What Species Live Near You?

What species live near you? You won’t know until you look!

The world outside your window is filled with incredible plant and animal species, but the types you see depend on the habitats nearby. You probably won’t be seeing a dolphin if you live near a desert, unless it’s really gotten lost—how would it even get there? Did it swim through the sand?! 

In this article, we’re going to take a look at some common species that you might find in habitats near you! 

If you live near a forest…

You’ll see lots and lots of trees—after all, trees are what make a forest a forest! You might also see moss, mushrooms, grasses, orchids, and ferns. Animals that live in forests include: 

  • snakes
  • owls
  • woodpeckers
  • red foxes
  • bears
  • moose

If you live near a wetland…

Wetlands like these provide important habitat for Midland Painted Turtles.
Wetlands like these provide important habitat for Midland Painted Turtles.

You’ll see lots of tall grasses, reeds, rushes, shrubs and mosses. There will be water and lots of mud. You might also see trees and lilies. Animals that live in wetlands include: 

  • salamanders
  • frogs
  • ducks
  • dragonflies
  • turtles
  • herons

If you live near an ocean…

You’ll see lots of salt water. There might be sand, rocks, coral, and lots of underwater plants like kelp, sea grass, and algae. Animals that live in and around oceans include: 

  • fish
  • whales
  • puffins
  • sea otters
  • crabs
  • starfish

If you live near a desert…

You will see plants scattered here and there, but there won’t be a lot of them. They will be hardy plants that don’t need a lot of water, like cacti and shrubs. Animals that live in deserts include: 

  • badgers
  • scorpions
  • snakes
  • lizards
  • ants 
  • vultures 

If you live near a body of freshwater…

lake, boreal forest, canada, wetlands

You’ll see lots of water. Similar to the wetland, you might see lilies, reeds, rushes and tall grasses. Animals that live in and around bodies of freshwater include: 

  • river otters
  • beavers
  • turtles
  • loons
  • frogs
  • fish

If you live near a mountain…

You’ll see lots of rocks, mosses, lichens, and sedges. You might see trees, but there will be less and less of them the higher up you go. You might even get to see snow in the summer! Animals that live on mountains include: 

  • cougars
  • marmots
  • mountain goats
  • eagles
  • pikas
  • big horn sheep

If you live near a grassland…

You’ll see tall grasses and a few trees. You might see sagebrush, and even a cactus or two. Animals that live in grasslands include: 

  • bison
  • snakes
  • burrowing owls
  • prairie dogs
  • coyotes
  • grasshoppers 

If you live near the Arctic…

You’ll see lots of mosses and lichen. The plants will be short, even the trees, and you might see a few flowers, like the Arctic daisy and Arctic poppy. Animals that live in the Arctic include: 

  • polar bears
  • Arctic foxes
  • seals
  • ptarmigans 
  • caribou
  • belugas

There are so many species in these habitats that if we listed them all, we’d be here forever! You won’t know which ones you’ll see, until you get outside and start exploring. Don’t forget to keep track of the species you see and check out the Backyard Biologist Mission to learn how to become a citizen scientist! 

What are some other species you might see in these habitats? Let us know in the comments!