Over 50 species of mammals live in Shenandoah National Park. Virtually all park visitors see some mammals, such as white-tailed deer and gray squirrels. Others, like the big brown bat, striped and spotted skunks are more elusive, remaining largely out of sight until darkness falls. Black bears and bobcats, though sometimes active during the day, seem to remain hidden deep in the forest. The smallest mammals (moles, voles, and shrews) found in the park are rarely seen because they spend much of their lives underground or hidden under leaves and low growing plants. Careful observation should bring rewards in finding many of the wild inhabitants of the park.

Just as the number and distribution of mammals varies somewhat from year to year, the number of species present in the park changes over time. For example, coyotes, an adaptable predator, have recently expanded their range in Virginia and can now be found throughout the park.

An adult black bear walk through dense vegetation in the woods.

Black Bear

Learn about the lives of black bears and what you can do to keep these iconic mammals wild.

A big brown bat hanging vertically from the side of a rock wall.

Big Brown Bat

The largest bat you can encounter in Shenandoah, the big brown bat plays an important role in the ecosystem of the forest.

A stuffed bear wearing safety signs.

Bear Safety

You can enjoy bears safely at Shenandoah by following these rules and guidelines.


Last updated: November 2, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835


(540) 999-3500

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