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Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas

Bell Museum

Authors: Dave Bosanko, Caitlin Potter, Jim Krueger
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Families: 17
Genera: 37
Species: 49
Total Taxa (details): 50
Blarina brevicauda - Northern Short-tailed Shrew
Short-tailed shrews are a common shrew at Cedar Creek ESR occupying both open and woodland habitats.
Coyotes can commonly be heard or seen at Cedar Creek and are regularly documented throughout the property. In winter 2016/2017, Jim Krueger collected photos of a three-legged coyote on his trail cameras in the northern part of the property. Population seems to be decreasing, perhaps in conjunction with the influx of wolves. Multiple family groups – at least 3, according to Jim Krueger.
Canis lupus - Gray Wolf
With the increasing population of gray wolves in Minnesota, it is always possible that a few are passing through or in residence at Cedar Creek ESR. Wolves denned on the property in 2015 and have been regularly passing through but not denning onsite since.
Castor canadensis - American Beaver
Beavers historically could be found in most of the open water on the property, although they are found less frequently now. Jim Krueger has seen them in Beckman Lake, Fish Lake and the Creek. Visitors and citizen scientists occasionally document beaver sign on the south side of Fish Lake.
Clethrionomys gapperi - Southern Red-backed Vole
Red-backed voles are common at Cedar Creek ESR in both the deciduous and coniferous forest. They tend to be more common in the moist forest and are not often seen in buildings. They are cyclic and when the population is very high they can often be seen scurrying about when one walks quietly in the woods.
Condylura cristata - Star-nosed Mole
Infrequently, Bosanko found mole burrows in open wet areas on the north half of Cedar Creek ESR and assumed they were made by star-nosed moles. A dead star-nosed mole was found near Cedar Bog Lake and the remains of two others were brought to Bosanko for identification.
Didelphis virginiana - Virginia Opossum
Opossums have been expanding their range and increasing their numbers in Minnesota over the last sixty years. Dave Bosanko recorded the first sighting on Cedar Creek ESR in 1981, a young male in the oak savanna, and also found a female with young in an old building in 1992. Opossums are rare in the natural habitats on Cedar Creek ESR and are more likely to be found near human habitation were they can scavenge for winter food. However, they may be found on occasion almost anywhere in almost any habitat. Increasing but not common – at least 2 seen in 2016 by Jim Krueger and one seen in 2017 by Caitlin Potter.
Eptesicus fuscus - Big Brown Bat
Big brown bats were often found roosting in buildings on Cedar Creek ESR property, and along with little brown bats are the two most common bates in the area. Both frequently feed around buildings and are often seen flying on summer evenings. Morgan Swingen and Ron Moen caught big brown bats in the north half of the property as well as the oak savannas south of the Lawrence Lab in summer 2016.
Erethizon dorsatum - North American Porcupine
Bosanko saw one live porcupine and one dead one at Cedar Creek ESR between 1983 and 2002, but most of the time there are probably none in residence on the reserve. Jim Krueger and Troy Mielke have never seen them in their time at CCESR.
Geomys bursarius - Plains Pocket Gopher
Pocket gophers and their mounds are common in all of the open fields and mowed areas at Cedar Creek ESR.
Glaucomys volans - Southern Flying Squirrel
Though rarely seen, southern flying squirrels are probably the second most common squirrel to be found at Cedar Creek ESR. They are nocturnal inhabitants of all the oak woodlands on the property and their high-pitched chatter can often be heard as you walk quietly through the oaks at night. Bosanko also frequently saw them gliding across the trails cutting through the headlights at night. Jim Howitz usually finds a nest or two while surveying the burn units south of Fish Lake for red-headed woodpeckers, including one just in from gate 13 in summer and fall 2017. Dave Bosanko posits that a thorough survey of flying squirrels at Cedar Creek ESR would most assuredly find a few northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabinus) as well. Northern flying squirrels have been recorded within sixty miles of Cedar Creek.
Lasiurus borealis - Eastern Red Bat
A few red bats have been recorded at Cedar Creek ESR. Dave Bosanko found a female with two young hanging on a tree at the Bur Oak house in the late 1990s.
Bosanko found a hoary bat with its claws caught in a screen door one fall in the 1990s and sent it to the main campus for the collections. This is the only record of this bat species for Cedar Creek ESR to date.
Lepus americanus - Snowshoe Hare
Snowshoe hares were once a common inhabitant of Cedar Creek. They could be captured quickly just east of the Lawrence Lab and were frequently used to test new tracking radio designs in the 1960s. When Bosanko arrived in 1983 they were all but gone from Cedar Creek ESR. He saw the first sign of a snowshoe hare ten years later in 1993. He found a leg from an apparent owl kill a quarter mile west of the Beckman Lake Gate. In a few winters after that he documented tracks in the Cedar Bog but not often. No tracks have been found by the Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey as of March 2018. Jim saw one ~12 years ago up near Field A/B.
Lutra canadensis - North American River Otter
River otters seem to be increasing in numbers in the past few years. They are commonly encountered along Cedar Creek, in Cedar Bog Lake or in Fish Lake. In fall 2016, three river otters were regularly seen playing in Cedar Bog Lake. In March 2018, Caitlin Potter and Megan Lauzon found tracks and a slide crossing the sand road just in from gate 2 in spring 2018.
Marmota monax - Woodchuck
Woodchucks are found in all the dry woodland edges of both coniferous and deciduous forest at Cedar Creek ESR. Stable but not particularly common.
Martes americana - American Marten
Jim saw one south of Field A in 2007. Rare.
Fisher, Pekania pennanti Fisher have been documented via track and sign by the Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey throughout the property (near the labs and BigBio fields, along the Cedar Bog Lake Trail, as well as on the west side of Cedar Creek) in fall and winter from 2016 through the present. Jim Krueger and Troy Mielke saw fishers around the lab buildings regularly in 2016. Lots of track and sign, as well as at least one (maybe two) confirmed sighting occurred in winter 2017/2018. Recent years have yielded many photos of fisher, both male and female, on Eyes on the Wild trail cameras.
Mephitis mephitis - Striped Skunk
The population of striped skunks fluctuates at Cedar Creek ESR. Numerous striped skunk tracks were documented by the Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey in 2016. Jim Krueger has photos of them, mostly in the north half of the property. Troy saw one near the Bur Oak house.
Meadow voles are prevalent in all the open grasslands at Cedar Creek ESR. In some years this highly prolific vole is probably the most abundant rodent on the property.
Mus musculus - House Mouse
There are always a few house mice to be found in the buildings around Cedar Creek ESR, but they are never as prevalent as deer mice.
The Short-tailed weasel is the most common weasel at Cedar Creek ERS and though not often seen their tracks are a common sight in winter. Jim Krueger regularly photographs them on his trail cameras.
Mustela frenata - Long-tailed Weasel
Long-tailed weasels are also present at Cedar Creek ESR, as there is ample wet brushy habitat. Dave Bosanko has positively identified at least three specimens found at the reserve. The Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey documented the tracks of a male long-tailed weasel crossing the North-South road south of the Lawrence Lab in December 2016. Jim Krueger regularly photographs them on his trail cameras.
Mustela vison - American Mink
Mink are a rare inhabitant of the streams and lakes at Cedar Creek ESR. Bosanko reports them as being common in the 1990s; Jim Krueger sees them rarely – mostly as road kill but occasionally in the Creek and south of Fish Lake. Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey members documented their tracks on the small pond near the turn-off to Chickadee Cabin in January 2017.
Myotis lucifugus - Little Brown Myotis
Little brown bats are probably one of the most common bats in the Cedar Creek ESR area but they are not often brought to hand to identify. On several occasions, Bosanko was brought dead little brown bats but not nearly as often he received deceased big brown bats. Morgan Swingen and Ron Moen caught several little brown bats near Fish Lake in summer 2016.
Myotis septentrionalis - Northern Long-eared Myotis
Northern long-eared bats were caught in the northern half of the property, the oak savannas south of the Lawrence Lab, and near Fish Lake by Morgan Swingen and Ron Moen in summer 2016.
Odocoileus virginianus - White-tailed Deer
White-tailed deer are abundant and common at Cedar Creek ESR. For many years (esp. in 1980s and 1990s), a large number of deer wintered in the Cedar Bog establishing the most southerly winter deer yard in the state. That yarding phenomenon has broken down in recent years, but deer tracks, beds and sign can regularly be found throughout the property.
Ondatra zibethicus - Common Muskrat
Muskrats are inhabitants of all the Cedar Creek marshes and streams with open water. Jim Krueger finds sign often near Fish Lake and Half and Half Island.
Peromyscus leucopus - White-footed Mouse
The white-footed mouse is considered a deciduous woodland species but at Cedar Creek ESR it may be encountered in any habit and in most of the buildings.
Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii - North American Deermouse
These two deer mice are common at Cedar Creek ESR and can be found in almost any habitat. Though these two subspecies are often distinct in the upper Great Lake states they can be hard to separate. Bairdii tends to be found in the more open parts of Cedar Creek ESR and gracilis in the woodlands.
Peromyscus maniculatus gracilis - North American Deermouse
These two deer mice are common at Cedar Creek ESR and can be found in almost any habitat. Though these two subspecies are often distinct in the upper Great Lake states they can be hard to separate. Bairdii tends to be found in the more open parts of Cedar Creek ESR and gracilis in the woodlands.
Raccoons are very common at Cedar Creek ERS and can be found in almost any habitat.
Few Norway rats are present at Cedar Creek unless animals are being housed in some of the older buildings.
Scalopus aquaticus - Eastern Mole
Prairie mole burrows may be encountered in any of the open areas with well-drained soils at Cedar Creek ESR but are not common except in the mowed lawns. Their burrows are often seen on the path leading from the Lindeman Center to the Cedar Bog Lake trailhead.
Sciurus carolinensis - Eastern Gray Squirrel
Gray squirrels are the most common tree squirrels at Cedar Creek ESR and can be found in all of the deciduous woods. A healthy population of black and albino gray squirrels is regularly found on the North-South Road just south of the Lawrence Lab.
Sciurus niger - Fox Squirrel
Fox squirrels are common at Cedar Creek ESR and there always seem to be a few around. They prefer more open woodlands than gray squirrels and are more common now (2015 on) than they were in the 1980s and 1990s. Often seen in the Davis grid. Stable population.
Sorex arcticus - Arctic Shrew
In the late 1990s, students found a half consumed Arctic shrew on the boardwalk through the Cedar Bog.
Sorex cinereus - Masked Shrew
The masked shrew is the most common small shrew at Cedar Creek ESR and can be found in most of the dry habitats with good ground cover. They were frequently found in insect pit traps and in owl pellets collected by Dave Bosanko in the 1980s and 1990s. He reports carefully checking the skulls of all small shrews that came his way looking for evidence of Arctic shrews (Sorex arcticus) and pygmy shrews (Microsorex hoyi). In the dozens of small shrew skulls he examined, only one Arctic shrew and no pygmy shrews were fond. Caitlin Potter and the Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey regularly find masked shrew tunnels near the Lindeman Building and along the road to the Cedar Bog Lake trailhead.
Sorex hoyi - American Pygmy Shrew
It is possible that pygmy shrews are present at Cedar Creek ESR, although no confirmed reports exist. If they are present, they are rare.
Sorex palustris - American Water Shrew
Several nights of trapping along Cedar Creek or in the wetlands east of the main lab buildings always produced at least one Water Shrew. Bosanko feels confident that water shrews are a common inhabitant in most of the wetlands on the reserve.
Spermophilus franklinii - Franklin's Ground Squirrel
Franklin’s ground squirrels are rare inhabitants of Cedar Creek ESR. They prefer the brushy edges of open grasslands. Bosanko has seen them most often in the northern fields at Cedar Creek ESR along Hwy 56.
Spermophilus tridecemlineatus - Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
The population of thirteen-lined ground squirrels is highly cyclic at Cedar Creek ESR, as it is over its entire range. When the population is high, they are often seen on the edges of the roads that pass through open habitat. 2016 seemed to be a low in the 13-lined gs population.
Sylvilagus floridanus - Eastern Cottontail
The population of eastern cottontails at Cedar Creek ESR is highly variable and fluctuates from decade to decade. They are generally more common in the southern half of the property.
Tamias striatus - Eastern Chipmunk
Eastern chipmunks are commonly found in most of the brushy woodland habitats at Cedar Creek ESR.
Tamiasciurus hudsonicus - American Red Squirrel
Red squirrels are common in all the coniferous and in some of the mixed woodlands at Cedar Creek ESR.
Taxidea taxus - American Badger
There is always a possibility of a badger or two to be found at Cedar Creek. Their population has significantly declined in the past twenty years as it has of most southeastern Minnesota. One possible badger den was documented south of Fish Lake in fall 2016. A rehabbed badger was released on the property by the DNR on county road 56 in 2009. An intern saw one in back of the dorms in summer 2016 and Jim Krueger saw one in the Davis grid in spring 2017.
Gray foxes are not as common as red foxes at Cedar Creek ESR. Grays prefer woodland areas, often climbing into small trees to hunt. For two years during Dave Bosanko’s tenure, there was a den just behind the main lab and the students enjoyed watching the kits come out to play in the yard. In fall/winter 2016 and fall 2017, the Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey found tracks from at least one gray fox in the new bison area. Jim Krueger regularly captures photos of them in the south units.
Ursus americanus - American Black Bear
There are always a few black bears on the reserve property. As in the rest of central Minnesota, the population at Cedar Creek ESR has been on the increase since the 1980s. However, fewer dens have been found in 2016 and 2017 than in previous years, so this trend may be changing. Jim Krueger regularly gets photos of them on his trail cameras and the Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey has found tracks and sign particularly near Turkey Point. Stable – Jim thinks they were at least 6 active dens in 2016 and probably a similar number in 2017.
Some years, red foxes are seen frequently at Cedar Creek ESR and in others there seem to be almost none around and almost no tracks are to be seen in the snow. Red fox prints were regularly documented by the Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey in 2016 and 2017 south of Fish Lake and throughout the northern half of the property, and red foxes are often caught on trail cameras in the north unit.
Zapus hudsonius - Meadow Jumping Mouse
A few meadow jumping mice are probably always present in the brushy field edges at Cedar Creek ESR but they never seem to be very common. Bosanko came across less than a dozen in his twenty-five year tenure.
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