Zoo Regions

American Marten
Southern Swamps Southern Swamps icon

Southern Swamps

Swamps are forested wetlands associated with drainage from rivers or lakes. Providing a link between dry land and deep bodies of water, they may be wet for all or part of the year. These wetlands provide natural flood control, help to filter pollution, and prevent erosion in adjacent areas. Featuring a subtropical climate with wet and dry seasons, the southern swamps support a wide variety of wildlife and vegetation and are vital to the survival of many wetland-related species.

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Great Southwest Great Southwest icon

Great Southwest

The dramatic landscapes of the great southwest include desert, grassland, chaparral, thornscrub, and forest communities. Much of the region is characterized by very hot summer days, cooler nights, and limited seasonal rainfall. Despite these harsh conditions, a surprisingly wide variety of plants and animals have developed special adaptations that allow them to not only survive but thrive in this harsh, unforgiving environment.

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Eastern Woodlands Eastern Woodlands icon

Eastern Woodlands

Stretching from Maine down through the Appalachians, this region is characterized by broadleaf trees that drop their leaves in autumn and become dormant in winter. This deciduous forest changes dramatically with each of the four distinct seasons. Winters are cold, summers are warm, and precipitation falls throughout the year. White-tailed deer, squirrels, black bears, and wild turkeys forage for buds, twigs, and nuts provided by the oak and beech trees that dominate the landscape.

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Big Sky Country Big Sky Country icon

Big Sky Country

From the Mississippi River to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is a region as varied in its geography as it is in its wildlife. Broad expanses of flat land give way to grasses, wildflowers, and a few widely spaced trees. Prairie dogs dig burrows for shelter, which provide refuge for many other species. Pronghorn and elk live in herds, providing safety in number and, in the higher country, mountain lions range widely in search of prey.

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Northlands Northlands icon


Ranging from the evergreen forests of Canada, north to the tundra, and through all of Alaska, the northlands is a harsh wilderness environment, marked by long, extreme winters and short, mild summers. Spruce, tamarack, fir, and pine dominate the coniferous forests that make up this region. On the tundra, only low-growing lichens, mosses, and other ground-hugging plants are found. Winter survival strategies for mammals include hibernation, burrowing under the snow, and growing thicker coats of fur. Birds often migrate south where food is more plentiful.

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