County, Kentucky

H - Species listed for Harlan County, Kentucky

L - Species listed for Lee County, Virginia

C - Species listed for Claiborne County, Tennessee

ORDER ARTIODACTYLA
FAMILY CERVIDAE:

  • White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) (NPS, B, H, L, C) Habitat: Forested areas and open spaces such as agricultural lands and grasslands.
  • Elk (Odocoileus virginianus) (NPS, B, C) Habitat: Mid to high elevation meadows, and grassy balds.


ORDER DIDELPHIMORPHIA
FAMILY DIDELPHIDAE:
  • Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) (NPS, L, C) Habitat: Woodlands and thickets near a water source.

ORDER LAGOMORPHA
FAMILY LEPORIDAE:
  • Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) – (NPS, B, L) Habitat: Farmlands, natural clearings, forests, and wetlands.
  • Appalachian Cottontail (Sylvilagus obscurus) – (H, C) Habitat: Dense cover of thickets and higher elevation woods.

ORDER CARNIVORA
FAMILY CANIDAE:
  • Coyote (Canis latrans) – (NPS, B, L, C) Habitat: Agricultural fields or forested regions.
  • Common Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) – (NPS, L, C) Habitat: Deciduous forests and brushy woodlands at lower elevations.
  • Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) (C, L) Habitat: Mixture of forest and open fields.

FAMILY FELIDAE:
  • Bobcat (Lynx rufus) – (NPS, L, C) Habitat: Woodlands or near agricultural areas if rocky ledges, wetlands, or forested tracts are present.

FAMILY MEPHITIDAE:
  • Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) – (NPS, L, C) Habitat: Woodlands or near agricultural areas if rocky ledges, wetlands, or forested tracts are present.
  • Eastern Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius) – (NPS, B, L, C) Habitat: Covered thickets, woods, riparian hardwood and shrubbery.


Last updated: July 8, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

91 Bartlett Park Road
Middlesboro, KY 40965

Phone:

(606) 248-2817

Contact Us