An albino prairie dog with red eyes stands looking right amid grass and gravel.
White-tailed prairie dogs can be seen along County Road 300. Drive carefully if you look for them as there are no pull-outs and it's a busy road. Watch out for the prairie dogs as they will often run across the road. Albino prairie dogs have been spotted in at least 5 years since 2009.

NPS photo

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.

Check out our fossil mammals.
A pronghorn looks at the camera standing amid grasses and purple flowers.
Pronghorns have true horns made of sheaths of keratin that grow over permanent bony cores. However, they shed the sheaths yearly like deer and elk shed their antlers. Females have shorter horns that are not pronged.

NPS photo

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.
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Elk behavior in the fall at Fossil Butte National Monument.


Last updated: January 31, 2024

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Kemmerer, WY 83101


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