American pronghorn, mule deer, jackrabbits, cotton-tail rabbits, least chipmunks, and Richardson ground squirrels are probably the only mammals the average visitor is likely to see during a casual summer visit, although 44 mammal species have been recorded in the monument. The majority of the mammals are small, active only at night, confined to small isolated habitats or are so wary of humans that they are only rarely seen.
A few mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) may reside on the monument throughout the year, but most migrate in late fall to winter range located elsewhere.
Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) are usually somewhere on the monument from late spring through late fall or early winter. They also migrate to wintering areas outside the monument as snow accumulates.
Elk (Cervus elaphus) are seen occasionally in summer but are more common in late fall and winter. Sizable herds of elk have spent at least part of the winter on the monument in recent years, and are frequently seen on the western and southern slopes of Fossil Butte and Cundick Ridge. Read about elk research at Fossil Butte (PDF 1.06 MB) and about the observations made (PDF 2.50 MB).
A few moose (Alces alces) are usually on or somewhere near the monument at all times of the year.
Last updated: October 26, 2023