Animals of Yellowstone Park

Animals of Yellowstone Park
Established in 1972 as the world's initial national park, Yellowstone National Park is the home to a diverse population of wildlife. An individual would expect this to be the case in a park that is larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Yellowstone's ecosystems support large and small mammals, fish, birds, amphibians and reptiles.


The rivers, streams and lakes of Yellowstone offer places to live for numerous species of fish. While people can fish in the park, they must release any arctic grayling, cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish they catch quickly and gently so as not to harm them. There are four species of non-native trout in Yellowstone's waters---brook, brown, rainbow and lake. A hybrid trout species that developed from the rainbow and cutthroat varieties also swims in the park's waterways.


Two unique birds are part of the list of many species that occupy Yellowstone: the trumpeter swan, the largest waterfowl native to North America, and the sandhill crane, a tall wading bird that summers in the park. Other water birds of Yellowstone include teal, scaup, geese, ducks, loons, pelicans, cormorants, grebes, herons, plovers and bitterns. Birds of prey such as the osprey, bald eagle, northern harrier, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, merlin and a variety of hawks and owls live and hunt in Yellowstone. Hummingbirds, woodpeckers, vireos, shrikes, flycatchers, jays, crows, wrens, swallows, warblers, thrushes, waxwings, finches and sparrows also exist within the park's boundaries.

Reptiles and Amphibians

There are few reptiles and amphibians inhabiting Yellowstone National Park, with the climate more than likely responsible. Snake species include the rubber boa, prairie rattlesnake, wandering garter snake, valley garter snake and bull snake. The sagebrush lizard is the lone lizard native to the park. Amphibians that live here are the boreal toad, boreal chorus frog, Columbia spotted frog and the blotched tiger salamander.

Yellowstone's Mammals

Without a doubt, the mammals of Yellowstone are the highlight of its wildlife, with some 67 species tourists hope to catch a look at living in the large park. Hoofed mammals such as the elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, moose, bison and pronghorn antelope roam the park. Shrews, chipmunks, pikas, marmots, squirrels, mice and gophers are among the small mammals. Larger creatures like porcupines, muskrats, beavers, skunks, badgers, fishers, martens, raccoons and even an occasional wolverine have their place Predators include the black bear and the grizzly bear as well as coyotes, cougars, bobcats, lynxes and a population of wolves.

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