Yellowstone National Park has abundant and diverse wildlife. There are 67 species of mammals including 7 species of native ungulates and 2 species of bears, nearly 300 species of birds, 16 species of fish, 5 species of amphibians, and 6 species of reptiles.
Habitat preferences and seasonal cycles of movement determine, in a general sense, where a particular animal may be at a particular time. Early morning and evening hours are when animals tend to be feeding and are more easily seen. But remember that the numbers and variety of animals you see are largely a matter of luck and coincidence.
Wild animals, especially females with young, are unpredictable and dangerous. Keep a safe distance from all wildlife. Each year a number of park visitors are injured by wildlife when approaching too closely. Approaching on foot within 100 yards (91 m) of bears or wolves, or within 25 yards (23 m) of other wildlife is prohibited. Please use roadside pullouts when viewing wildlife. Use binoculars or telephoto lenses for safe viewing and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
By being sensitive to its needs, you will see more of an animal’s natural behavior and activity. If you cause an animal to move, you are too close. It is illegal to willfully remain near or approach wildlife, including birds, within any distance that disturbs or displaces the animal.
Last updated: October 7, 2016