Vermont is often considered one of the most beautiful states for its mountainous areas covered in beautiful foliage. Not only does it have amazing hiking trails to help people experience nature, it also has many protected areas. Of course, having all these wild areas means that many different kinds of animals call this place home, including a few large, dangerous species. In this article, we’ll show you seven of the largest animals in Vermont and tell you where to find them.
What Are The 7 Largest Animals in Vermont?
The largest animals in Vermont are moose and black bears, but they’re not the only ones we want to talk about. Instead, we’ll focus on animals from different groups like mammals, amphibians, and insects. That way, we get a better overview of the various sorts of creatures that live in this part of the country and how large they get.
1. Lake Sturgeon
|Acipenser fulvescens||6-7 feet long||Solely in Lake Champlain and its tributaries.|
The lake sturgeon is the largest fish in the state, measuring between 6 and 7 feet long and weighing several hundred pounds in some cases. Unfortunately, they are not very widespread throughout the state. If you want to see one of these endangered creatures, it’s only in one spot: Lake Champlain and its immediate tributaries.
Lake sturgeon are known for their spade-shaped head, long bodies, small dorsal fin near their tail, and dark coloring on their dorsal side.
2. Trumpeter Swan
|Cygnus buccinator||6-8.1 feet wingspan||Typically found near lakes, ponds, and other wetlands in northwestern Vermont.|
The trumpeter swan is one of the largest animals in Vermont, and it’s the largest waterfowl in the entire country. These swans are large white creatures with black bills that are easily spotted in a crowd. These birds have a wingspan that reaches upwards of 8 feet in length, and that’s one of the largest of any bird in the state.
These birds are not always seen throughout the state. Instead, they are mostly found in the northwestern portion of Vermont near lakes, ponds, and other wetlands.
|Alces alces||7-10 feet in length||Found in central and eastern Vermont, especially in the northeast near forested areas by ponds and lakes.|
Moose are the largest animals in Vermont, and they are among some of the biggest mammals in the eastern U.S. A moose can measure 10 feet in length, stand between 4 and 7 feet tall, and weigh over 1,000 pounds. It can charge and kill humans with ease, but that is not a common occurrence.
They mostly live in the northeastern part of the state where they thrive in forested habitats that are located near water. These habitats are close to many different bodies of water including lakes, streams, ponds, and others. It is imperative to stay clear of these creatures and watch for them on the roads. After all, a moose versus car collision is never a good thing.
4. Eastern Rat Snake
|Pantherophis alleghaniensis||5-6 feet long||Found throughout the state in outbuildings, forests, fields, and rocky areas.|
The eastern rat snake is the longest snake that lives in Vermont, measuring about 5 to 6 feet in length, with rare specimens ranging over 7 feet. It is usually black with a light-colored belly, but several morphs of its color exist. Eastern rat snakes live in a variety of places throughout the state.
However, this species has the most confirmed sightings in the western central portion of Vermont. They are frequently seen in and around homes, buildings, forests, and fields. They travel to find prey like birds, eggs, and rodents. If you encounter one of these snakes, it’s best to leave it alone.
They aren’t venomous, but they’re not afraid to release their musk or bite if the situation calls for it.
5. Common Mudpuppy
|Necturus maculosus||8-17 inches||Rarely seen in the state, but they have been found in ponds, lakes, and rivers throughout the state.|
Despite being a rare creature in Vermont, the common mudpuppy has a range that includes all but the northeastern portions of the state. It lives in lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water, and is a nocturnal creature, so it is even harder to find.
Common mudpuppies may not be the largest animals in Vermont, but they’re still the largest amphibian in the area. They usually live beneath some kind of debris on the bottom of a body of water, like logs. That keeps them safe from their numerous predators.
6. Cecropia Moth
|Hyalophora cecropia||5-7 inches||Found in deciduous hardwood forests, suburban, and urban areas.|
The Cecropia moth is a large silk moth with gorgeous colors integrated into its body and wings. It is usually found in deciduous woodlands along with urban and suburban areas. This moth is known for its especially large wingspan which measures between 5 and 7 inches, making it one of the largest flying insects in the country.
They’re not especially common in Vermont, but they have been found in every county in the state. Cecropia moths have reddish bodies and wings that are patterned with stripes of red, tan, white, and potentially other colors.
7. Dark Fishing Spider
|Dolomedes Tenebrosus||3-4.5 inches||Lives in wooded areas near water and in structures in those areas.|
The dark fishing spider is the biggest spider in Vermont. It is known for hunting aquatic insects, tadpoles, and even small fish. These spiders can run across the water and dive below the water’s surface.
They’re often spotted in wooded areas and fields near water. Dark fishing spiders are also seen on docks and boats as well. Although they’re scary to run into, they’re not harmful to people. Their bite will cause pain but little else.
We’ve looked at a variety of the largest animals in Vermont. Most of them are hard to find while others are not the type of creature you can approach. However, it’s always helpful to be aware of the animals that share the land with you. Make sure you give wild animals of all kinds the proper respect when you encounter them. Sometimes, that means you need to leave the area to remain safe.
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