An elevation difference of approximately 13,000 feet creates a variety of habitats and life zones in Mount Rainier that remain protected. You'll likely see different animals at each life zone change. This diversity provides for a broad assortment of invertebrates, mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. There are also many species of slime mold, which exhibit characteristics of both animals and fungi!

Efforts are underway to restore native Pacific fisher to the forests of the south Cascades and Olympic Peninsula. There is also ongoing research to monitor the northern spotted owl population in the park.

The highly visible Columbian black-tailed deer, Douglas squirrels, noisy Stellar's jays and common ravens are animals that many people remember. The most diverse and abundant animals in the park, however, are the invertebrates - the insects, worms, crustaceans, spiders- to name a few - that occupy all environments to the top of Columbia Crest itself.

At Mount Rainier you can find 65 mammal species, 14 species of amphibians, 5 species of reptiles, 182 species of birds, and 14 species of native fish. Invertebrates probably represent 85% of the animal biomass in the park.

About half of the birds observed in the park nest here and many are migrants that winter in the southern United States or Central America. Resident amphibians can be found in both aquatic environments or on land and reptiles are typically found in upland habitats.

Some of the more popular mammals like elk and black bear range in many habitats throughout the summer. Mountain goats typically remain in alpine or subalpine life zones.

Several animals in the park are either federally or state protected/sensitive species. Mount Rainier works to protect habitat that limits these animals from much of their former ranges.

Learn more about wildlife safety when dealing with potentially dangerous large mammals like bear and mountain lions. Also, to help protect yourself as well as protect the health of wild animals, please do not feed them. Instead, Keep Wildlife Wild.


Help us track species in Mount Rainier National Park!

A fundamental responsibility of the National Park Service is to understand and protect the variety of life the parks support. Park managers and scientists need basic information on species occurring in parks. Park visitors, too, want to know about the plants and animals they may see when they come to the park. You can contribute to our knowledge of park wildlife by reporting your observations of any bird, mammal, amphibian, reptile, fish, bees, bugs, butterflies or other invertebrate to our online database, which includes a feature to upload photos.

All photo verified records reported to the Mount Rainier wildlife observations database will be uploaded to NPSpecies. Prior to visiting the park, visitors can download species lists for the park from NPSpecies.

You can also report observations of any living thing observed in the park, at home, or when you travel using iNaturalist, eBird, and eMammal.

Last updated: January 11, 2021

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