Animals & Plants in the USA
Due to the size of the country and the different climatic zones, there are also very different landscapes. And so very different animals live in parts of the USA. The 59 national parks and many other protected areas play an important role in protecting nature. The first national park in the world was founded in the USA in 1872, Yellowstone National Park in the Rocky Mountains.
What animals live in the USA?
The different and diverse habitats result in an equally diverse animal world. What animals do you think of when you look at America? Most likely bison and bears. And they really live here too.
Bison populated the prairie millions of times. However, hunting has greatly reduced their number. At the end of the 19th century there were only a few hundred animals left. The bison is no longer endangered. There are again around 500,000 bison in the US, including many in the national parks. Bison are also bred and serve as a meat supplier today. The bison is also called a buffalo.
Grizzly bears belong to the group of brown bears. The word grizzly means greyish and this is what the bear’s top coat actually looks like. There used to be grizzly bears all over the western United States. In the United States, they are mainly found in Alaska, in the core area only in tiny areas of the Rocky Mountains. The black bear is more common than the grizzly. It is colored black and smaller than the grizzly bear. The polar bear also lives in Alaska.
There are also moose and reindeer, foxes, raccoons, skunks, martens, pumas and lynxes. The coyote, also known as the prairie wolf, is resident across the country. The gray wolf, on the other hand, only exists in Alaska and an area in the northwest. Squirrels and chipmunks, marmots, prairie dogs, the mink (also called American mink) and beavers are other inhabitants of the forests and the prairie.
The bald eagle and other birds
The heraldic animal of the USA or seal animal is the bald eagle. He used to live all over the USA, today mainly on the coasts, on the Great Lakes and especially in Alaska. After it was endangered in the 1950s and 1960s because it was hunted, the population has now recovered through protective measures. In addition to countless other bird species, the California condor and turkey vulture are typical representatives in the southwest. To get more information on United States and Central and North America, check recipesinthebox.
The animals that have adapted to the heat here live in the semi-deserts and deserts. They include the California gopher tortoise, the gila shelled lizard, and several species of rattlesnakes.
The only wild flamingos in the United States are native to the Everglades in southern Florida. But there are many other water birds and waders such as ibises, cormorants, storks and pelicans. The Everglades are best known for their alligators and crocodiles. It is the only area on earth where both live! Other reptiles are turtles and snakes. Mammals include raccoons, manatees, and possums. The puma, also known as the Florida panther, is endangered. A total of 350 bird, 300 fish, 40 mammal and 50 reptile species have been counted in the Everglades.
What is growing in the USA?
Forests grow in the east of the country, but they change with the climate from north to south. In the far north-east there are conifers, partly mixed forests. Balsam fir, black spruce, birch, maple, beech and white pines grow here. In late autumn it is often warm and dry here. The discolored leaves of the trees look beautiful. One speaks of the Indian Summer.
The mixed forests merge into deciduous trees to the south. Oak, chestnut, maple and linden grow here. In the middle of the country, near Virginia, they become subtropical wet forests. Magnolias and bald cypresses, for example, grow here. The Everglades lie in the tropical tip of Florida. The wetlands attract many tourists. About half of the area is designated as a national park. Mangroves grow here.
In the middle you can see that this is the prairie, grassland. Long grass such as Big Bluestem, beard grass and feather grass, but also flowers such as yarrow and asters as well as herbs grow here. To the west, the long grass prairie changes into ever shorter grass.
You can see a lot of red on the left of the map, in the west. These are semi-deserts and dry steppes. For example, sagebrush, Rhutenian saltwort (which likes to roll through the desert) or cacti such as the saguaro cactus grow there. To the southwest is also the Mojave Desert, to which Death Valley belongs, one of the hottest places. A typical plant of the Mojave Desert is the Joshua palm lily.
But there are also forests here, in the north there are more conifers. Hemlocks, yellow pines, Douglas firs, Sitka spruces and Nootka cypresses grow there. In California there are mixed forests and next to them the so-called chaparrale. There are hard-leaf plants like we know them from the Mediterranean, such as rosemary. The leaves are thick, the bark has a thick bark and is well protected against the heat and even small forest fires.