Species At Risk

Mammals at Risk

Many Ontario mammals are endangered

Of the 30,000 different species that make their home in Ontario, just 81 are mammals. Some are abundant - racoons, deer and black bears, for example - and humans. But 10 of them are at risk of disappearing from the province. They are some of our best-known animals - the caribou that is featured on the Canadian quarter, the polar bear that to many symbolizes northern Canada, and the wolf.

The most significant threats to land-based mammals are habitat loss and change, including climate change.

Check out the links below to learn more about Ontario's mammals at risk, including how you can help protect them.


American Badger
American Badger (Taxidea taxus)
When threatened, badgers release a foul smelling musk to drive off enemies.
Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas)
special concern
The Beluga’s enlarged forehead is involved in echo-location, in which clicks are emitted to help locate prey and aid in navigation under ice. The forehead is thought to focus the clicks.
Eastern Mole
Eastern Mole (Scalopus aquaticus)
special concern
Eastern Moles can dig more than a metre in an hour, and their tunnels can be up to a kilometre long.
Eastern Wolf
Eastern Wolf (Canis lupus lycaon)
special concern
Genetic testing of Eastern Wolves has shown that they contain both Red Wolf and Coyote genes
Grey Fox
Grey Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
Grey Foxes can climb trees! They use their sharp, hooked claws to scramble up tree trunks and can even jump from branch to branch.
Little Brown Bat
Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)
Little brown bats are one of only two bat species in Ontario that are known to use human structures as summer maternity colony habitat.
Mountain Lion (Cougar)
Mountain Lion (Cougar) (Puma concolor)
Cougars rarely chase their prey. They are masters of camouflage and will slowly and silently slink forward and then pounce. The Cougar usually hunts at night.
Northern Long-eared Bat
Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis)
While most Ontario bats catch their dinner in mid-air, northern long-eared bats have also been observed flying down and picking insects off tree leaves, grasses and the ground.
Polar Bear
Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)
Female polar bears can travel more than 3,500 kilometres in a year.
Wolverine (Gulo gulo)
Wolverines mark their territory with urine and a musty-smelling scent from glands at the base of the tail, which led to its nickname “skunk-bear”. This scent marker tells other animals, “This area is occupied!”
Woodland Caribou (Forest-dwelling boreal population)
Caribou are excellent swimmers with hollow hair that makes them extremely buoyant.
Woodland Vole
Woodland Vole (Microtus pinetorum)
special concern
Woodland Voles are monogamous, and both males and females participate in caring for the young.