Flora and Fauna of Mannahatta

The flora and fauna list of native plants and vertebrate animals possibly found on Mannahatta in September 1609 is based on analysis of historical records, species lists and habitat relationships. Notes on methods and sources can be found in Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City (Abrams 2009).


Species are organized by family and by likelihood that the species might have been found either on the island or within one-thousand meters of the shore. Click on the scientific name to learn more about the ecology of the species.

Key to Likelihood: **** = likely; *** = probable; ** = possible; ° = remotely possible

Family Name Common Name Scientific Name Likelihood
Balaenidae Northern Right Whale Eubalaena glacialis **
Balaenopteridae Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata **
Finback Whale Balaenoptera physalus **
Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae **
Sei Whale Balaenoptera borealis °
Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus °
Bovidae Bison Bison bison °
Canidae Gray Wolf Canis lupus ****
Dog Canis lupus familiaris ****
Gray Fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus ****
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes **
Coyote Canis latrans °
Castoridae Beaver Castor canadensis ****
Cervidae White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus ****
Elk Cervus elaphus ***
Moose Alces alces **
Delphinidae Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis ***
Long-finned Pilot Whale Globicephala melas ***
Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus ***
Atlantic white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus **
Striped Dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba **
Risso’s Dolphin Grampus griseus °
White-beaked Dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris °
Killer Whale Orcinus orca °
Pantropical Spotted Dolphin Stenella attenuata °
Didelphidae Virginia Opossum Didelphis virginiana °
Erethizontidae Porcupine Erethizon dorsatum **
Felidae Bobcat Lynx rufus ****
Mountain Lion Puma concolor ****
Canada Lynx Lynx canadensis °
Hominidae Human Homo sapiens ****
Leporidae Eastern Cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus ****
New England Cottontail Sylvilagus transitionalis ***
Snowshoe Hare Lepus americanus **
Mephitidae Striped Skunk Mephitis mephitis ****
Monodontidae Beluga Delphinapterus leucas °
Muridae Meadow Vole Microtus pennsylvanicus ****
Muskrat Ondatra zibethicus ****
White-footed Mouse Peromyscus leucopus ****
Deer Mouse Peromyscus maniculatus ****
Southern Red-backed Vole Clethrionomys gapperi ***
Pine Vole Microtus pinetorum ***
Woodland Jumping Mouse Napaeozapus insignis ***
Meadow Jumping Mouse Zapus hudsonius ***
Allegheny Woodrat Neotoma magister **
Southern Bog Lemming Synaptomys cooperi **
Mustelidae North American River Otter Lontra canadensis ****
Mink Neovison vison ****
Fisher Martes pennanti ***
Long-tailed Weasel Mustela frenata ***
Wolverine Gulo gulo **
Short-tailed Weasal (Ermine) Mustela erminea **
Least weasel Mustela nivalis **
American Marten Martes americana °
Phocidae Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina ****
Hooded Seal Cystophora cristata ***
Harp Seal Pagophilus groenlandicus **
Gray Seal Halichoerus grypus °
Ringed Seal Phoca hispida °
Phocoenidae Harbor Porpoise Phocoena phocoena ****
Physeteridae Sperm Whale Physeter catodon ***
Pygmy Sperm Whale Kogia breviceps **
Procyonidae Raccoon Procyon lotor ****
Sciuridae Southern Flying Squirrel Glaucomys volans ****
Eastern Gray Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis ****
Eastern Chipmunk Tamias striatus ****
Woodchuck Marmota monax ***
Red Squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus ***
Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger **
Northern Flying Squirrel Glaucomys sabrinus °
Soricidae Northern Short-tailed Shrew Blarina brevicauda ****
Masked Shrew Sorex cinereus ****
Least Shrew Cryptotis parva ***
Smoky Shrew Sorex fumeus ***
Talpidae Eastern Mole Scalopus aquaticus ****
Star-nosed Mole Condylura cristata ***
Brewer’s Mole Parascalops breweri ***
Trichechidae Florida Manatee Trichechus manatus °
Ursidae American Black Bear Ursus americanus ****
Vespertilionidae Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus ****
Silver-haired Bat Lasionycteris noctivagans ****
Red Bat Lasiurus borealis ****
Hoary Bat Lasiurus cinereus ****
Little Brown Bat Myotis lucifugus ***
Northern Long-eared Bat Myotis septentrionalis ***
Eastern Pipistrelle Pipistrellus subflavus ***
Eastern Small-footed Myotis Myotis leibii **
Indiana Bat Myotis sodalis **
Ziphiidae Dense-beaked Whale Mesoplodon densirostris **
Gervais’s Beaked Whale Mesoplodon europaeus **
True’s Beaked Whale Mesoplodon mirus **
Cuvier’s Beaked Whale Ziphius cavirostris **