The striped skunk is found throughout Maryland and is actually a very successful species, with a range that occupies a large portion of North America. They prefer habitat with a variety of woodlands and open fields, which means they can also be found in both rural and suburban settings.
The red fox is the largest of the fox family, found throughout this continent, from the Arctic Circle to Central America, as well as in Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa. DNA tests have shown that the red fox is indeed native to North America and that the populations in the mid-Atlantic and southern states are the result of range expansion from the northeast and Canada.
Of the three bear species native to North America, Maryland is home only to the black bear. The mammal was once widespread throughout the state, but habitat loss and unregulated hunting reduced the population to its current range.
Say the word “porcupine” and the image that immediately jumps to mind is its quills. However, the quills are only one feature of this rodent. In fact, it is the second largest rodent native to North America; only the beaver is larger. Its range includes most of the continent, stretching from Alaska in the northwest, through the Great Lakes area, to the Canadian maritime provinces in the east and south to Virginia.
One of the benefits of returning to Standard Time in the late fall is the opportunity to see great horned owls at dusk, as they begin their hours of hunting. Even if you do not see them, you will know they are in your woodlands, as their deep hooting calls can be heard echoing across forests on mid-winter nights.