coyote (Canis latrans)
– The coyote may be found statewide in Illinois living in woodlands, bluffs, prairies and urban areas. It eats mice, rabbits, fruits, dead animals and other items. Young are raised in a burrow or den.
red fox (Vulpes vulpes) – The red fox is found statewide living in grasslands, urban areas, bottomland woods and brushy areas. It eats prey that it catches as well as some plant materials (berries, fruits). Its diet changes by season. In summer and fall, it feeds mainly on insects and plant materials. In winter and spring, it eats many small mammals. It is usually active at night. An underground burrow (den) is used for raising its young.
gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) – The gray fox can be found statewide mainly in woodlands, especially where they are close to open fields, and can also be found in urban areas. Cottontails, mice, insects, birds, crayfishes and plant materials are among the many types of food items eaten by this species. In the winter, small mammals make up most of the diet. A den is used for raising young. The gray fox can easily climb trees.
long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata) – Found statewide, the long-tailed weasel lives in brushy areas, woodlands, grasslands, along roads and near farm buildings. It eats birds, lizards, small mammals and snakes. Active at night, it uses the burrows of other small mammals, crevices or brush piles to hide in during the day.
least weasel (Mustela nivalis) – The least weasel can be found in the northern one-half of Illinois. It lives in grassy fields, along railroad tracks and along the edges of cultivated fields. It feeds on small birds, mice and other small mammals and invertebrates. It may kill more prey than it needs at one time and store the food for later. When disturbed, it may release a musky odor.
American mink (Neovison vison) – The mink can be found statewide near streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes. It eats small birds, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and invertebrates. It is active mainly at night and moves well both in and out of water. It may take over a muskrat burrow or lodge for shelter or live in a brush pile or under a stump.
American badger (Taxidea taxus) – The badger may be found statewide in open areas such as pastures, roadsides, along railroad tracks, brushy areas and alfalfa fields. It is usually active at night and eats mammals, such as woodchucks, ground squirrels, mice and voles. It is a powerful digger and uses this skill to find food and provide shelter.
North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) – The river otter is found throughout Illinois in streams, rivers, swamps and lakes. It eats fishes, crayfishes, turtles, frogs, mussels and other aquatic animals. It is active during the day and night. It swims strongly in water and bounds on land.
striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) – This mammal is found statewide in Illinois in pastures, fence rows, roadsides and woodlands. It eats a variety of foods including insects, birds, dead animals, garbage, small mammals and plant materials. It raises its young in an underground burrow. Active at night, it is known for its bad-smelling scent that is sprayed on any animal that it considers to be a threat.
raccoon (Procyon lotor) – The raccoon is easily recognized by the black markings (mask) on its face and the dark rings on its tail. It lives statewide in a variety of habitats, including urban areas. It eats prey that it catches as well as plant materials. It is very common in cities, where it feeds on garbage and pet food and lives in hollow trees and buildings. Active at night, this species is a good climber and swimmer.
bobcat (Lynx rufus) – The bobcat lives in wooded bluffs or rolling hills mixed with open fields, brushy ravines, swamps or open woodlands along streams. Found statewide, it is active at night, feeding on cottontails, squirrels, mice, birds and other animals. Individuals can live up to about 15 years in the wild.