Two bighorn partially hidden behind badlands formations against grey sky with one staring at the camera
The Badlands provide a home for a variety of species.

NPS Photo


Badlands National Park is home to many resilient creatures, including some of the most endangered species in North America. To survive the bitter winters and searing summers of the Great Plains, you need a good plan -- and the wildlife of the park have arrived at many ingenious solutions to the problems of exposure, heat, cold, and drought. Check out the articles below to learn the amazing stories of such iconic animals as the American Bison, Black-footed Ferret, and Pronghorn!

Single bison grazing green grass under blue sky

The story of the Bison is central to the cultural and scientific heritage of people and their environment in North America.

a black footed ferret sticks its head out of a prairie dog hole
Black-footed Ferrets

Black-footed Ferrets are one of the endangered species that Badlands National Park works to monitor and protect.

Front view of bighorn sheep in front of badlands formations
Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep have fascinating daily activities, an incredible natural history, and a special home at Badlands National Park.

Two prairie dogs playing in the grass
Prairie Dogs

Prairie dogs are a keystone species in prairie ecosystems -- learn about the other plants and animals they support here.

a golden eagle soars overhead against a blue sky
Birds of Prey

Birds of prey like Golden Eagles, Northern Harriers, Short-Eared Owls, and more call the Badlands home.

a redwing blackbird perches on a green shoot with small yellow flowers.

206 bird species have been identified in Badlands National Park. Learn about the birds of the Badlands and get a species list here.

a brown patterned toad sits in green prairie grasses.

Did you know that amphibians live in the Badlands? Learn more about these critters in this article.

a deerlike animal with brown and white patterns on its face and two pronged horns looks away.

Pronghorn are an iconic animal of the prairie. Learn about these creatures and their lives in the park in this article!

a black and brown butterfly perches on a green stem with flowering yellow buds.

Badlands visitors often see butterflies floating through prairie grasses. Discover the different butterfly species found in the park here.

a rattlesnake coiled up in green grass lifts its head.
Prairie Rattlesnakes

Prairie rattlesnakes are important predators in a prairie ecosystem.

a painted turtle sticks its striped yellow head out of a patterned shell in brown grasses.

Many reptiles live in the Badlands. Read about them and get a species list here.


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    Last updated: September 1, 2020

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    25216 Ben Reifel Road
    Interior, SD 57750


    605 433-5361

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