According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation -- responsible for protecting New York State's wild animal and plant populations -- New York is home to native animals such as the bald eagle, black bear, blue jay, bob cat, eastern chipmunk, gray squirrel, Indiana bat, mute swan, osprey, otter, raccoon, red fox, timber rattlesnake and white-tailed deer.
Mammals are warm-blooded animals -- meaning they do not rely on an outside source for heat -- with fur. These animals are also capable of giving birth to offspring. Some mammals are carnivorous: black bear, long-tailed weasel, Canada lynx, red fox and river otter. Other mammals are herbivorous: whitetail deer, moose and beaver. New York has two aerial mammals – little brown bat and Indiana bat – and marine mammals in the Atlantic Ocean near New York's shoreline; New York's marine mammals include sperm whales, blue whales and humpback whales. The Allegheny wood rat is the only endangered land mammal in New York.
New York's bird species include sea birds and arboreal birds. Arboreal birds – species that usually nest in forests – in New York include the American woodcock, red-headed woodpeckers, sedge wren and whip-poor-will. Among New York's freshwater wetlands birds are the great blue heron, double-breasted cormorant and Canada goose, while the Empire State's seabird population features least terns, seaside sparrows and piping plovers. The state's carnivorous birds of prey species include the golden eagle, osprey and peregrine falcon. According to the New York State Ornithological Association, New York has more than 467 recorded bird species, as of 2011.
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Amphibians and Reptiles
Amphibians and reptiles are two cold-blooded animal classes that depend on oxygen to breath. These animals rely on an outside source to heat their bodies; the outside source is usually the sun or locations with warm temperatures. Both amphibians and reptiles lay eggs. However, reptiles have thick, scaly skin and toe claws, while amphibians have moist, glandular skin and no claws on their toes. New York's amphibian species include the eastern tiger salamander, northern cricket frog, bullfrog and eastern hellbender – New York's largest amphibian at nearly 3 feet long. Most of New York's reptiles are turtles – Atlantic Ridley sea turtle and eastern mud turtle – or snakes – timber rattlesnake, common garter snake and copperhead.
New York's freshwater fish live in the state's lakes – Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes – and rivers – Hudson River, St. Lawrence River and Susquehanna River. All fish are cold-blooded and have gills to breath in their aquatic environment. New York's fish species include salmon, catfish, pike, perch, sunfish, bass and herring. Most of New York's endangered animal species are fish, which may be attributed to overfishing and loss of habitat. Some of New York's endangered fish species are the pugnose shiner, round whitefish, bluebreast darter and deepwater sculpin.