Wildlife Checklist

At first glance, Craters of the Moon may seem a lifeless place. Lava flows and cinder cones combined with hot dry summers and cold snowy winters create inhospitable conditions. Rain and melting snow drains quickly into the porous rock and out of reach of many animals. Temperatures can soar into the 90’s and dip well below zero.

Despite the harsh conditions, many animals make Craters of the Moon home for all or part of the year. Animals use many strategies to survive. Some venture out only at night or are most active at dusk and dawn seeking shelter in the hottest hours of the day. In winter, some hibernate while others migrate to avoid winter altogether. Some even harvest and store food to eat over winter.

Since there are no streams and few water holes in the lava fields, animals get most of the moisture they need directly from their food.
The following list should assist you in identifying the animals you see during your visit. Even if you do not see animals, be alert to evidence of their presence: tracks, trails, nests, burrows, gnawed cones and twigs, fur, feathers, bones, droppings, calls, and smells.

Codes:
Abundance:
A Abundant
C Common
U Uncommon
R Rare
LS Locally or Seasonally common
X unknown
Occurrence:
P Probable
NC Not Confirmed

Reptiles and Amphibians

  • Boreal Chorus Frog – R
  • Desert Horned Lizard – R
  • Gopher Snake – U
  • Great Basin Spadefoot Toad – NC
  • Long-nosed Leopard Lizard – R
  • Night Snake - P
  • Pacific tree Frog – R
  • Rubber Boa – C
  • Sagebrush Lizard – A
  • Short-Horned Lizard – U
  • Striped Whipsnake – P
  • Terrestrial Garter Snake –C
  • Western Fence Lizard - NC
  • Western Rattlesnake – U
  • Western Skink – C
  • Western Toad - R
  • Western Whiptail - P
  • Western Yellow-Bellied Racer – C

Mammals

  • Badger – U
  • Beaver – R
  • Big Brown Bat – X
  • Black Bear – U
  • Black-tailed Jackrabbit – C
  • Bobcat – R
  • Bushy-tailed Woodrat – C
  • California bat – X
  • Columbian Ground Squirrel – U
  • Coyote – C
  • Deer Mouse – A
  • Dusky Shrew – R
  • Elk – LS
  • Fringed Myotis (bat) – X
  • Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel – A
  • Gray Wolf - U
  • Great Basin Pocket Mouse – A
  • Hoary Bat – X
  • Kit Fox – NC
  • Least Chipmunk – C
  • Little Brown bat – X
  • Long-eared bat – C
  • Long-legged bat – X
  • Long-tailed Vole – U
  • Long-tailed Weasel – U
  • Merriam’s Shrew – P
  • Montane Vole – U
  • Moose – LS
  • Mountain (Nuttall’s) Cottontail – C
  • Mountain Lion – U
  • Mule Deer – C
  • Muskrat – R
  • Northern Pocket Gopher – C
  • Northern Grasshopper Mouse - P
  • Ord’s Kangaroo Rat – C
  • Pallid Bat – X
  • Pika – LS
  • Piute Ground Squirrel – X
  • Porcupine – U
  • Pronghorn – LS
  • Pygmy Rabbit – X
  • Raccoon – U
  • Red Fox – C
  • Red Squirrel – LS
  • River Otter - R
  • Sagebrush Vole – P
  • Short-tailed Weasel – P
  • Silver-haired bat - P
  • Snowshoe Hare – U
  • Striped Skunk – U
  • Townsend's Big-eared Bat – C
  • Vagrant Shrew – P
  • Western Harvest Mouse – C
  • Western Jumping Mouse – U
  • Western Small-footed bat – C
  • Western Spotted Skunk – P
  • White-tailed deer - R
  • White-tailed Jackrabbit – R
  • Wolverine - NC
  • Yellow-bellied Marmot – C
  • Yellow-pine Chipmunk – A
  • Yuma bat - X

Last updated: November 15, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
P.O. Box 29

Arco, ID 83213

Phone:

(208) 527-1300

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