Mammals

Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states. In addition to having a diversity of small animals, Yellowstone is notable for its predator–prey complex of large mammals, including eight ungulate species (bighorn sheep, bison, elk, moose, mountain goats, mule deer, pronghorn, and white-tailed deer) and seven large predators (black bears, Canada lynx, coyotes, grizzly bears, mountain lions, wolverines, and wolves).

The National Park Service’s goal is to maintain the ecological processes that sustain these mammals and their habitats while monitoring the changes taking place in their populations. Seasonal or migratory movements take many species across the park boundary where they are subject to different management policies and uses of land by humans. Understanding the links between climate change and these drivers will be critical to informing the ecology and management of Yellowstone’s wildlife in the years to come.

Quick Facts

  • 67 different mammals live here, including many small mammals.
  • As of 2014, between 674 and 839 grizzly bears live in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
  • Black bears are common.
  • Gray wolves were restored in 1995. As of December 2014, 95 live primarily in the park.
  • Wolverine and lynx, which require large expanses of undisturbed habitat, live here.
  • Seven native ungulate species—elk, mule deer, bison, moose, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, and white-tailed deer—live here.
  • Nonnative mountain goats have colonized northern portions of the park.
A black bear looks up from a green forest floor

Black bear

NPS/Herbert

Black Bears

Basic Information
Your Safety in Bear Country

A bull bison sticks out his tongue

Bison

NPS/Herbert

Bison

Basic Information
Management
FAQs

A bighorn ram chews on long strands of grass.

Bighorn sheep

NPS

Bighorn Sheep

Basic Information

A bull elk rests among sage brush.

Elk

NPS/Herbert

Elk

Basic Information

An adult mountain goat and kid stand on top of a rock overlooking mountains

Mountain goats

NPS/Renkin

Mountain Goats

Basic Information

A bull moose stands alone in an open area.

Moose

NPS/Herbert

Moose

Basic Information

A pronghorn stands still as snow falls

Pronghorn

NPS/Herbert

Pronghorn

Basic Information

A coyote stands in snow and looks at something.

Coyote

NPS

Coyotes

Basic Information

A cougar in a tree looks directly at the camera

Cougar

Courtesy Kerry Murphy

Cougars

Basic Information

A lynx pauses along a body of water.

Lynx

Courtesy Paul Lausen

Lynx

Basic Information

A small bat is held by gloved hands with its wing extended

Brown bat

NPS

Bats

Basic Information

A beaver rests on a snowy bank next to water

Beaver

NPS

Beavers

Basic Information

A pika pauses on a rock with its mouth stuffed with leaves.

Pika

NPS/Waller

Pikas

Basic Information

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