While Pecos National Historical Park is known for its rich history, it also has a diverse set of wildlife that call the park home. The park encompasses over 6,500 acres of forests, grasslands, and rivers and streams within its borders. This allows a number of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish to roam freely in and around the park.
Pecos is home to mammals ranging from the small Colorado chipmunk to the large elk. Some of the more common mammals you may see are the rock squirrel and the deer. Rarely seen, but can be present in the park are mountain lions and black bears. The park is even home to some creatures of the night, ringtails and bats! As you walk our trails, you may get lucky enough to see some of these creatures or the signs they leave behind.
Fish and Amphibians
Three miles of the Pecos River winds through the park boundary, providing excellent riparian habitat for fish and amphibians. The river is home to many species of fish, including native Rio Grande chub and longnose dace, as well as non-native rainbow and brown trout. Some amphibians found in the park include the woodhouse toad, New Mexico spadefoot toad, plains leopard frog and the tiger salamander. If you would like to learn more about the Pecos River, please visit the Upper Pecos River Watershed page.
Pecos is along the migratory route for some species of birds which make it a popular spot for birding. Birds such as the mountain bluebird and Steller’s jay are common sights along the Ancestral Sites Trail. Sometimes, if you look towards the river, you may catch a glimpse of a bald eagle flying overhead, trying to catch dinner from the Pecos River. eBird records sightings at the park on this page. You can also request a short bird checklist from the information desk at the visitor center.
The park is home to a few different species of reptiles. Lizards such as the short-horned lizard and the New Mexico whiptail lizard can be frequently seen around the park. Pecos has a variety of snakes inhabiting the park. Garter snakes, bull snakes, and of course rattlesnakes. Prairie rattlesnakes are commonly seen along the trails therefore caution is advised. Please report any rattlesnake sightings to a ranger.
If you would like to know more about what is here, this electronic checklist will provide you with a comprehensive list of animals that are present in the park.