Skip to Content

What Animals Are There In Theodore Roosevelt National Park

What Animals Are There In Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is home to a wide range of wildlife. It supports the diversity of grasslands, woodlands, and even rivers. Have you wondered what animals live in the park?

The most commonly found species here are mammals. It is reported that the number of amphibians and reptiles is very low due to the climate and geography of the region.

Read further to find out about the animals. 

Mammals In Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Let us take a look at the mammals found at TRNP. 


The American Bison is a large, hoofed mammal native to North America and is the largest terrestrial animal in the United States. Bison are typically brown with a large head with curved horns, a humped back, and a long shaggy mane. 

They have short, curved legs and can reach up to 6-7 feet in length, and weigh up to 2,000 pounds. Bison are grazers and feed mainly on grasses, forbs, bark, and twigs. The American Bison is an iconic symbol of the United States and is deeply rooted in the culture and history of many Native American tribes. 

It is an important species for grassland conservation and management as well.

When visiting, ensure you stay at a distance because Bisons can attack when provoked; they run at a speed of 35 miles per hour and can be dangerous. 

Feral Horses

Feral horses, also known as wild horses, have become wild and live without human intervention. Feral horses are found in many parts of the world, including North America, Europe, and Asia. 

They are typically found in open grasslands and deserts but can also inhabit forests and mountains. The climate in North Dakota supports their livelihood. 


The Elk is a species of deer native to North America, among other regions. It is one of the largest species of deer, reaching up to 7.3 feet tall and weighing up to 800 pounds. 

The Elk has a reddish-brown coat and is characterized by its large antlers, which shed and regrow each year. Elk can be found in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and are most active at dawn and dusk. 

They feed on grasses, shrubs, and other vegetation and are also known to eat small mammals, birds, and insects.

Prairie Dogs

Prairie dogs are a type of rodent native to the North American Great Plains. They are small, burrowing animals that live in large colonies. 

Like other mammals, prairie dogs are important members of the grassland ecosystem, providing food and shelter to various animals, including birds and snakes, in the park. Prairie dogs are social animals and communicate with a variety of vocalizations that you may get to hear in the park. 

To get a virtual tour of the park, watch this video:

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Amphibians In Theodore Roosevelt National Park

There is bad news for people interested in finding amphibians and reptiles around the park. The geography and climate of North Dakota only support a small variety of these species. They are rarely found around the region, but the park still holds some animals. 

Tiger Salamander

These salamanders have a pattern very similar to a tiger’s. They are often found in green and black, but the colors may appear differently due to the mud they are in. These are sometimes seen slithering around the park by visitors. 


Three types of toads can be most commonly found in the vicinity of the park:

  1. Plains Spadefoot toad
  2. Great Plains toad
  3. The Rocky Mountain toad


Two types of frogs are observed and reported in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park:

  1. Boreal Chorus frog
  2. Leopard frog

Reptiles In Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Much like amphibians, the park does not support the livelihood of many reptiles. However, a considerable variety can be seen across the park. Let us look at some of the species found. 


The park is home to the soft-shelled turtle, western-painted turtle, and the common snapping turtle. 


The sagebrush and the snake-tailed lizard are the ones that have been reported so far. 


The number of snakes that inhabit the park is huge. The prairie rattlesnake is the most commonly found one among the rest. 

Birds In Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The park is home to over 185 different species of birds across the year. The habitat and provision of adequate resources in the park make for these birds to reside in the perfect environment. You will hear them chirping or feeding around the park when you visit. 

To name a few of the species:

  • Sandhill cranes
  • Golden eagles
  • Wild turkeys
  • Black-capped chickadees
  • White-breasted nuthatches
  • Great-horned owls

Are The Animals In Theodore Roosevelt National Park Dangerous?

The variety of animals in the park is appealing and attractive to many, but a point of concern is the safety of the visitors. The park is national, and the animals here can roam freely in their habitats. An ecosystem exists, and the animals do not appreciate human interference. 

Most animals are not dangerous, but if you provoke them, they may attack you or scare you away. We recommend you stay extra cautious around mammals such as bison, feral horses, and Elk. 

If you are maintaining a safe distance, you are safe, but precautions should be taken. 

Preventive Measures To Take When Visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park 

It is always advised to be safe and take necessary measures rather than being sorry and facing the consequences later. We have some general guidelines for when you visit the park. 

  • Follow all directions given by park rangers and other staff.
  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife – never attempt to touch, feed, or harass animals.
  • Respect all closures and restricted areas.
  • Dispose of all garbage properly.
  • Stay on the designated trails and boardwalks.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Do not attempt to interfere with wildlife for any reason. 
  • Always wear appropriate clothing and shoes.
  • Do not leave the trail to explore other areas.
  • Do not attempt to remove any plants, animals, or artifacts from the park. 

Final Thoughts

The variety of animals in Theodore Roosevelt National Park is any animal lover’s dream! Make sure that you schedule your visit according to the time of day. Visiting the park during the day will give you a clearer view of the animals and more time to move around the park. Make the most of this huge gem set in the middle of Minnesota!