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21 Animals That Call Badlands National Park Home

21 Animals that call Badlands National Park home.

The Badlands National Park is in South Dakota and is known for its various rock formations and fossil collections. It is also home to a variety of wildlife primarily known for its bison, prairie dogs and bighorn sheep, lets take a look at the animals that call Badlands National Park home.

1. American Bison

Bison and its herd
American Bison forming a large group during breeding season. Image Via

The iconic symbol of the American West, the American Bison roams freely in Badlands National Park. These massive herbivores graze on the grasslands and contribute to the park’s unique ecosystem.

2. Bighorn Sheep

Desert Bighorn sheep. Image via depositphotos.

Known for their impressive curved horns, bighorn sheep inhabit the rugged terrain of Badlands National Park. They are well adapted to the steep cliffs and rocky slopes of the area.

3. Black-footed Ferret

Black-Footed Ferret
Black-Footed Ferret. By USFWS Mountain-Prairie –, Public Domain,

One of the most endangered mammals in North America, the black-footed ferret has been reintroduced to Badlands National Park as part of conservation efforts.

4. Coyote

Coyote Image by via Depositphotos

A versatile predator, the coyote is a common sight in Badlands National Park. They play a crucial role in controlling small mammal populations.

5. Prairie Dog

Prairie Dogs. Image via depositphotos.

Numerous prairie dog towns dot the landscape of Badlands National Park. These highly social rodents create complex burrow systems and are important prey for various predators.

6. Swift Fox

Endangered swift fox in the wild
Endangered swift fox in the wild. Image by via Depositphotos

Small and elusive, the swift fox inhabits the grasslands and prairies of the park. They are primarily nocturnal and feed on small mammals and insects.

7. Black-tailed Prairie Dog

Black-tailed Prairie Dog
By Acroterion – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

A subspecies of prairie dog, the black-tailed prairie dog is abundant in Badlands National Park. Their burrowing activities shape the landscape and provide habitat for other species.

8. Mule Deer

Mule deer. Image via depositphotos.

Mule deer are commonly seen in the open grasslands and shrublands of Badlands National Park. They are browsers, feeding on a variety of plants.

9. Pronghorn

Pronghorn antelope. Image via depositphotos

The pronghorn is the fastest land mammal in North America and can be found in the grasslands of Badlands National Park. Their speed and agility make them well-adapted to escaping predators.

10. Mountain Lion

A mountain lion. Image via depositphotos.

Also known as cougars or pumas, mountain lions are apex predators that inhabit the remote areas of Badlands National Park. They primarily prey on deer and other ungulates.

11. White-tailed Deer

White-tailed deer. Image via depositphotos.

White-tailed deer are widespread in North America, including Badlands National Park. They are browsers and can be found in a variety of habitats.

12. Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle
Close up of the intense eyes of a Golden Eagle. Image via Unsplash. Image by Craig Hughes via Unsplash

Golden eagles are powerful raptors that soar above the rugged landscapes of Badlands National Park. They prey on small mammals and birds.

13. Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-Tailed Hawk is a bird of prey that breeds throughout most of North America, from the interior of Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West Indies. Image via Depositphotos

A common sight in the skies above Badlands National Park, the red-tailed hawk is a versatile predator that feeds on a variety of small mammals and birds.

14. Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark. Image via depositphotos.

The western meadowlark is a songbird that inhabits the grasslands and prairies of Badlands National Park. Its melodious song is a familiar sound in the area.

15. Burrowing Owl

A burrowing owl outside of it burrow on a gravel road. Image via depositphotos.

As their name suggests, burrowing owls nest in burrows dug by other animals, such as prairie dogs. They are active during the day and feed on insects and small mammals.

16. American Badger

american badger
AMERICAN BADGER taxidea taxus, ADULT STANDING ON SNOW, CANADA. Image by slowmotiongli via

The American badger is a fossorial carnivore that digs extensive burrow systems in the grasslands and prairies of Badlands National Park. They primarily prey on small mammals.

17. Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) coiled to strike. Image via Deposit Photos

A venomous snake found in the rocky terrain of Badlands National Park, the western diamondback rattlesnake is an important predator in the ecosystem.

18. Black Widow Spider

black widow bite
Black Widow spider outdoors on a web. Image via Depositphotos

While often feared, black widow spiders play a role in controlling insect populations in Badlands National Park. They are typically found in sheltered areas.

19. Prairie Rattlesnake

Prairie Rattlesnake. Patrick Alexander, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Another venomous snake species found in Badlands National Park, the prairie rattlesnake inhabits grasslands and rocky areas. They play a crucial role in controlling rodent populations.

20. Short-horned Lizard

Short-horned lizard. Image by Ninety99nineTK, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Also known as horned toads or horny toads, short-horned lizards are well-camouflaged inhabitants of the arid regions of Badlands National Park. Their diet consists mainly of ants.

21. Northern Leopard Frog

Northern Leopard Frog. Image via depositphotos.

Found in wetlands and ponds within Badlands National Park, the northern leopard frog is a common amphibian species in the area. They are known for their distinctive leopard-like spots.


Badlands National Park. Image via depositphotos.

These 21 animals represent just a portion of the diverse wildlife that calls Badlands National Park home. Each species plays a vital role in maintaining the park’s delicate ecosystem, from iconic megafauna to small reptiles and amphibians. I hope you enjoyed reading about the animals call Badlands National Park home. To read more like this, check out the articles below:

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