Mammals of Scotland Run Park

A river otter standing on a log submerged in the water.

                                                     The river otter is a type of mammal that was once found at Scotland Run Park. We don’t know if there are
                                                                                                                 any left, but we hope that they come back!

There are many species of mammals in our area, and some of them are well-known to almost everyone. Can you think of some mammals that you have seen or that that you know about? A clue is that mammals have hair/fur on them, and often they are totally covered in fur. Well, some of the most common ones that people think of are deer, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and mice. But there are so many more! Some of them are very elusive (meaning they are hard to find because they are usually hiding) and many of them are nocturnal (active at night) or nearly so. 

A close up picture of a southern red-backed vole. Its fur on its back is red.                                              This is a southern red-backed vole, an adorable little rodent that lives in our area, but which we very rarely see!  They hide 
                                               during the day under leaves and in the dirt.  They move around at night, but still mostly stay in the leaves.  Few people 
                                                                                                                                  will ever see one!

Most mammals are small, and some of them are *really* small and could fit in the palm of a child’s hand.  Examples of these are certain types of mice, shrews, voles and other rodents.  Bigger mammals include species like beavers, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, deer and black bears.  Yes, we sometimes have black bears in Gloucester County!  This past year one was roaming around in our area.  It’s pretty rare that we get to see one, but sometimes they come into places where people live and then they wander back into the woods. 


The opossum is a very unusual type of mammal that lives in New Jersey.  They have more teeth than any other kind of mammal – 50 of them!  They are also the only mammal in North America that is a marsupial. That means that they babies that are born very small and blind and they carry them around in a pouch on their stomach. Have you ever seen an opossum? They are almost entirely nocturnal.

A virginia opossum sitting on a branch with snow on the ground.                                                                   The opossum is more formally known as the Virginia opossum.  They have very unusual looking 
                                                                                                     all-white faces with a pink nose and dark eyes and ears. 

If you want to learn more about river otters, check out this link below



Let’s also try a craft where you can learn to make a black bear face out of paper.
A picture of the supplies needed to make the bear face craft.

Black Bear Paper Plate Craft


What Is Needed:

  • Paper Plate
  • Black Crepe Paper or Black Tissue Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Crayons
  • Black Bear Book (optional)
    Step 1: cut the crepe paper into small peices.

    To begin making this paper plate craft, cut the black crepe paper or tissue paper into small pieces. Next, glue the black crepe paper on the paper plate.
    Step 2: put smaller light brown circles on top of bigger dark brown circle.While the glue is drying, cut out the black bear templates. If you are using the black and white templates, color the largest circle and the two smallest circles brown. These will be the bear’s snout and the inner part of its ears. Next, color the two medium size circles and oval black. These will be the bear’s nose and the outer part of its ears. Then, cut out all of the pieces.
    Step 3: Put the crepe paper, the eye, mout and nose on the bear face.After cutting out all of the pieces, glue the large circle toward the bottom and in the center of the paper plate. Next, glue the oval on the brown circle toward the top of the snout. Then, glue the eyes on the paper plate above the snout.
    Bear face craft 5For the ears, glue the small brown circles onto the black circles. After the glue dries, glue one ear of each side of the paper plate at the top.
    The bear face craft finished product.