5 Iconic American Animals
The United States of America is home to unique wildlife that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
From the hot deserts in Arizona to the bustling city life of New York, beaches in California and forests in the Pacific Northwest, the United States of America is filled with diverse wildlife, climates, and experiences.
In today’s post, we’ll be sharing with you 5 of America’s most iconic wild creatures and what they represent.
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#1. Bald Eagle
No post detailing wildlife in America would be complete without the Bald Eagle.
The Bald Eagle is America’s national bird, and can be found on our national emblem, currency, and presidential seal.
Bald Eagles are fittingly associated with the United States because they can only be found in North America.
Not all of the Founding Fathers of America wished for the Bald Eagle to represent the United States of America.
According to PBS Nature, Benjamin Franklin once said, "For my own part, I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly. … Besides he is a rank coward: The little king bird not bigger than a sparrow, attacks him boldly, and drives him out of the district." Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be the national bird, according to the American Eagle Foundation.
Perhaps the most iconic mammal in the history of our young country—with a national campaign to back it up—bison have made an astonishing species-wide comeback over the last century, with the help of the National Bison Range.
This is a happy success story of a law doing precisely what it was intended to do: President Theodore Roosevelt signed legislation authorizing the purchase of lands for bison conservation in 1908, with the hopes of preserving some trace of the herds that had once roamed the prairies by the tens of millions.
The episode was thought to have been the first time Congress had ever put tax revenue toward purchasing land for wildlife conservation.
Bison are in fact the largest mammals in America. Males can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and stand up to 6 feet tall, whereas females can weigh up to about 1,000 pounds and 4-5 feet in height.
Calves are born at about 30-70 pounds heavy- an astonishing weight to be born at!
3. Polar Bears
You are unlikely to find polars bears anywhere in the Continental USA but they can certainly be found in Alaska.
Polar Bears are the largest carnivores in America but are facing extreme hardship as a result of climate change damaging their habitat.
For now, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, tucked away in the relatively human-untouched reaches of northeast Alaska, is the only national conservation area where polar bears regularly den, as well as the most-used polar bear land denning area in the state.
4. American Alligator
American Alligators can be found in the Southeast United States, especially in Florida & Louisiana, which has more water available for alligators to live in.
Alligators are clumsy on land but excellent swimmers, casually swimming faster with ease than the best athletes can swim in the olympics.
While indeed scary and not to be messed with, alligator attacks on humans are not as common as the media would make you think, and typically occur when a human accidentally steps on an alligator triggering a defensive reaction.
American alligators once faced extinction. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service placed them on the endangered species list in 1967.
Fortunately, the legal protection worked. Just 20 years later, American alligators were taken off the list.
5. Tie Between Elk & Moose
While Elk & Moose are two separate creatures, they both tied for #5 on this list - this list simply couldn’t be complete without them both!
When an 18th century French scientist posited that all North American species were diminished or “degenerate” due to the continent’s cold climate, future president Thomas Jefferson was piqued. However, he knew that one piece of physical evidence would utterly ruin the man’s theory: the huge, imposing moose.
That Jefferson used the largest member of the deer family to illustrate the “New World’s” robust natural bounty is only fitting. Moose have become a proud emblem of the northern United States, with the largest population by far found in Alaska.
Elk on the other hand are a beautiful symbol of Yellowstone National Park, a massive 3,500 square mile wilderness recreation area with all kinds of geological wonders & fascinating sites.
Elk are often mistaken as Moose, which is another reason we lumped the two together. While similar, there are a few differences to help differentiate the creatures when spotting them out in nature:
Their size and the shape of their antlers are the two main physical distinctions. Moose are the largest of the two, as they can grow up to 6.5 feet in height from hoof to shoulder, while elk usually measure 3 feet to 5 feet.2 Male moose also have wider, flat antlers, while elk antlers tend to have an elongated shape with points that come off the large beams.
However, the most obvious way to tell them apart is their social structure. Moose are much more solitary and enjoy hanging out alone; elk, on the other hand, travel in large herds (we’ll learn more about that later).
Wildlife & Pest
America hosts several incredible wild animals & creatures unique only to our continent. Unlike other Western Nations in Europe, America is home to larger wildlife parks and more rural lands to visit, making it an incredible experience for nature & wildlife enthusiasts.
That being said, wildlife & pests can become a nuisance to Americans that would prefer to be left alone in their homes. Nature is great, but these creatures belong in nature, and NOT in our homes.
We at Wildlife x Team International specialize in safe & responsible removal of wildlife & pests.
Whenever possible we capture the animals safely and return them to the wild where they can live on peacefully & healthily, restore any damage caused to the home, and prevent it from ever happening again.
If you think that you have a wildlife or pest infestation problem, please don’t hesitate to call the experts. We have locations all across the United States and are expanding rapidly.
Please call us at 855-WILDLIFE or visit www.wildlifexteam.com.
Thanks & have a great day!!
-Wildlife x Team International