Large mammals such as deer and bear will travel through the monument in search of food and shelter. Living in an area with an arid climate and limited resources, these animals must roam long distances in order to find the means to survive. The monument, though it provides no permanent water source, serves as one of the many places mammals will seek for browsing, scavenging, and hunting.
YELLOWSTONE DIGITAL SLIDE FILE
Elk (Cervus canadensis) are an extremely large species of deer and one of the largest mammals inhabiting North America. Elk are primarily found in forest and forest-edge habitat feeding on grasses, leaves, and bark. Elk may reach up to 8-10 feet long and weigh 600-1000 pounds. As true for many species of deer, elk migrate in the spring and fall which accounts for their occasional appearance at Capulin Volcano.
Scat and tracks belonging to coyote, fox, and bobcat are routinely found on hiking trails within the park. Other less noticeable mammals are present within the park, though evidence of their habitation is not as obvious. Trees have been stripped of bark by porcupines. Mice and gopher leave piles of dirt behind as they burrow. Pine cones chewed and stripped of seeds reveal the meals of rock squirrels and least chipmunks.
Did You Know?
Capulin Volcano is just one of about one hundred volcanic features in the Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field which covers about 8000 square miles in northeastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado.