A black bear sits up high in a tree
Black bear sitting in a Texas Madrone

NPS/R. Wonite

Big Bend National Park is home to 75 species of mammals, ranging in size from a tiny Western pipistrelle bat, which only weighs 0.2 ounces, to a large black bear which can easily be 250 pounds. While many visitors to the park are able to see mammals such as rabbits, coyotes, and squirrels, many look forward to glimpses of larger, more charismatic animal like bear, mountain lion, bobcat, or elk. Sometimes it's just a matter of luck, but a keen and watchful eye will often spot wildlife in the most unexpected places!
A bobcat slinks through the tall grass
A bobcat slinks through tall grass

NPS/R. Negele

What Animal Did I See?

Have you ever been hiking a trail when suddenly you see something move, and you can't see it well, but you can tell it's an animal? How big was it? What color was it? How did it behave? Many visitors to Big Bend National Park report animal sightings, sometimes knowing exactly what they saw, and other times beginning the report with "I saw this animal.....". We hope this next page will help with animal identifications, prepare folks for a future visit, or at the very least prove surprising.
A javelina stands next to a prickly pear cactus filled with ripe fruit.
Collared peccary or javelina

NPS/J. Jurado

Get Involved

There are many ways that you can contribute to our knowledge of mammals, both in your neighborhood and in your travels to places like Big Bend. By recording your sightings, whether through an app, or in person at a visitor center, you are adding to our combined understanding of mammal habitat, behavior and movements. Find out how you can become a citizen scientist!
A black bear walks through the brush
Black bear walking in the Chisos Mountains


Mammal Stories

Learn about the bats of Big Bend, how black bears made an astonishing comeback, and much more about the mammals that make Big Bend a home. Check back often!

Last updated: August 17, 2020

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834-0129



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