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
Cheloniidae Loggerhead Sea Turtle Caretta caretta ****
Green Turtle Chelonia mydas ****
Atlantic Ridley Sea Turtle Lepidochelys kempii ****
Atlantic Hawksbill Sea Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata **
Chelydridae Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina ****
Colubridae Northern Black Racer Coluber constrictor ****
Brown Snake Storeria dekayi ****
Eastern Garter Snake Thamnophis sirtalis ****
Eastern Worm Snake Carphophis amoenus ***
Northern Ringneck Snake Diadophis punctatus ***
Eastern Hognose Snake Heterodon platirhinos ***
Eastern Milk Snake Lampropeltis triangulum ***
Northern Water Snake Nerodia sipedon ***
Smooth Green Snake Opheodrys vernalis ***
Redbelly Snake Storeria occipitomaculata ***
Eastern Ribbon Snake Thamnophis sauritus ***
Black Rat Snake Elaphe obsoleta **
Rough Green Snake Opheodrys aestivus **
Northern Scarlet Snake Cemophora coccinea °
Southern Ringneck Snake Diadophis punctatus punctatus °
Corn Snake Elaphe guttata °
Eastern Kingsnake Lampropeltis getula °
Scarlet Kingsnake Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides °
Northern Pine Snake Pituophis melanoleucus °
Queen Snake Regina septemvittata °
Smooth Earth Snake Virginia valeriae °
Dermochylidae Leatherback Sea Turtle Dermochelys coriacea **
Emydidae Eastern Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta picta ****
Spotted Turtle Clemmys guttata ***
Diamondback Terrapin Malaclemys terrapin ***
Eastern Box Turtle Terrapene carolina ***
Wood Turtle Glyptemys insculpta **
Bog Turtle Glyptemys muhlenbergii **
Common Map Turtle Graptemys geographica **
Redbelly Turtle Pseudemys rubriventris **
Blanding’s Turtle Emydoidea blandingii °
Kinosternidae Eastern Mud Turtle Kinosternon subrubrum ***
Common Musk Turtle Sternotherus odoratus ***
Phrynosomatidae Northern Fence Lizard Sceloporus undulatus **
Scincidae Five-lined Skink Eumeces fasciatus **
Ground Skink Scincella lateralis °
Viperidae Timber Rattlesnake Crotalus horridus ****
Northern Copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix **