Land Mammals of Mississippi

Catherine C. Shropshire

Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks, P.O. Box 451, Jackson, MS 39215

Publication of this checklist is sponsored by the

Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

111 N. Jefferson Street, Jackson, MS 39202

The following list of Mississippi land mammals reflects those 63 species of land mammals collected within the state. Taxa are presented in phylogenetic sequence through genera. Names of species are arranged alphabetically under each genus. Mississippi game laws designate which species are classified as furbearer and which as game animal. The designations endangered and threatened are determined by federal as well as state laws.



Didelphis virginiana (Virginia opossum)--Occurs statewide; common; game animal


Family--Soricidae (shrews)

Sorex longirostris (southeastern shrew)--Found throughout state; rare

Blarina carolinensis (southern short-tailed shrew)--Occurs statewide; fairly common

Cryptotis parva (least shrew)--Found statewide; rare

Family--Talpidae (moles)

Scalopus aquaticus (eastern mole)--Distributed statewide; common


Family--Vespertilionidae (vespertilionid bats)

Myotis austroriparius (southeastern myotis)--Probably statewide; uncommon

Myotis grisescens (gray myotis)--Tishomingo county; state endangered species; federal endangered species

Myotis lucifugus (little brown bat)--North and eastern part of state; uncommon

Myotis septentrionalis (northern myotis)--Tishomingo county; rare

Myotis sodalis (Indiana myotis)--Tishomingo county; state endangered species; federal endangered species

Lasionycteris noctivagans (silver-haired bat)--Probably northern two-thirds of state as migrant; uncommon

Pipistrellus subflavus (eastern pipistrelle)--Occurs statewide; common

Eptesicus fuscus (big brown bat)--Found throughout state; common

Lasiurus borealis (eastern red bat)--Distributed statewide; common

Lasiurus cinereus (hoary bat)--Probably statewide except coast as migrant; uncommon

Lasiurus intermedius (northern yellow bat)--Southern one-fourth of state; rare

Lasiurus seminolus (Seminole bat)--Probably statewide; common

Nycticeius humeralis (evening bat)--Occurs statewide; common

Plecotus rafinesquii (Rafinesque's big-eared bat)--Found statewide; uncommon

Family--Molossidae (free-tailed bats)

Tadarida brasiliensis (Brazilian free-tailed bat)--Southern two-thirds of state; common


Family--Dasypodidae (armadillos)

Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillo)--Statewide; common


Family--Leporidae (hares and rabbits)

Sylvilagus aquaticus (swamp rabbit)--Found statewide; common; game animal

Sylvilagus floridanus (eastern cottontail)--Statewide; common; game animal


Family--Sciuridae (squirrels and allies)

Tamias striatus (eastern chipmunk)--Statewide except southeastern portion; fairly common

Marmota monax (woodchuck)--Scattered localities in northern half of state; rare

Sciurus carolinensis (gray squirrel)--Found statewide; common; game animal

Sciurus niger (fox squirrel)--Statewide; common; game animal

Glaucomys volans (eastern flying squirrel)--Occurs statewide; common

Family--Castoridae (beavers)

Castor canadensis (beaver)--Statewide; common

Family--Cricetidae (native mice and rats)

Oryzomys palustris (marsh rice rat)--Found statewide; common

Reithrodontomys fulvescens (fulvous harvest mouse)--Southwestern two-thirds of state; fairly common

Reithrodontomys humulis (eastern harvest mouse)--Found statewide; common

Peromyscus gossypinus (cotton mouse)--Occurs statewide; fairly common

Peromyscus leucopus (white-footed mouse)--Statewide except extreme southeastern part; common

Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mouse)--Found only in the northwestern part of the state; uncommon

Peromyscus polionotus (oldfield mouse)--Occurs in eastern part of state; uncommon

Ochrotomys nuttalli (golden mouse)--Statewide; common

Sigmodon hispidus (hispid cotton rat)--Statewide; common

Neotoma floridana (eastern woodrat)--Statewide; uncommon

Microtus pinetorum (woodland vole)--Statewide except in extreme southeastern part; fairly common

Ondatra zibethicus (muskrat)--Statewide; common; furbearer

*Family--Muridae (Old World rats and mice)

Rattus norvegicus (Norway rat)--Statewide; common

Rattus rattus (roof rat)--Statewide; common

Mus musculus (house mouse)--Statewide; common

Family--Zapodidae (jumping mouse)

Zapus hudsonius (meadow jumping mouse)--Known only from Alcorn county; uncommon

*Family--Myocastoridae (myocastorids)

Myocastor coypus (nutria)--Statewide; common


Family--Canidae (canids)

Canis familiaris (domestic dog)--Statewide; common

Canis latrans (coyote)--Statewide; common

Canis rufus (red wolf)--Originally statewide, now extinct in wild; federal endangered species

Vulpes vulpes (red fox)--Statewide; fairly common

Urocyon cinereoargenteus (gray fox)--Statewide; common

Family--Ursidae (bears)

Ursus americanus (black bear)--Restricted to the Delta and bottomland areas in the southern part of the state; state endangered species; federal threatened species

Family--Procyonidae (procyonids)

Procyon lotor (raccoon)--Statewide; common; furbearer

Family--Mustelidae (mustelids)

Mustela frenata (long-tailed weasel)--Statewide; rare; furbearer

Mustela vison (mink)--Statewide; common; furbearer

Spilogale putorius (eastern spotted skunk)--Absent only from extreme northeastern part of state; fairly common; furbearer

Mephitis mephitis (striped skunk)--Statewide; common; furbearer

Lutra canadensis (river otter)--Statewide; fairly common; furbearer

Family--Felidae (cats)

Felis catus (domestic cat)--Statewide; common

Felis concolor (mountain lion)--Once statewide, now extinct in wild; state endangered species; federal endangered species

Lynx rufus (bobcat)--Statewide; fairly common; furbearer

ORDER ARTIODACTYLA--Even-toed Ungulates

*Family--Suidae (pigs)

Sus scrofa (wild pig)--Statewide; fairly common

Family--Cervidae (cervids)

Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer)--Statewide; common; game animal

* Introduced species


Carter, C.H. 1978. The mammals of Mississippi. Miss. Game and Fish Mag. Jackson 41 (4):9­12.

Choate, J.R., J.K. Jones, Jr., and C. Jones. 1994. Handbook of mammals of the south-central states. LSU Press. Baton Rouge, LA. 304 pp.

Jones, C., and C.H. Carter. 1989. Annotated checklist of the recent mammals of Mississippi. Occ. Pap. Mus., Texas Tech Univ. 128:1­9.

Wolf, J.L. 1971. Mississippi land mammals: distribution, identification, ecological notes. Miss. Mus. Nat. Sci. 44 pp.