Also known as boglands, bogs are interesting environments that consist of a wetland that is rich in dead plant material. Bogs are one of the four types of wetlands, and can be found in various countries all over the world. The animals that live in bogs are just as diverse as the areas where bogs are found, and range from feathered friends to tiny amphibians.
9 Animals That Live In Bogs
The largest bog is found in Russia and covers more than 380,000 miles, but Ireland holds the title of the country with the most bogs. The animals that live in such bogs take advantage of all that these unique environments provide, including a diverse food source and protection. Keep reading to learn more about these animals.
Scientific Name: Anura
Bogs provide frogs with the damp and dim conditions that they need to thrive. In fact, you can find various species of frogs in bogs all over the world.
The Florida bog frog (Lithobates okaloosae), for example, is a rare species of frog that is only found in Western Florida. This frog species inhabits an area of less than 8 miles and is not found anywhere outside this area.
The Northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora) is another frog species that you can find living in bogs. It is found throughout British Columbia all the way to California.
In fact, this species is a protected class in the states of California and Oregon. The Northern red-legged frog is considered a true frog species since it has a narrow waist and smooth skin. They measure just a little over 3 inches in length and have a dark colored skin.
2. Bog Turtles
Scientific Name: Glyptemys muhlenbergii
Turtles that live in bogs do so because of the wet soil, mucky water, layers of mud, and thick moss. The mucky water gives them protection from predators, while the thick moss gives them a place to bask in the sun and incubate their eggs.
Bog turtles are rather small in size. In fact, they are one of the smallest turtle species, with adults measuring no more than 4 1/2 inches from the tip of their tail to the top of their snout. In the wild, these tiny turtles can live more than 60 years!
Scientific Name: Ondatra zibethicus
Muskrats are found in wet areas, such as bogs, marshes, lakes, and ponds. Bogs and marshes provide the ideal homes for these creatures because the water levels are more likely to stay constant and the vegetation is ideal for consuming and making nests.
An interesting fact about these unusual creatures is that they spend most of their lives in water and can swim under the water for up to 17 minutes!
4. Snowshoe Hare
Scientific Name: Lepus americanus
Snowshoe hares live in forest bogs and dense woodlands throughout the northern part of the world, including Minnesota, Canada, and Alaska. They typically spend their entire lives spanning only a few acres, rarely venturing farther out from their home base.
Snowshoe hares, also called snowshoe rabbits, get their name from their large hind feet that prevent them from sinking down into the snow when they hop or walk.
5. Smooth Newts
Scientific Name: Lissotriton vulgaris
Also known as the common newt, the smooth newt is found throughout Europe. It is also the only newt species found in Ireland.
Smooth newts are often found in bogs, marshes, wetlands, and even woodland areas. During the breeding season, however, they typically head to ponds and ditches where there is standing water and weeds.
These amphibians are nocturnal and not normally seen during the day. At night, they come out of hiding to hunt for food.
Scientific Name: Alces alces
The moose may be one of the animals that you wouldn’t expect on our list. However, these large relatives of the deer are often call bogs, and the areas around bogs, their home. This is because, despite their large size, moose are herbivores feeding on plants and vegetation which bogs have a lot of.
Moose are sometimes referred to as rubber-nosed swamp donkeys. Another interesting fact about these unusual looking creatures is that they have a flap of skin, called a bell, under their jaw. Both the male and female of the species have this, but the exact function of it is not yet known.
7. Short Eared Owls
Scientific Name: Asio flammeus
Short-eared owls are one of the most widely found owl species, living throughout the United States and Euroasia. They prefer making their homes in bogs and marshes. In fact, these owls are often called bog owls or marsh owls.
Short-eared owls can travel long distances, and researchers have even documented them traveling 1200 miles during migration. This species is also one of only two owl species that live on Hawaiian islands. Researchers believe that these owls arrived to the islands naturally, traveling from Alaska.
Scientific Name: Castor
Even though bogs make a suitable home for beavers, you will typically find them in lakes and streams instead. However, in north central Minnesota, it is common to find beavers making their homes in bogs. That doesn’t mean, however, that beavers don’t ever live in bogs in other areas.
Beavers are large rodents that are semi-aquatic, needing both land and water for their home, which is something that bogs can provide. One unusual thing about these furry creatures is that their teeth are naturally orange!
Scientific Name: Urodela
Salamanders are often found in areas that are near a water source, as these creatures need a damp area to thrive. Bogs provide the salamander a place to live, court, find food, and have babies. Not all salamanders are found in bogs, however, as some species prefer the a woodland forest or headwater stream.
The tiger salamander, however, is one such species that can often be found living in bogs. These types are one of the largest salamanders found in North America, measuring up to 13 inches long.