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Animals That Call Mount Rainier National Park Home

Animals that call Mount Rainier National Park Home

Mount Rainier is a North American National Park from southeast Pierce County to northeast Lewis County in Washington state. It includes Mount Rainier, an active volcano that is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A. It is crawling with wildlife. Let’s look at the top 21 animals that call Mount Rainier National Park home.

1. Roosevelt Elk

Roosevelt Elk. Image via depositphotos.

The largest elk species in North America, often seen grazing in meadows and forests.

2. Black Bear

Black Bear
Black bears are excellent climbers and can ascend trees with ease, using their strong claws and agile limbs to reach heights of up to 50 feet. Image by Aaron Brewer via Pexels

Commonly spotted in the park, particularly in wooded areas foraging for food. They are omnivoires and mainly feed on berries and nuts as well as small mammals and insects.

3. Mountain Goat

Mountain goat
Mountain Goat on Mount Massive, Colorado, USA By Darklich14 – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9825969

Known for their agility in rocky terrain, these goats inhabit high alpine areas. These goats are endemic o the remote and rugged mountains of North America. 

4. Douglas Squirrel

douglas squirrel animals in washington
Douglas Squirrel.
Image by Jennifer Uppendahl via Unsplash

A small, agile squirrel found throughout the forests of Mount Rainier. It is also known as the pine squirrel.

5. Cougar

cougar kitten
cougar kitten. Image by Svehlik via Depositphotos

A solitary predator, cougars roam the park’s forests and prey on animals such as deer, elk, moose, mountain goats, and wild sheep.

6. Northern Spotted Owl

Northern Spotted Owl

A nocturnal bird of prey, often found in old-growth forests. The most important food items are flying squrrels and woodrats.

7. Pacific Tree Frog

Pacific tree frog. Image via depositphotos.

Small amphibians commonly found near streams and wetlands. It can be found in almost any habitat where there are steams that make suitable breeding waters.

8. Pine Marten

By Pine Marten (Martes martes), Rothiemurchus by Mike Pennington, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=119677203

Agile and elusive, pine martens are skilled climbers and hunters in the park’s forests. They have semi-retractable claws used for climbing and running.

9. Northern Flying Squirrel

A Northern Flying squirrel. Image by FWS, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Nocturnal gliders that inhabit coniferous forests. The feed on different kinds of fungi, lichens, carrion, bird eggs and insects.

10. Bobcat

bobcat
Bobcat lazily yawning. Image via Pixabay

The bobcat also known as the red lynx is a shy and elusive feline predator found throughout the park. They are carniovres and eat a variety of small mammals as well as birds.

11. American Dipper

American Dipper swims underwater to feed.
American Dipper swims underwater to feed. By David A Mitchell from Calgary, Canada – IMG_8886-63.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74729973

Known for its unique habit of diving and swimming in fast-flowing streams.  It is known as America’s only true aquatic songbird.

12. Pika

Large eared Pika, Ochotona macrotis. Image via depositphotos.

Small, round-bodied mammals adapted to high-altitude rocky habitats. They are native to Asia and North America. They have rounded ears, light brown and gray fur, long whiskers and no visible tails.

13. Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk
Flying Red-tailed Hawk Via Deposit Photos

A common raptor found soaring over open meadows and forests. They have a flying speed of 20-40mph and can reach up to 120mph when diving for prey.

14. Olympic Marmot

olympic marmot animals in washington
Olympic Marmot. Image via Unsplash.

Endemic to the Olympic Peninsula, this large ground squirrel can also be found in the park’s alpine meadows.

15. Hoary Marmot

Hoary marmots in Jasper National Park. Canadian Rocky Mountains. Alberta. Canada. Image via depositphotos.

Another species of marmot commonly seen in alpine meadows and rocky slopes. They are diurnal herbivores and feed on grass, lichens and berries.

16. Cascade Red Fox

Cascade Red Fox. Image via <a href="http://jratt, CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikimedia commons

A subspecies of red fox adapted to mountainous habitats, it is endemic to the Washington state. They prey on small mammals and birds living in mountains.

17. Northern Alligator Lizard

Northern Alligator Lizard. Image by giantcicada, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A common lizard found in forested areas and rocky outcrops. They are carnivored feeding primarily on crickets, beetles, spiders and moths.

18. Northern Goshawk

Northern Goshawk. Image via depositphotos.

A skilled hunter of forests, preying on small mammals and birds. They are almost as big as a buzzard, and considered “true hawks”.

19. Columbia Spotted Frog

Columbia Spotted Frog. Image by NPS Jacob W. Frank.

Found in wetlands and ponds throughout the park. It is green to brown in color with spots on its back. The belly and upper lip are white.

20. American Pika

American Pika in Canada. Image by Shawn.ccf via deposit images.

Small, herbivorous mammals known for their distinctive “haystack” food caches. The American pika, is a diurnal species of pika, and is found in the mountains of western North America, usually in boulder fields at or above the tree line.

21. Northwestern Salamander

Northwest Salamander, Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge (http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/capemeares/index.htm). The Oregon Coast is home to many species of salamanders. Image by Roy W. Lowe/USFWS.

Large, terrestrial salamanders found in damp forests and near streams. When disturbed They butt heads and raise tails while emitting a sticky white poison from glands behind eyes and along back and tail when threatened and lash tails to spread the poison.

Conclusion

Mount Ranier. Image via depositphotos.

These animals represent just a fraction of the diverse wildlife that inhabits Mount Rainier National Park, showcasing the rich biodiversity of this iconic wilderness area, each organism contributing uniquely to the habitats found here. I hope you enjoyed reading about the animals that are call Mount Rainier National Park Home. To read more like this, check out the articles below:

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