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21 Animals That Call Yosemite Home

Lets take a closer look at the animals that call Yosemite home. From Bears to birds, each plays an important role in this national park.

Black Bear

Wild Black bear and cub. Image via despoitphotos.

Yosemite’s most famous large mammal is known for its intelligence and adaptability.

Mule Deer

Mule deer. Image via depositphotos.

Easily recognized by their large ears and graceful movements, mule deer are a common sight in meadows and forests.

Mountain Lion

A mountain lion. Image via depositphotos.

Also known as cougars or pumas, these elusive predators are top of the food chain in Yosemite.


Bobcat. By No machine-readable author provided. Calibas assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., Public Domain,

Smaller than mountain lions, these solitary felines are often spotted at dawn or dusk.


Coyote, Tule Lake, California
Coyote, Tule Lake, California. By USFWS Pacific Southwest Region – Coyote at Tule Lake NWR, Public Domain,

These adaptable canines are often seen alone or in small groups throughout the park.

American Black Bear

Baby Black Bear.
Baby Black Bear. Image by via Depositphotos

A symbol of wilderness and a prominent species in Yosemite.

Bighorn Sheep

Desert Bighorn sheep. Image via depositphotos.

The Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, a subspecies, is specially adapted to the high mountain terrain.

American Marten

American Marten Yosemite National Park
American Marten By via Depositphotos

A member of the weasel family, martens are adept tree climbers and live in the park’s forested areas.

California Ground Squirrel

California ground squirrel or Beechey ground squirrel, a common squirrel of the western United States and the Baja California Peninsula sitting on a tree stump in Monterey, California. Image via depositphotos.

A common sight, these ground squirrels are often seen standing upright, surveying their surroundings.

Steller’s Jay

Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) spotted in California. Image via depositphotos.

Recognizable by their striking blue and black plumage, these birds are vocal residents of the park’s forests.

Golden Eagle

Wild Golden Eagle
Wild Golden Eagle. By Giles Laurent – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Majestic birds of prey, golden eagles are sometimes spotted soaring over open areas or high peaks.

Sierra Nevada Red Fox

Red Fox. Image via depositphotos.

A rare and beautiful sight, this fox species is adapted to high-altitude environments.

Great Gray Owl

Grey Owl
Grey Owl. By NasserHalaweh – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The largest owl by length in North America, this species can occasionally be seen in Yosemite’s meadows and forests.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon. Image via depositphotos.

Known for their incredible speed, these birds of prey nest on Yosemite’s cliff faces.

Western Rattlesnake

western diamondback rattlesnake
Rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox. Western Diamondback. Dangerous snake. Image via Dpeositphotos

The only venomous snake in Yosemite, typically found in rockier, warmer areas of the park.

Yosemite Toad

Image by Pierre Fidenci, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons.

A species of special concern, these amphibians are adapted to high-altitude life in meadows.

Mountain Yellow-legged Frog

Image by USFWS/Rick Kuyper, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Critically endangered, these frogs are an important part of high-elevation aquatic ecosystems.

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterfly
Monarch butterfly Image by elenathewise via depositphotos.

Known for their long migrations, monarchs can be seen in Yosemite during their journey.

Pacific Fisher

Pacific Fisher
Pacific Fisher. By Pacific Southwest Region from Sacramento, US – Pacific Fisher, Public Domain,

A member of the weasel family, fishers are rare and elusive forest dwellers.

Sierra Newt

Sierra Newt
Sierra Newt On the Buttermilk Bend trail, South Yuba State Park. By Larry Miller from Grass Valley,CA, USA – Sierra Newt, Taricha sierrae, CC BY-SA 2.0,

These amphibians are often found in and around the park’s streams and ponds, especially during the breeding season.

Spotted Bat

Image by Paul Cryan , U.S. Geological Survey, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Known for its large ears and spotted fur, this nocturnal creature is one of the many bat species residing in Yosemite.


Yosemite at sunset. Image via depositphotos.

These animals each have a unique role to play in their respective environments in this national park. I hope you enjoyed reading about the animals that call Yosemite home. To read more like this check out the articles below:

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