The Chesapeake Bay watershed is home to a variety of wildlife including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, crustaceans, mullosks, and other creatures.

Marine organisms occupy much of the estuary. Common species include blue crabs, horseshoe crabs, grass shrimp, mussels, oysters, and others.

Despite an abundance of marshy, often inaccessible areas, the Chesapeake Bay region supports a surprising number of land mammals. The array of species includes white-tailed deer, sika deer, black bear, coyote, red fox, gray fox, skunks, opossum, groundhogs, beavers, muskrats, and others.

Chesapeake Bay is visited by hundreds of bird species. Among the most common birds groups are songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, and birds of prey.

Herps are common throughout the watershed although most species’s ranges are habitat specific. The upper portions of the watershed contain amphibians, with frogs and salamanders being common. High salinity habitats contain higher numbers of turtles.

Related Information

Aquatic Birds


Birds of Prey

Horseshoe Crabs