Rhode Island Wildlife and Nature Information

picture of buildings on the street in Newport Rhode Island
Welcome to Rhode Island wildlife.

According to the Rhode Island government, the state’s small size can be measured in miles. A short forty eight mile drive is all that is needed to move from the southern border to the northern border. The east to west drive is a bit less, covering thirty seven miles.

Small in size does not necessarily mean small in wildlife diversity. Around one hundred mammal species, from the smallest mice to the largest whales fit on the state mammal list when combining the state ocean animals and land animals.

picture of a harbor seal, official marine mammal of Rhode Island, Rhode Island wildlife
Rhode Island wildlife recently came alive when in 2016 the Ocean State named the Harbor Seal as its official state marine mammal. Until then Rhode Island was a bit behind the curve when it came to state wildlife symbols.

The Rhode Island Red remains the state bird. However, there are no state mammals, insects or reptiles, common wildlife that states celebrate as their own.

Whale watching ranks as one of the best Rhode Island wildlife adventures. It’s summer fun because Atlantic whale populations tend to migrate to the cold New England waters during the season. Fin Whales are probably the most common whale sightings along coastal Rhode Island.

Dolphins and porpoises, along with seals are always around and seen. Locals and tourists are constantly surprised with the marine life diversity. According to a report from Rhode Island Sea Grant:

Thirty-six species of marine mammals (30 cetaceans, 5 seals, 1 manatee) and four species of sea turtles are known to occur in the area. Sixteen were categorized as common to abundant… six as regular… eighteen as rare to accidental.

picture of a raccoon walking next to a house
As for the land mammals, occasionally a larger carnivore such as a bear can be spotted. Typically the smaller carnivores such as foxes and coyotes roam the woods.

Residential areas around the state also provide habitat for them and other common critters such as raccoons, squirrels, opossum, skunks and rabbits.

Rhode Islanders interested in criter removal can easily adopt a three step process adapted by the Humane Society.

Start Small Gentle techniques may be all you need. Try bright lights, loud noises and unpleasant smells.

Combine Techniques. Multisensory harassment works best: light, noise, and smell.

Choose the Right Time Are the critters nocturnal or day time creatures of habit. It’s best to disrupt them and their activities during their normal activity time.

As the site grows, more information covering Rhode Island will be added. Until then, press any of the following buttons to learn more about Rhode Island wildlife.