Pondicherry has a wide variety of wildlife, including birds, moose, bears, beavers, snowshoe hares, turtles, butterflies, and dragonflies. Refuge checklists have been compiled for Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians, Fish, Odonata (Dragonflies and Damselflies), Butterflies, and Birds. (For more in-depth information on the birds of Pondicherry, see the Birding page.)
The best time for most wildlife sightings at Pondicherry is early in the morning. Later in the day, although you may not see much wildlife, you will notice signs of their presence as you explore the refuge. For example, the old beaver dam that the Slide Brook Trail crosses was built by beavers that frequent Pondicherry. Scat from coyotes, bears, and other animals is sometimes found along the trails and, in the winter, tracks made by snowshoe hares and other wildlife can be seen in the snow on the Mooseway, the Little Cherry Pond Trail, and the Colonel Whipple Trail. Songs and calls heard in the woods and across the waters of the ponds indicate the presence of birds that may be hidden from view. To learn more about looking for these—and many other—signs of wildlife, see the book Naturally Curious (2nd edition) by Mary Holland, published in 2019 by Trafalgar Square Books.
At Moorhen and Cedar Marshes and near the powerline corridor coming in from Airport Road, you may notice box-like structures and large black pipes in the water and wonder what these are. These are "Beaver Deceivers", which were installed to help control the depth of the water and prevent flooding of the trail by the beavers as they build dams. Click here to read more about these fascinating devices.