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Wild animals of South Carolina


Animals in South Carolina
Animals in South Carolina

White-tailed deer are still plentiful in the Piedmont and coastal areas, but the wolves, bison, cougars, elk (wapiti), and other once common large animals have long since disappeared. Rarely seen black bear and the more plentiful bobcat are known to inhabit remote forested and swampy areas. Smaller animals native to the state include opossums, raccoons, otter, skunks, beavers, muskrat, shrews, rats, mice, moles, bats, weasels, mink, and woodchucks. Red foxes, gray foxes, Southern fox squirrels, gray squirrels, flying squirrels, and cottontails are also common. A great variety of birds have been observed in South Carolina.

Many are permanent residents of the state, but a great number are seasonal or migratory visitors from both Arctic and tropical lands. The Atlantic flyway, a great north-south route used by migratory birds follows the South Carolina coast. Among the common shore birds and waterfowl are many species of ducks, geese, terns, and gulls. Game birds include the wild turkey, bobwhite, mourning dove, and woodcock. Hawks, owls, and bald eagles, which are making a comeback, constitute the principal birds of prey in the state. Other birds include the Carolina wren, which is the state bird, the Northern mockingbird, Baltimore oriole, and catbird, as well as species of warbler, sparrow, vireo, swallow, and thrush. The red-cockaded woodpecker, found in old-growth pine forests, remains on the state’s endangered species list, while the pelican, found along the coast, has been removed because of its recovery in numbers.

Turtles and lizards abound in the state’s swampy lowlands, and salamanders, frogs, toads, and other amphibians are also numerous. In addition, more than 40 species of snakes occur in the state. Only six of these are poisonous: the copperhead, the cottonmouth, the coral snake, and the pygmy, timber, and diamondback rattlesnakes.

Fish are plentiful in the state’s coastal waters. Of commercial importance are the shad, menhaden, flounder, black sea bass, sea trout, channel bass, and king whiting. Popular game fish include the tarpon, sailfish, and barracuda. Common freshwater fishes include the crappie, pickerel, catfish, bream, largemouth bass, striped bass, and trout. "South Carolina" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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