Mammals, Herps and Fish

Mammals
Amphibians and Reptiles 
Fish

Ontario Field Naturalist's Toolchest


Mammals 
Mammals   represent a small yet diverse group of animals with 94 species in Ontario.  Many are large, majestic and unforgettable, others are small and give some people the creepy crawlers.   Some are very easy to find but many of the mammals are extremely elusive offering at best a fleeting glimpse of themselves once in our lifetimes.  The challenge of mammals is not so much to identify them when seen but find them in the first place.  Most mammals are easy to identify when seen.  Those that are not easy usually require examination in the hand.  To really find mammals means learning to read their tracks and other signs of their presence.

Mammals of Ontario Animal Tracks of Ontario Peterson Field Guide to Animal Tracks: Third Edition Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America: Fourth EditionScats and Tracks of the Great Lakes
Mammals of Ontario Pub GB
Animal Tracks of Ontario Pub GB
Two Ontario guide.  OK.
Peterson Field Guide to Animal Tracks: Third Edition GB
Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America: Fourth Edition GB
The animal tracks book is quite detailed.  The Mammals book is less useful but handy on occasion.
Scats and Tracks of the Great Lakes Pub GB
An excellent, inexpensive and regional tracking field guide

Mammals of North America, a Kaufman Focus Guide Mammals of North AmericaAnimal TracksBehavior of North American MammalsA Natural History of Canadian Mammals
Mammals of North America, a Kaufman Focus Guide GB
Uses digitally altered photographs.  Very nice.
Mammals of North America
 
GB
More up-to-date range maps.
Animal Tracks (A Pocket Naturalist Guide) Am
A beginners guide to animal tracks. Extremely light.
Behavior of North American Mammals Am
A Natural History of Canadian Mammals GB

Mammal Track and Signs Field Guide to Mammal Track in North America Stoke's Guide to Animal Tracking and Behavior
Mammal Track and Signs GB
Very throughout book on tracks and signs.
Field Guide to Mammal Track in North America GB
Another tracking reference
Stoke's Guide to Animal Tracking and Behavior GB
An excellent on animal behavior but not so good on tracking.

Animal Skulls: A Guide to North American Species Flattened Fauna: A Field Guide to Common Animals of Roads, Streets, And Highways A Guide to Wildlife Sounds
Animal Skulls: A Guide to North American Species GB
Covers mammals, herps and birds. One of the few books solely devoted to skulls.  An asset in a trackers library.  Include skulls of birds and herps as well.
Flattened Fauna: A Field Guide to Common Animals of Roads, Streets, And Highways GB
Covers mammals, herps and birds.  An interesting specialized field guide.
A Guide to Wildlife Sounds GB
Covers mammals, herps, birds and insects.  Useful mostly for mammal and herp calls.  Note that mammals are rarely heard but knowing what they sound like can sometimes help.

Photo Field Guide to Bats of Ontario Squirrels of North America
Photo Field Guide to Bats of Ontario. Pub 
An essential book for bats.  Includes ultrasonic frequencies to check out.
Stokes Beginners Guide to Bats  Am
A North American field guide to bats.
Squirrels of North America Pub 
Ontario has only nine species of squirrels and these are for the most part relatively easy to find.  This book might be useful for its natural history of those species.

North American Mammals: National Museum of Natural History.  This website will actually allow you to print your own customized field guide which includes a range map, paintings, and a general description for each species you select.  The quality of the field guide is not the same as the books that have been described but surprisingly good for the web.  If you use the visual search feature you can view the profile online with a link to exceptionally detailed profiles though technical from the American Society of Mammalogists. This site also has info on skulls.  
Atlas of the Mammals of Ontario has a range map, a short description and a black and white drawing of each mammal. This information was once in a now out of print book.  
wildwoodsurvival.com A website about wilderness survival.  Has a section on tracking.
Mammal Species of the World (MSW) This is a checklist of the world's mammals.
Flying Squirrels Extensive life history of the flying squirrels.
Organization for Bat Conservation A portal on bats.

Amphibians and Reptiles 
Ontario has 59 species of herps.  A managible group.  Frogs and turtles are easy to find but snakes and salamanders are challenging.

Amphibians and Reptiles of the North Woods ROM Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Ontario Reptiles and Amphibians of Canada
Reptiles and Amphibians of Prince Edward County, Ontario Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region
Amphibians and Reptiles of the North Woods Pub GB
This book is the recommended book for those who live on the western edges of Ontario.  This book includes a comparison chart for salamander larvae and frog and toad tadpoles.
ROM Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Ontario GB
Covers all the species of Ontario but the photographs are not of the same quality.
Reptiles and Amphibians of Canada
 
Pub GB
An OK guide.
Reptiles and Amphibians of Prince Edward County, Ontario  GB
Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region  GB
Not quite a field guide.  Has extensive life history information.

Peterson's A Field Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians of Eastern & Central North AmericaSnakes of the United States and CanadaSalamanders of the United States and CanadaTurtles of the United States and CanadaHandbook of Salamanders
Peterson's A Field Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians of Eastern & Central North America GB
An Eastern North American guide.  Sure to cover all the species.
Snakes of the United States and Canada GB
Salamanders of the United States and Canada GB
Turtles of the United States and Canada GB AM(Second edition ~Apr 2009)
These three books are a series published by
Smithsonian Books.  They are reference material and includes most of what's known about the life history of these creatures.
Handbook of Salamanders: The Salamanders of the United States GB

Ontario Herpetofaunal Summary Atlas Range maps of all Ontario's species.
Amphibians and reptiles of Ontario A local online field guide
Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide covers only amphibians for Eastern North America but has more detailed information and pictures on each species.  
Key to the Amphibians of Canada and Key to the Reptiles of Canada
Frog Watch Ontario.  Keys for tadpoles can be found at
Tadpoles of the United States and Canada: A Tutorial and Key.
Amphibia Web Throughout info on amphibian species worldwide.
A Field Guide to Amphibian Larvae and Eggs of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa

Fish
After considering mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds what kind of animals (of the vertebrates) are left?  Just fish.  Only a few field guides has been written on fish have been written for the amateur naturalist.  Most are for fisherman and only include species of interest to them.  Yet observing fish doesn't require catching them.  With skill you can find ways to peer underwater and observe them with binoculars or using a variety of other methods.

ROM Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of OntarioFish Watching: An Outdoor Guide to Freshwater Fishes Peterson Field Guides: Freshwater Fishes Fishes of the Great Lakes Region, Revised Edition Quetico Fishes
The ROM Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Ontario AM
The must get.  A brilliant approach to identifying our local fishes, unlikely to be improved upon.  First you start with anatomical figures, then a clearly laid out illustrated key to fish families, then a digitally processsed photographic comparison of fish species with important identifing features labeled.  From there you can go to individual fish species profiles for more information.  On thing I might have done differently is include page numbers in the photographic comparison section to the individual fish species profile, but that is a small gripe.
Fish Watching: An Outdoor Guide to Freshwater Fishes GB
Tips on how to find fish without a rod and reel.
Peterson Field Guides: Freshwater Fishes GB
A nice guide but it seems to have far too many species to weed through.  Good if you travel a lot.
Fishes of the Great Lakes Region, Revised Edition GB
A more local guide.  Species profiles are in black and white but there are color plates in the book.
Quetico Fishes Pub GB
A guide to the fish of Quetico Provincial Park.
Encyclopedia of Canadian Fishes GB

Ontario Freshwater Fish Life History Database Can serve as an identification guide but more useful as a life history supplement to the ROM field guide.  Recommended.
Fish Base An extensive database on the world's fish.