Looking for Animals in America?
A trip to some of the most wildlife-rich states of the United States will guarantee serendipitous encounters of a lifetime. An unmistakable vastness of biodiversity…
The sheer size of the United States significantly influences the display of biodiversity across its varying landscapes. It is home to multiple different ecoregions and has far too much variety in flora and fauna to cover sufficiently here.
Furthermore, some recognizable and exciting species make up an essential part of wildlife. There are so many Animals in America to discover.
Surprisingly, over 800 species of bird exist, some seasonal and some permanent populations, including the national icon, the bald eagle, American dippers and robins, brown pelicans and sandhill cranes, and a range of falcons and owls.
There are more than 400 mammal species, ranging from large carnivores like grizzly bears, mountain lions, and wolves to beavers and squirrels, armadillos and bats, and marine mammals like blue whales, spinner dolphins, orcas, and porpoises.
Reptile, amphibian, fish, and invertebrate species are also found in abundance across the various terrains. From rattlesnakes, snapping turtles, and alligators to spotted salamanders and tree frogs to bull sharks, flying fish, and rainbow trout right through to many both common and unique insects like giant Darner dragonflies, fireflies, tarantulas and sea-cucumbers.
From North to Southern USA, we take you from the arctic tundra to the arid desert land, rolling coasts, swamps, and mountain ranges of North America, the USA’s most extraordinary nature destinations.
Are you interested in reading further about where to see wildlife in the US? Or jump to your favorite headline?
Alaska: Where to see wildlife in the US
Evidently, many visitors visit Alaska to see the jaw-dropping scenery of unspoiled nature, majestic mountains, glaciers, fjords, crystal clear lakes, waterfalls, and National Parks.
Additionally, Alaska should be a priority on your ‘to see’ list if you want to see wildlife. Especially as bald eagles gather by the hundreds, moose cause traffic jams, and millions of salmon spawn in its rivers. Henceforth, you should take a guided tour through a national park or wildlife refuge to see moose and caribou or a boat tour to see otters, whales, and porpoises. As no matter the destination in Alaska, one may encounter varieties of expansive wildlife.
Animals you may expect to encounter
Firstly, there are four different types of Alaska bears the Brown bear (grizzly), Polar bear, Black bear, and Glacier bear. Presently, there are several Alaska bear viewing opportunities available to visitors. Especially, Denali National Park is one of the most popular areas in Alaska to view bears in their natural habitat.
Caribou, Moose, Mountain Goat, Sheep & Bison
Surprisingly, Caribou in Alaska are distributed in 32 herds or populations, and about 175,000 to 200,000 moose are widely distributed throughout Alaska. Additionally, mountain goats are estimated at 3,600 to 4,600 mountains which occupy the Kenai Peninsula. Dall Sheep inhabit the mountain ranges of Alaska, and bison are a common sighting in many of the north american states, especially the Delta River area in Alaska’s Interior.
Wolves & Arctic Fox
Alaska is home to an estimated 7,000 to 11,000 wolves. The wolf resides throughout mainland Alaska.
Arctic foxes migrate from their fall breeding grounds and travel to coastal areas. The arctic fox resides in treeless coastal areas of Alaska from the Aleutian Islands north to Point Barrow and east to the Canada border.
Orcas & Whales
Killer whales are in southeast Alaska between early May and early June, with whales more sporadically spotted in June through September. They can reside in Resurrection Bay, near Seward, and throughout Southeast Alaska, with the largest abundance found near Juneau and Ketchikan.
Salmon, beavers, and otters
Massive salmon runs return to Anchorage area rivers and streams each summer. This is where you may encounter five species of Alaska salmon and Sea otters seen from the Aleutian Islands across the Kenai Peninsula and the Gulf of Alaska.
Birds: Owls, Falcons, eagles, and Puffins
Hundreds of bird species inhabit Alaska, especially in coastal regions. With nearly 500 species of birds documented in Alaska, it is a bird lover’s paradise to visit.
National Parks & operators
The options may seem limitless, with 17 national park units and 16 national wildlife refuges.
Alaska Wildlife Guide for incredible and tailored tours from the arctic circle to the intricacies of Alaskan culture and heritage. They specialize in Summer, Winter, and Northern Lights tours!
Adventure Kodiak bear tours and cruises offer unique access to nature enthusiasts and animal (especially bear) lovers.
Seaward wildlife tours offer encounters with the many marine animals that visit Alaska on migration each year. From whales to Orcas, birds, and beautiful landscapes from the ocean perspective. Small and personalized tours.
Alaska Wildlife Adventures excites foreigners who fall in love with Alaska through mountainous adventures and more!
Alaska wildlife Conservation Center: Visit orphaned and rehabilitated wildlife close up and personal, and by doing so, contribute to the conservation and protection of other animals.
New York: Where to see wildlife in the US
New York and New York City are one of the most popular destinations for tourists and the hub of many economic and foreign interests worldwide. It is hardly a place where one would expect to find wildlife. What people often misconceive about New York is that it goes beyond the massive city and that infamous skyline… It leads to more nature the further inland you go, and it can be deceivingly dense in wildlife- even in that big city!
The coyote has been present in New York state at least since 1920. Coyotes live in New York City. Sighted for the last 30 years, but only one is reportedly known to live in Central Park. Coyotes, commonly believed to live only in the more rural or wild parts of New York readily adapt to living close to people. Coyotes live throughout Upstate New York and commonly inhabit many suburban and urban areas. Occasionally, they are in parts of New York City and Long Island (very rarely).
Dolphins & Seals
Bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, pilot whales, and Risso’s dolphins reside off the south shore of Long Island. Sightings of bottlenose dolphins are the most common since they live closer to shore in coastal waters like harbors and bays.
Seals are found on the shores of New York! They are found there from late fall until late spring, with the highest concentration around April. Seals leave the water to rest on sandy beaches or rocks. They do this to regulate their body temperature, socialize, give birth, and molt. In groups, they haul out. This helps seals avoid predators. Up to five species can be seen locally, but harbor, gray, and harp seals are the most common.
Raccoons “live in all five boroughs of New York City. They can easily adapt to live wherever food and shelter are available.” Despite their reputation as suburban residents, the city provides them with everything they need.
Raccoons can become a nuisance if people unknowingly supply food or shelter for them. They can be attracted by food in gardens, fish ponds, pet feeders, garbage, or cavities that might offer shelter.
Wildlife of the USA: Black bears can be found on almost all of the mountain ranges in the Catskill Mountains. The Catskill Mountains have the highest density population of Black Bears in New York State. The north side of the Kaaterskill Mountain Range (around 1800-3,300′) has the highest density population in the Catskill Mountains.
In New York, most moose are located in the northeastern part of the state in the Adirondack Mountains and the Taconic Highlands along the Massachusetts and Vermont borders. Moose are primarily browsers, feeding on the leaves, twigs, and buds of hardwood and softwood trees and shrubs.
Ideal moose habitat consists of a mosaic of upland mature mixed forest, open areas created by burns or logging, and wetlands.
Wyoming: Where to see wildlife in the US
Wyoming is one of the most stunning states in America due to its small human population and dense amounts of uninhibited wild land! Being Home to more than 100 mammal species and 400 species of birds, Wyoming’s wild residents include bison, mountain lions, wolverines, bobcats, grizzly bears, black bears, elk, moose, deer, and pronghorn antelope, as well as wild horses. Where to see wildlife in the US:
Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where Bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. Yellowstone bison are exceptional because they comprise the nation’s largest bison population on public land. Unlike most other herds, this population has thousands of individuals allowed to roam relatively freely over the expansive landscape of Yellowstone National Park.
Mountain Lions & Bobcats
Although not commonly seen, mountain lions are widespread throughout Wyoming. They prefer rocky, brushy areas with steep slopes or cliffs and scattered openings in the trees, but in the past few years, they have been encountered in more marginal habitats, often close to human habitation. Read on further about where to see wildlife in the US.
One of three wild felids native to Wyoming (the others being bobcats and mountain lions), the Canada lynx is specially adapted to live in heavy snowfall areas. They are specifically adapted to hunt a few species of prey, the first being the snowshoe hare.
Wolverines (Gulo gulo) are the most prominent terrestrial member of the weasel family. Additionally, they are naturally rare and persist at extremely low population densities. Few individual wolverines have been detected in Wyoming, including Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Furthermore, the current status and distribution of wolverines in Wyoming are largely unknown, and there are vast tracts of potential wolverine habitat in the state’s high country.
Firstly, Wyoming has two bear species, the grizzly bear and the much more common, widespread, and smaller black bear.
Secondly, there are currently approximately 700 grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, including parts of northwest Wyoming, southwest Montana, and eastern Idaho.
Surprisingly, about 6,500 wild horses roam the rangelands of Wyoming.
Furthermore, the three most accessible places to view wild horses are in the Pryor Mountains, outside Lovell, in southwest Wyoming near Rock Springs, and the Wild Horse Sanctuary on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Wyoming is one of America’s most incredible wildlife-dense states; unique National Parks such as Yellowstone and Teton make the visit worthwhile! If visiting Wyoming is now on your bucket list, here are some operators who may help you on your journey to discovering the “Wild West.”
Yellowstone National Park Trips
Travel Wyoming: Grand Teton National Park
Colorado: Where to see wildlife in the US
Colorado is considered a state home to one of the healthiest populations of people, possibly due to all the mountainous/ outdoor activities and health-focused culture available and the nature at the disposal of all—a reason to visit the fresh-aired, serene landscapes of wildlife.
Bighorn Sheep, Colorado Bison & Elk
Where to see wildlife in the US: The Bighorn sheep is the official state animal of Colorado, they are pretty elusive and hang out on the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains, and the American Bison are large mammals that can reach up to 6.5 feet tall and weigh up to 2,200 pounds. Additionally, they travel in herds and have an average life span of 20 years. Elk were almost wholly lost from Colorado forever, but due to relocation efforts, Colorado is now home to more than 280,000 elk.
Mountains lions can be found throughout Colorado, mainly in the foothills and hardly ever in the eastern plains. Evidently, they love areas dense in pinyon pine, juniper, ponderosa pines, and low-lying oak brush.
Black bears can be found throughout Colorado in Gambel’s oak and aspen areas, mostly living in oak brush areas and occasionally venturing into aspen forests. The highest concentration consists from Walsenburg to Trinidad, west of the San Luis Valley.
Birds of Prey
With more than 400 species in Colorado, there’s no telling which wings you’ll see flapping. My Favorite Colorado birds to seek out are the mountain. While there are many birding opportunities throughout the state, the Colorado birding trails are a great place to start.
Prairie Dogs & Beavers
The black-tailed prairie dog inhabits the eastern third of Colorado. According to one estimate, black-tailed prairie dogs once covered seven million acres in Colorado. They typically reside in grassland areas below 6,000 feet, east of Colorado’s foothills.
The North American Beaver is a native species to Colorado and plays a vital role in the environment and the state’s ecology. Furthermore, they are relatively common in Colorado, including in urban areas. In Castle Rock, beavers are active along East Plum Creek and Sellars Gulch.
Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area expands over 36,000 acres of stunning canyons and plateaus. This is where visitors can hike and see the horses roaming.
Firstly, Colorado is home to about 30 species of snakes. Of these, only three snakes are a risk to humans: the prairie rattlesnake, the Western rattlesnake, and the massasauga rattlesnake. Colorado is home to two species of rattlesnakes: the western/prairie rattlesnake and the massasauga.
Secondly, Colorado’s four National Parks — Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison are home to some of the world’s most wondrous and diverse scenery.
Which wildlife in Colorado do you wish to see? Evidently, Colorado has a diverse landscape of arid desert, river canyons, and snow-covered Rocky Mountains and won’t disappoint nature lovers seeking wildlife experiences. We recommend visiting the wildlife in colorado!
California: Where to see wildlife in the US
Wildlife in California; Because of California’s vast size and its coastal state, it offers a bounteous array of animals. Several different climates — from the temperate mountains in the north to California’s desert and from coastal mountains to arid chaparral — contribute to this bounty of animal creatures. And in addition to all the animals that inhabit California’s land, there is another world beneath the waves of the Pacific Ocean—a great part of Animals in America.
There are many reasons to visit California because there’s something for everyone in the Golden State – fun, adventure, beauty, and history await you in this particular West Coast state. After reading our list of reasons to visit California and the wildlife in California, you’ll be booking your CA trip in no time!
California has more native species than any other state in the U.S. and has the greatest number of endemic species that don’t occur anywhere else. Animals in America you can’t miss.
Firstly, Mountain lions are not threatened or endangered in California. California’s lion population is relatively high, and their numbers appear stable. Secondly, mountain lions are legally classified as “specially protected species.” These include the puma/ cougar and bobcats.
The red foxes, Wolves, and Coyotes
The red fox is common in Southern California. They are secretive, often nocturnal creatures with an omnivorous diet. The red fox is the largest of the true foxes and one of the most widely distributed members of the order Carnivora, present across the entire Northern Hemisphere, including most of North America.
Wolves are now returning to California by dispersal of individuals from source populations in other states. For the best wolf sightings, visit in summer or midwinter and search during the early morning. Look for packs in the Lamar Valley, Hayden Valley, and Blacktail Deer Plateau in Yellowstone. In Grand Teton, head to Willow Flats.
Coyotes are found throughout California. From desert and mountain habitats to urban areas. Problems occur when people begin feeding coyotes, either deliberately or inadvertently.
Two of California’s national parks provide opportunities for bear encounters. Yosemite National Park and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are home to hundreds of black bears—Standard for Animals in America.
We couldn’t start Animals in America without Raccoons, skunks, weasels, squirrels, kangaroo rats, opossums, and ornate shrews, some of the many smaller mammals that find their home in California. Some of the larger mammals found in California are the Elk, Deer, Bighorn Sheep, and Zebras.
Marine mammals found in California include harbor seals, elephant seals, sea lions, sea otters, killer whales, and blue, fin, humpback, and gray whales.
Especially popular for whale-watching family activities: Gray whales, orcas, humpbacks, minke, finback, and blue whales migrate off the California coast throughout the year, so you’re sure to spot at least one species on a whale-watching excursion.
California is also known for its extensive birding life and reptiles:
There are more than 600 bird species spotted in California. Surprisingly, they make up about two-thirds of all bird species in North America. And as for snakes; 23 species of reptiles may be found in California, including pond turtles, lizards, and snakes; most commonly the Garter snake.
California National Parks
California boasts nine national parks—more than any other state—and each has unique appeal. Death Valley is the biggest, the hottest, and the most foreboding. Joshua Tree possesses an otherworldly charm and so much dynamic flora.
9 National Parks: Exploring California’s forests, volcanoes, deserts + islands
Safari West has acted as a haven for animals in Sanoma County, California, for years. throughout wildfires, they have remained operational, with animal conservation at the forefront. For an authentic safari experience, look at the Sanoma Serengeti Safari west experience!
Yexplore tours offer exclusive and customizable exploration throughout the magnificent Yosemite National park. Make sure to visit their website for the opportunities that await potential travelers and wildlife enthusiasts.
California has a world of diversity within its state borders. Animal encounters, from the coastline to the desert, are guaranteed to be plentiful and authentic.
Florida: Where to see wildlife in the US
Firstly, the Sunshine State is known for its beautiful beaches and many hours of sunshine and is home to many different animal species.
Surprisingly, Florida is one of the states with the highest biodiversity in the USA. Additionally, it is the best place to see dolphins, crocodiles, manatees, snakes, turtles, alligators, panthers, black bears, and dozens of bird species like pelicans or flamingos.
Significantly, something you can not miss when looking for Animals in America. Most major populations of Florida black bears live on or near public lands. Certainly, the following are included Ocala National Forest, Big Cypress National Preserve, Apalachicola National Forest, Osceola National Forest, and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
Snakes, which include 44 species of natives, “play an interesting and vital role in Florida’s complex ecology,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Secondly, they are found in coastal mangroves, freshwater wetlands, dry uplands, and residential areas. They are sometimes fed in swamps, forests, lakes, and housing developments. Additionally, the highest snake occurrence is in the Everglades, south of Florida. You would expect this in the article on Animals in America.
Accordingly, five sea turtles are found swimming in Florida’s waters and nesting on Hutchinson Island beaches, including Green Sea Turtles, Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Ridley’s Kemp Sea Turtles, Hawksbill Sea Turtles, and Leatherback Sea Turtles.
Leatherbacks nest earliest, from March through July, while greens and loggerheads nest from April through September. A nighttime turtle walk in Cocoa Beach is one of the best ways to see a sea turtle during the nesting season.
Alligators & Crocodiles
Firstly, gators in the lakes and canals. East of Titusville on the Space Coast, Merritt Island State Wildlife Refuge, is home to many Florida critters. Furthermore, a visitor center will help you find the best places to spy the prehistoric beasts.
Alligators appear in multiple places around the continental United States. But they’re most predominantly known for living in Florida because of the Everglades and a lot of swamps. But generally, gators don’t stay confined to swampy areas. They are extensively found roaming.
Lastly, the Florida Everglades is famous for many things, one being the only environment on earth in which American Alligators and Crocodiles coexist harmoniously.
Manatees & Dolphins
The best time to swim with manatees in Florida is mid-November to late March. Only then hundreds of manatees are present at the springs. The total population in Crystal River alone reaches up to 800 manatees during the winter months—a significant part of Animals in America.
Usually, in Florida, both names refer to the Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncates), the species commonly found along Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts. (True porpoises are a different saltwater mammal. They aren’t commonly found in Florida waters.) Dolphins are gray with a lighter underside.
Because dolphins are relatively common around the Sunshine State, the range of locations, tours, and attractions is wide. Whether in St. Augustine, Miami Beach, or the Florida Keys, you can encounter them almost everywhere along the coasts. Animals in America: If you want to play it safe and get up close and personal with these playful creatures, you can book many boat or kayak tours at the following locations for very little money:
– Biscayne Bay
– Key West
– Fort Meyers Beach
Firstly, bird enthusiasts are championing the return of the famous creature, and Everglades National Park is the destination for catching a glimpse of flamingos stateside. There are 196 species of breeding birds in Florida. Read the Breeding Bird Atlas to see where they live and learn fascinating facts about these species.
Wildlife habitats in Florida cover large areas. Here we once again compile the best places to encounter wildlife. In addition to Florida’s 171 state parks, the following national parks are particularly worth visiting.
Hawaii: Where to see wildlife in the US
Animals in America: Where to see wildlife in the US: Hawaii is a worldwide beach destination renowned for amazing beaches with warm waters and beautiful mountain ranges. Lastly, the wildlife of Hawaii can be as mysterious as it is beautiful, and this blog will give you some insight into Hawaii’s hidden treasures!
Dolphins of Hawaii
Firstly, with 18 species of toothed dolphins swimming in the tepid waters of Hawaii, the most common are the Hawaiian spinner, spotted (kiko), bottlenose, and rough-toothed dolphins. Presently other often-seen members of the dolphin family, although termed whales (kohola) are pilot and false killer whales.
Secondly, they are usually seen in smaller pods or groups of less than ten individuals. Furthermore, Intelligent and high up on the oceanic food chain, dolphins engage in playful activities, including bow riding, where they surf in front of a boat or even a whale’s bow wave.
Hawaiian Hoary Bat
It is the only extant land mammal native to the Hawaiian archipelago. It is endangered due to apparent population declines and a lack of knowledge concerning its distribution, abundance, and habitat needs.
Using sophisticated DNA sequencing by a team of scientists, they have determined something exciting. That Hawaii’s state land mammal, the Hawaiian hoary bat, migrated to the islands. Specifically, this was from the Pacific coast of North America in two separate waves more than 9,000 years apart.
Hawaiian Monk Seal
Hawaiian monk seals are endemic to Hawaii and are the only marine mammal in U.S. waters. Most of these animals live in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and about 200 are on the main islands. The Hawaiian monk seal is named for its skin folds that resemble a monk’s cowl. It is seen alone or in small groups—a great animal from Animals in America.
If found in Hawai’i they are native to India. Subsequently, the sugar industry initially introduced them to Hawai’i Island in 1883. This was to control rats in sugarcane fields on Maui, Moloka’i, and O’ahu.
The Indian gray mongoose is particuarlly known for its fondness of fighting and eating poisonous snakes, such as cobras. “Rikki-tikki-tavi” is a short story by Rudyard Kipling about a young mongoose that fights a cobra. Mongooses can live for up to 20 years in captivity, according to National Geographic.
Deer of Hawaii
The United States. Axis deer were introduced to the island of Molokai, Hawaii, in 1867. This was as a gift to King Kamehameha. Evidently, the deer were introduced to Lanai, another of the Hawaiian Islands, soon afterward and are now plentiful on both islands. With no natural predators on Molokai, the population has exploded. An estimated 50,000 to 70,000 deer are now on the 260 square-mile islands. Residents have a hard time controlling the population by hunting alone.
Wallabies are not native to Hawai’i but are not considered invasive and are protected by state law. They’re only found on O’ahu. This is apparently the result of a pair escaping from a private zoo in Kalihi. Additionally, this occurred more than one hundred years ago, in 1916.
Sea Turtles In Hawaii. Five of the world’s seven sea turtles are home in Hawaii’s waters. This includes the green sea turtle (honu), hawksbill (honu’ea), leatherback, loggerhead, and olive ridley.
Summer is the best time of year to spot green sea turtles at Laniakea Beach, thanks to calmer waters. Especially, in winter, you should bring more giant waves to the north shore. Evidently, sea turtles prefer calmer water and may come ashore to sun themselves during ideal conditions—unique animal from Animals in America.
Additionally, there is so much to discover beyond the beautiful mountains and beaches.
Summary of Animals in America
Did you enjoy this article on Animals in America? Featuring the top wildlife encounters around the country. From Alaska to Hawaii, let us know which of these states’ wildlife is on your bucket list to experience firsthand!
Additionally, if you are looking for more on the wildlife in the United States, look at our feature blogs of the here covered states: Alaska, Wyoming, California, Hawaii, Colorado, New York, and Florida; on our blog page that is all things animal lover.
Lastly, thanks for reading Animals in America.
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