Yosemite animals Yosemite animals

12 Yosemite Animals That Dwell In the National Park

Visit Yosemite National Park and encounter several beautiful Yosemite animals. Yosemite National Park is considered one of the best, most versatile, and most diverse parks in the United States of America.

The park is home to several wildlife species and Yosemite animals cover almost three-quarter million acres of the protected area.

The park is well-maintained and protected with a wide array of flora and fauna. Hundreds and thousands of tourists visit Yosemite National Park annually from the United States and various parts of the world.

Yosemite National park is a perfect destination to relax and explore several wildlife species and fascinating animals. The park encourages the conservation and protection of endangered animals.

However, some of the wildlife species can be very dangerous. You can take a guide if you are conscious about your safety in the park.

Yosemite Animals You May Encounter At The Park

Yosemite National Park has five habitats, each home to different Yosemite animal species. The five protected habitats in the park include lower montane forest, upper montane forest, alpine, subalpine, and oak chaparral woodlands.

Here is a list of some of the beautiful and popular Yosemite animals you may encounter on your trip to Yosemite National Park.

1. Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep

The famous two-hooved mammal that dwells in Yosemite National Park is the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep.

However, the bighorn sheep may look like shy and friendly creatures, but it is considered one of the most dangerous species at Yosemite. Tioga Pass offers a good view of these mammals. 

Bighorn sheep or mountain sheep Ram with big horns , native of North America
Photo by shamsamir from Depositphotos

The bighorn sheep have big sharp horns, which they use to fight predators. There are mostly 40 to 50 bighorn sheep in the park, and they maintain a strong territory to avoid predators like mountain lions.

2. Black Bears

Blacks Bears are one of the popular animal species that are protected in Yosemite National Park. There are almost 500 black bears that wander around the park. Some of the bears have brown and blonde fur too.

Grizzly bear in water
Photo by Nyker from Depositphotos

During summer, the bears feed on ants, acorns, grasses, berries, and insect larvae. However, during the winters, the beers spend in dens or hollow trees and caves.

Sometimes the black bears can be very violent, especially when they feel unsafe and threatened by tourists. They are pretty good climbers and use their forelimbs and sharp claws to attack their predators.

3. Rattle Snakes

You will most likely come across the north Pacific rattlesnakes on your visit to Yosemite National Park.

It is one of the best wildlife creatures and popular Yosemite animals to encounter the locals and tourists worldwide. However, the venom of rattlesnakes can be very dangerous and fatal. Always carry proper hiking gear whenever you are traveling to the park.

Rattle snake
Photo by jaapbleijenberg from Depositphotos

The snakes won’t harm you unless they feel vulnerable and unsafe. Everyone should stay away from these rattlesnakes and not trigger or disturb them.

4. Mountain Lions

The population of raccoons, mules, and deer and kept in control. In the ecosystem of Yosemite National Park, mountain lions play a vital role.

The lions love their solitary and could not be easily spotted during the trail. They prefer to be unseen, and it is important for the tourists not to bother them at any cost.

Mountain lion
Photo by FrankParker from Depositphotos

These Yosemite animals are popularly called cougars, pumas, or panthers. They may feel threatened and attack you ferociously. It is important to not provide any human food or little the park with eatables as they can disrupt the park’s atmosphere.

5. Red Fox

One of the popular Yosemite animals you may encounter on your trip to Yosemite is the Sierra Nevada red fox. The foxes are reddish brown to black, have dense furs, and feed on small rodents. The fox mostly lives at elevations and prefers cool temperatures.

Red fox
Photo by peterwey from Depositphotos

The foxes are carnivores and rarely attack tourists unless they feel unsafe. These foxes are smart and intelligent and attack their prey in large quantities. However, the foxes carry germs and bacteria, which can cause infections and rabies as they are not vaccinated.

These Sierra Nevada red foxes have a strong vision and extraordinary sense of smell and accurately attack their prey. It is advisable not to get closer to these foxes and trigger them in any way.

6. Bats

There are almost 17 bat species that thrive in Yosemite valley. The little brown bat is among the most common Yosemite animals and the most popular bats among the 17 species.

Photo by CelsoDiniz from Depositphotos

The female bats are larger than the male ones and feed on aquatic insects in higher elevations.

It is advisable to avoid bats during your trip to Yosemite valley. Bats are nocturnal and mostly live in darkness, like attics and caves. During the winter season, they hibernate for a long period. They prey on their food by echoing and delicate hearing. They are carriers of deadly viruses, including SARs and coronavirus.

7. Pacific Fishers

The pacific fishers are considered to be sensitive Yosemite animals and are related to otters. They live in trees and are excellent at climbing.

They prefer to live in mid-elevations and dense forest areas with huge canopied trees. They mainly feed on small birds and rodents; their fur color ranges from dark brown to light brown.

Forgotten But Not Gone: The Pacific Fisher | bioGraphic

The pacific fishers are interesting creatures that fall under Yosemite animals. Due to higher threats in the past, the anglers can sometimes be violent and aggressive, and it is best to avoid coming closer to these animals.

During the 19th century, the pacific fishers were considered highly endangered species. But in recent years, their population has increased due to great conservation efforts.

8. Deer

One of the famous and most popular wildlife sightings and Yosemite animals you can come across visiting Yosemite is deer.

Photo by cheekylorns2 from Depositphotos

The park has many deers, and although they may look adorable, they can be aggressive during the breeding season. During the mating season, the males become violent to protect the female deer.

In addition, while feeding the baby deer, the female deer becomes very ferocious to protect their babies from predators. Do not try to give any human food to the deer, as they may try to attack you.

9. Coyote

Like many Yosemite animals, Coyotes are commonly encountered in the park. These animals communicate within themselves using howls.

On a spring day, a coyote is standing on a rock and looking at the camera.
Photo by cybernesco from Depositphotos

Keeping a safe distance from these forest animals is always a good idea. The coyotes will not attack or harm you unless you conquer their privacy and habitat.

10. Bobcats

The Bobcats are some of the fewer wildlife species and Yosemite animals you may come across during the day at Yosemite National Park. Although they look scary, it maintains a healthy ecosystem balance. 

Depositphotos 57840497 L
Photo by neilld from Depositphotos

These wild cats help to decrease the rodent population. However, nursing bobcats can be pretty aggressive while feeding their babies to protect them. Besides using their sharp teeth and claws to prey, they are the carriers of infectious viruses and germs.

11. Birds

You can encounter more than 260 species of birds in Yosemite National Park. Besides local birds, the park is also a habitat for several migratory birds.

Portrait view of Steller's Jay blue bird (Cyanocitta stelleri) sitting on a branch, spotted in Yosemite National Park, California, United States
Photo by tsuguliev from Depositphotos

Bird enthusiasts can discover and learn different bird behaviors in diverse vegetation and season of the year. The birds feed on berries, seeds, and other birds for their daily energy source.

Some popular Yosemite birds are The American Dipper, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Mountain Chickadees, Warblers, Tanagers, Flycatchers, Falcons, Great Gray Owls, and Vireos.

12. Fishes

You can find several species of Native fish in the lower region of Yosemite National Park. These native fishes dwell in the lower part of Merced river and up to the area of El Portal.

Some popular native fishes include Hardhead, California Roach, Riffle Sculpin, and Sacramento Pikeminnow.

Fishing INCREDIBLE Streams in Yosemite National Park! (Tenkara Fly Fishing)

In addition, some of the non-native fishes are now introduced to Yosemite park. Some popular non-native species of fish in Yosemite are Smallmouth, two trout hybrids, five trout species, and Bluegill.


Yosemite National Park allows tourists to see and experience the beauty of Yosemite animals and various plant species and protected and high-quality habitats for many animals.

Always take the help of the park staff if you want to know the best places to visit and the places to avoid Yosemite animals.

What Unusual Animals Live in Yosemite? Meet 3 That You NEED to Know About | Destination Discovery

The park promotes conservation programs for different endangered wild animals and is also rich in diversity. Maintain the decorum of the park and follow the guidelines to maintain the beauty of the park ecosystem.

Last Updated on February 24, 2023 by Janhavi Ramesh Kowligi