Mammoth Lakes Wildlife

2017-11-22 07:41:19

Looking for an amazing opportunity to see bears, coyotes, and elk? Our knowledgeable tour guide staff will take you into this fantastic landscape and provide you with the know how to traverse this vast, wild kingdom. This list includes some of the wildlife you may encounter during your time at Mammoth Lakes, California.

Bears: Of all the forest creatures you can potentially catch a glimpse of, black bears are easily the most electrifying! As I mentioned in the Lake Tahoe blog, black bears can be brown, blonde, cinnamon or black. They eat almost everything, being omnivores, but their diet is 85% vegetation. Nonfood items such as toothpaste, sunscreen, and makeup can attract bears because of their odor.

Marmots: The largest member of the squirrel family, marmots can be found along the rock cliffs and ledges above 7,000 feet. Marmots are vegetarians that hibernate during the winter, so they must gain a lot of weight in a short amount of time. They can be spotted maneuvering through the rocky hillsides or basking in the summer sun.

Mountain Lions: Averaging 7.5 feet in length, mountain lions are North America's largest cat species. Lions are solitary creatures and can survive on deer, elk, sheep, or even small animals. California's present mountain lion population is approximately 5,000 individuals.

Tule Elk: The Tule Elk is the smallest of North America's elk and is currently on the endangered species list. These elk can reach 700 pounds, have reddish summer coats with darker heads and legs, and can stand 5 feet tall. Males have antlers that grow in the spring and shed each year after mating season. Thanks to the three reserves in California's chaparral region, the elk have regained their populations, after they were almost hunted to extinction during the Gold Rush.

Wild Mustangs: The American mustang is more accurately named the "feral" or “wild” horse. The ancestors of wild mustang were domestic horses that became free-roaming herds after fleeing from early explorers, native tribes, ranches, etc. Only an estimated 42,000 mustangs still roam the West.

Bighorn Sheep: The sheep found within this area are a type of bighorn found only in the Sierra Nevada Range. These short, stocky animals live in some of the most remote and rugged regions of the Eastern Sierra. Surviving in some of the most remote location, Sierra Nevada bighorn are extremely rare to spot because they are one of the most endangered mammals of North America. Although it is unknown what the main cause of their population decrease could be, it is believed only 170 adults exist in the Sierra Nevada Range.

Please remember that these animals are wild and should remain as such. Refrain from feeding, harming, or approaching ANY wildlife you may come across. This is for your safety and theirs!

Written By: Emily Hauck

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