an adult male elk with large antlers standing on a grassy hillside at dusk
A bull elk on a hillside.

NPS Photo


The establishment of Wind Cave National Game Preserve in 1912 brought the reintroduction of bison, elk, and pronghorns to the park. That legacy of wildlife protection continues to this day with the recent reintroduction of the black-footed ferret. To find more information on the animals found in the park, explore the pages listed below.

a pronghorn antelope and an adult bison in the prairie


Wind Cave is well known for its highly visible mammal species, including the bison, elk, pronghorn, and prairie dog.

a brown and yellow bird with a black chest perched on a fence


Due to Wind Cave National Park's proximity to the geographic center of the continent, a diverse array of birds can be found here.

a frog with dark spots on a rock

Reptiles and Amphibians

Though a challenging environment, the prairie at Wind Cave provides habitat for several species of reptile and amphibian.

A ranger points in the distance as visitors look into the open prairie

Watching Wildlife

Learn how to best observe the park's diverse wildlife.

Last updated: January 25, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747


605 745-4600

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