Yellowstone National Park is the second-largest park in the U.S. outside of Alaska, and it teams with wildlife. Following are some of the notable mammals in Yellowstone.
Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho) is diverse and abundant. Noted for the many species of plants and animals found within its borders, the park has several types of mammals, including some that are truly majestic. Following is some of the mammal wildlife in Yellowstone.
Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park: Grazing Animals (Bovids)
There are several different species of grazing animals found in the park. American bison are often seen feeding in the open meadows adjacent to wooded forested areas, often in small herds. Mule deer and occasional whitetail deer, as well as elk (which are very numerous in the park), and moose are the deer species that can be found in Yellowstone. Bighorn sheep and mountain goats live in the higher elevations in the park, and pronghorn can be found grazing in meadows and grassy areas.
Predatory Mammal Wildlife in Yellowstone
Black bears and grizzly bears, which feed on vegetation, carrion, and animals that they can catch, live in the park, as do gray wolves, coyotes, and foxes, all of which are the main predators that are found in open areas and meadows. In mountainous, rocky, and heavily wooded areas, cats hunt. Mountain lions hunt larger prey, such as deer in these places, and lynxes and bobcats hunt small rodents and animals like rabbits. Raccoons are at times found in Yellowstone, as are martens, minks, weasels, badgers, and wolverines. Wolverines are rare in the park, but they are some of the most successful hunters and some of the bravest animals, which will confront larger predators such as bears. Otters and skunks also live within the park’s boundaries.
Rodents and Other Animals in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho
There are several types of rats, mice, shrews, and voles that live in Yellowstone. These smaller animals are often preyed upon by coyotes, foxes, members of the weasel family, bobcats, snakes, and birds of prey. Gophers, marmots, beavers, squirrels, chipmunks, and porcupines, as well as rabbits (desert and mountain cottontail, jackrabbits, and snowshoe hares), are often seen in the park’s meadows and shrubby areas. Smaller pikas are also found in higher elevations, where they feed on vegetation. Ten different species of bats are also known to inhabit the park.
Wildlife in Yellowstone: Mammal Life
Different animals tend to inhabit different environments within Yellowstone. Although bison, elk, deer, moose, and pronghorn (the fastest animal in the western hemisphere) are usually found in meadows or forested areas in lower elevations, bighorn sheep and mountain goats are seldom seen because they remain more in rocky areas in higher elevations. Wolves and bears tend to be spotted by park visitors in the lower elevations, while felines are more solitary mammals that hunt in more secluded forests or in rocky, mountainous areas. As big cats require large individual territories, they sparsely populate the park, and anyone who gets the chance to see a cougar is lucky indeed.
Wildlife in Yellowstone is diverse and unspoiled. There is likely no better place in the United States to get a better chance to see so many beautiful animals and such natural beauty.