Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts


Several dozen mammals inhabit the park on a permanent or intermittent basis. Fox, ground-hogs, raccoons and numerous rodent species are resident. White-tail deer travel through the park as they move up and down the forested areas along Wolf Trap Creek, Old Courthouse Creek and Difficult Run. Beaver have intermittently resided along Wolf Trap Creek. The first systematic study of park mammals is currently on-going. A similar situation exists with reptiles and amphibians. While the park has much habitat conducive to reptiles and amphibians, including a number of acres of wetland as well as a two acre pond, they have yet to be systematically studied or documented. A project to do so is currently underway.


Both the pond and Wolf Trap Run are home to several species of fish. In April 2003 an inventory of fishes began.

The following fish have been identified either by park staff or by the National Capital Region Inventory and Monitoring Program as occurring in Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts:

Common Name Scientific Name

Eel, American

Anguilla rostrata

Shiner, golden

Notemigonus crysoleucas

Dace, rosyside

Clinostomus funduloides

Chub, creek

Semotilus atromaculatus


Semotilus corporalis

Chub, river

Nocomis micropogon

Stoneroller, central

Campostoma anomalum

Minnow, cutlips

Exoglossum maxillingua

Dace, blacknose

Rhinichthys atratulus

Dace, longnose

Rhinichthys cataractae

Minnow, eastern silvery

Hybognathus regius

Minnow, bluntnose

Pimephales notatus

Shiner, common

Luxilus cornutus

Shiner, satinfin

Cyprinella analostana

Shiner, spotfin

Cyprinella spiloptera

Shiner, comely

Notropis amoenus

Minnow, silverjaw

Notropis buccatus

Shiner, spottail

Notropis hudsonius

Shiner, swallowtail

Notropis procne

Shiner, rosyface

Notropis rubellus

Sucker, white

Catostomus commersoni

Chubsucker, creek

Erimyzon oblongus

Bullhead, yellow

Ameiurus natalis

Madtom, margined

Noturus insignis

Bass, smallmouth

Micropterus dolomieu

Sunfish, redbreast

Lepomis auritus

Sunfish, green

Lepomis cyanellus


Lepomis gibbosus


Lepomis macrochirus

Darter, tessellated

Etheostoma olmstedi

Darter, glassy

Etheostoma vitreum


Total Species




A mammal inventory in 2002 documented the following seven species through photography or capture and release stations throughout the park:

Blarina brevicauda, Northern short-tailed shrew; Glaucomys volans, Southern flying squirrel; Peromyscus leucopus, White-footed mouse; Sciurus carolinensis, Eastern gray squirrel; Vulpes vulpes, Red fox; Procyon lotor, Raccoon and Odocoileus virginianus, White-Tailed Deer.

Numerous mammals have also been observed in the park at different times, including beaver, muskrat, opossum, and chipmunk.

Bats are Mammals Too!

In the Spring of 2003, two bat boxes were built and placed at Wolf Trap by a local Eagle Scout. One was placed between the East Parking Lot and Wolf Trap Run and the other box was placed near the creek by the Maintenance Yard.

National Capital Region Inventory and Monitoring personnel have inventoried the following mammals in Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts:

Common Name Scientific Name

Virginia Opposum

Didelphis virginiana

Southeastern Shrew

Sorex longirostris

Pygmy Shrew

Sorex hoyi

Northern Short-tailed Shrew

Blarina brevicauda

Least Shrew

Cryptotis parva

Eastern Mole

Scalopus aquaticus

Star-nosed Mole

Condylura cristata

Little Brown Bat

Myotis lucifugus

Northern Long-eared Myotis

Myotis septentrionalis

Silver-haired Bat

Lasionycteris noctivagans

Eastern Pipistrelle

Pipestrellus subflavus

Big Brown Bat

Eptesicus fuscus

Red Bat

Lasiurus borealis

Hoary Bat

Lasiurus cinereus

Evening Bat

Nycticeius humeralis

Eastern Cottontail

Sylvilagus floridanus

Eastern Chipmunk

Tamias striatus


Marmota monax

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Sciurus carolinensis

Red Squirrel

Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

Southern Flying Squirrel

Glaucomys volans

American Beaver

Castor canadensis

Eastern Harvest Mouse

Reithrodontomys humulis

White-footed Mouse

Peromyscus leucopus

Meadow Vole

Microtus pennsylvanicus

Woodland Vole

Microtus pinetorum


Ondatra zibethicus

Southern Bog Lemming

Synaptomys cooperi

Norway Rat

Rattus norvegicus

House Mouse

Mus musculus

Meadow Jumping Mouse

Zapus hudsonius

Red Fox

Vulpes vulpes

Gray Fox

Urocyon cinereoargenteus

Northern Raccoon

Procyon lotor

Long-tailed Weasel

Mustela frenata


Mustela vison

Striped Skunk

Mephites mephites

Northern River Otter

Lontra canadensis

White-tailed Deer

Odocoileus virginianus


Feral Mammals:


Domestic Dog

Canis familiaris

Domestic Cat

Felis sylvestris


Total Species




Along with the familiar suburban birds, such as cardinals, blue jays, and mockingbirds, the varied habitats of the park attract a number of more unusual residents and migrants.

A bluebird program in the park is run in conjunction with volunteers from the Audubon Society. Bluebird nesting boxes have been placed in 14 locations around the park and are monitored through out the summer. An average of 40 fledglings are produced from these boxes each year.

Sightings by park personnel included Common Grackle, Mourning Dove, House Finch, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, House Wren, Pileated Woodpecker, Baltimore Oriole, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Turkey Vulture, American Robin, American Crow, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, Chipping Sparrow, Common Flicker, Canada Goose, Wood Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo, Acadian Flycatcher, Black-throated blue warbler, Blue-grey gnatcatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush, Ovenbird, Red-shouldered hawk, Eastern Towhee and Eastern Bluebird.

An ongoing inventory of birds has documented more than 128 species since 2001.