Back to top
Wildlife Watching

American Prairie offers a rich environment for viewing wildlife in their native habitats.

Watch distinctive prairie dog behavior in the many colonies or “towns” throughout the prairie. Keep an eye out for deer, elk and pronghorn as you travel across the landscape with hawks and eagles overhead. Some regions, like Blue Ridge, are also home to animals like bighorn sheep and bobcats.

The animals you see during your visit depend on many factors, including your location, the time of year, and the time of day. Animals are most active in the mornings and late afternoons when the temperature is cool. Many of the region’s wildlife populations are also in recovery and have experienced drastically reduced numbers since the turn of the century, a situation that American Prairie is working to improve with the assistance of agencies, like-minded collaborators, scientists, and our ranching neighbors. Now is a great time to see conservation in action!


Download the American Prairie Species List


More than 150 bird species have been observed on American Prairie lands. Learn more about the grassland birds you can see on a trip to the prairie and download and print our birding checklist before your visit.


Bison can move long distances each day, so visitors might be surprised to see the animals appear in places where there had been none hours before. Learn more about viewing American Prairie's bison herd


Do not approach any animal. American Prairie’s bison herd moves freely throughout the Sun Prairie unit and portions of the Dry Fork and White Rock units, including Buffalo Camp on occasion. Please maintain a safe distance of 300 feet as bison can run up to 40 miles per hour. When stressed or threatened, bison display behaviors such as raising their tails, head shaking, and foot stomping. In addition to using caution around bison, be aware of your surrounding and pay attention to the ground to avoid contact with rattlesnakes, the only venomous snake in the region.