A bobcat lies in wait at the entrance to a prairie dog burrow.
Bobcats are one of the rarer sights at Dinosaur National Monument. They can occasionally be seen near prairie dog towns, like this one waiting at the burrow's entrance.

NPS / Molly Swindle


Dinosaur National Monument is a land of rivers and deserts, of mountains, woodlands, and canyons. On the sagebrush flats, white-tailed prairie dogs perch at the edge of their burrows on the lookout for hungry peregrine falcons. Bighorn sheep and mountain lions survey boaters from rugged river canyons while humpback chubs swim in the water beneath their paddles. During the day, side-blotched lizards sun themselves beneath 1,000 year old petroglyphs that capture their likeness. At night, Great Basin spadefoot toads emerge from soft sands to hunt for insects, the Milky Way reflected in their golden eyes.

Nearly 400 different kinds of animal call this diverse landscape home, including 5 species of amphibians, over 200 birds, 40 kinds of fish, nearly 70 mammals, and 14 different reptiles. While most shy away from people, those who are patient and respectful of their space may be rewared with unforgettable sightings.

For a complete list of animals found in Dinosaur National Monument, use the NPS Species tool below.


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A beige colored Woodhouse's toad blends perfectly into its sandy habitat.
Woodhouse's Toad, Anaxyrus woodhousii

NPS / Jake Frank


Amphibians are ectothermic (cold-blooded) vertebrates that live part of their lives in water and part on land. Dinosaur National Monument is home to 5 confirmed species of amphibians. There are 4 known members from the order Anura, which includes frogs and toads. The park is also home to the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum). Because of how sensitive they are to environmental change, scientists often rely on amphibian populations to gauge environmental health. In this way, amphibians serve an important role in conservation science, both here and around the world.
A small Gray Flycatcher bird with a pointed beak perches on a branch. The head is gray, the wings are black and white, and the belly is pale.
Gray Flycatcher, Empidonax wrightii

NPS / Cindy McIntyre


People are often surprised to learn that Dinosaur National Monument is home to living dinosaurs, too. While the big, toothy ones died out long ago, most paleontologists believe birds are actually direct descendents of theropod dinosaurs, and the only members of the dinosaur lineage alive today. Birds are endothermic (warm-blooded) vertebrates that lay eggs and have beaks, feathers, and a lightweight skeleton. Over 200 species of birds have been confirmed in Dinosaur National Monument. While some migrate to and from the monument, like the beautiful sandhill cranes, others live here year-round.
Hands holding a dark, silvery-gray fish with a pointed face and yellow eyes
Bonytail Chub, Gila elegans

NPS / Dinosaur National Monument


Fish are aquatic vertebrates that have gills, but don't have limbs with digits (fingers and toes). While Dinosaur National Monument is home to over 50 species of fish, only 14 of them are actually native to the Green and Yampa rivers. Historic dam projects and non-native species introduced by state and federal agencies to meet sportfishing demands in the past have taken a toll on native fish. Today, 3 of the 14 native species are endangered and one is classified as threatened. In an effort to help restore native fish populations, the National Park Service is a partner in the Upper Colorado Endangered Fish Recovery Program.
A prairie dog, a small rodent with light yellow fur and dark eyes, stands alert on its hind legs amongst dry grass.
White-tailed Prairie Dog, Cynomys leucurus

NPS / Jake Frank


Mammals are a group of endothermic (warm-blooded) vertebrates that nourish their young with milk. Dinosaur National Monument is home to nearly 70 species of mammals. Although nearly all of them are fearful of people, sharp-eyed and patient visitors may see several while visiting the monument. What you see largely depends on when you visit and what parts of the monument you explore. Keep in mind that many of the monument's mammals are scared of humans. Some even carry diseases that can spread to humans and their pets, including dogs. For their safety and yours, give wildlife plenty of space.
A close up head-and-torso photo of what is likely an ornate tree lizard resting on a red rock.
Ornate Tree Lizard, Urosaurus ornatus

NPS / Jake Frank


Reptiles are a very broad class of vertebrates that breathe air and have scales covering all or part of their bodies. While Dinosaur National Monument is known mostly for its extinct reptiles, there are at least 14 confirmed species of extant (living) reptiles still residing in the monument today. The park is home to 6 species of lizards and 8 species of snakes, 3 of which are venomous. Although testudines (turtles, tortoises, and terrapins) also lived here millions of years ago, today only their fossils remain.

Last updated: March 13, 2022

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4545 Hwy 40
Dinosaur, CO 81610


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