Wildlife Viewing in the Silver State

With rugged mountain ranges, lush wetland valleys and the hottest desert in the continent, Nevada animals are as diverse as the landscapes themselves. In northern Nevada, you’ll find the Great Basin’s sweeping valleys and massive ranges—as well as towering, aspen-studded peaks poking into the alpine zone—while southern Nevada’s Mojave Desert lands boast some of the lowest, hottest, and driest conditions in North America, with plenty in between. These varied regions feature thousands of creatures—some found nowhere else on earth—while others pass through annually. And it doesn’t take much to find them.

Even a short hop north of Las Vegas—whether you’re looking for a quick beyond-the-Strip day trip or a true off-the-grid, back-to-nature experience, wildlife-filled outdoor recreational opportunities abound on the largest wildlife management area in the Lower 48. Even closer to your resort, you’ll find a birders paradise at the Henderson Birdviewing Preserve. Cruising around southern Nevada, be on the lookout for desert tortoise, reptiles, jackrabbits, rare pupfish species, and bighorn sheep roaming freely in their natural habitats.


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Whether it’s the newest item on your bucket list or the best wrong turn you ever took, whichever corner of this state you venture to, you’re bound to uncover the kind of unexpected encounters, memorable characters, and only-in-Nevada experiences that make this place so damn special.

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A Birder, Wildlife Photographer and Animal Lover’s Paradise

Further north, keep an eye out for the wild mustangs and burros that roam Nevada’s basin and range topography; more than half the country’s wild horse population lives in Nevada alone, and the wild donkeys give plenty of friendly nods to the Silver State’s history and heritage. Creatures like rocky mountain elk, mule deer, minks, foxes, and more are drawn to Great Basin National Park—the darkest and quietest place in the Continental U.S.—where they can thrive in a true nocturnal environment.

Meanwhile, habitat management in northwestern Nevada has restored ideal habitats for the finicky Sage Grouse to prosper and saved the pronghorn antelope from extinction altogether.

No matter where Nevada’s creature scene carries you, there’s likely to be a national wildlife area providing globally important refuge to millions of Nevada animals and creatures at the end of the road, or along the way. Let’s get a little wild, shall we?


The only thing cuter than a burro? A baby burro—and we know you’re gonna wanna pic. Whether you give resident Ely “wildcat” Dirt the Cat a good head scratch or cross paths with Mojave Max—Nevada’s official “spokestortoise”—we want to follow along. Tag #NVWildlife and #TravelNevada to be featured here.

Making sure that fish swim away on their own volition is crucial for the health of our beloved trout. Trout who linger in your hands may not be ready to face the current and can die if pushed into the water. Always point fish up stream and wait for them to swim away. 
#truckeeriver #flyfishing #flyfishingjunkie #fishing #onthefly #esn #euronymphing #trout #rainbowtrout #browntrout #nymphing #troutfishing #palmmeat #renoflyshop  #catchandrelease #fishinglife  #nature #flyfish #trophytrout #flyfishing #troutflies #flyfishingaddict #onthefly #renotahoe #palmmeat #nevada #nevadaflyfishing #guidedflyfishing  #nevadaoutdoors #gripngrin #tightlinenymphing #barbless
Surprise! Burro. ❤ 
#desertscrumbies #burro #homemeansnevada #dfmi #travelnevada #explorenevada #outdoornevada #nevada #nvstateparks #nvadventure #springmountainranch
#burros #donkey #optoutside #outdoors #publiclands #springmountains #fallinthedesert #autumninthedesert
Its easy to get distracted by the mega fauna. The larger mammals and birds that inhabit the desert/low alpine. But, there's a plentiful amount of reptiles that are ripe for photography as well. Its kind of like the whole
Mountain Bluebird, taken last winter at Red Rock Canyon.  #bird #birds #redrockcanyon #bluebird #birdsofinstagram #nevada #ndowok #naturalnevada #onlyinnv #travelnevada #birdfreaks #raw_birds #best_birds_of_ig #color #wildlifephotography #wildlife #canonphotography #canon #canonusa #nature #naturephotography #naturegeek #naturelover #waycoolshots #audobonsociety #photography #bird_brilliance
My wife loves birding, and we I have never been out to Stillwater wildlife refuge, so we took the whole family that lives in the area and headed out there yesterday. It made for a long day, I'm not going to lie! But boy it was pretty epic. At first I didn't think we were seeing enough wildlife to justify the trip, but then we hit the jackpot. It got a little bit scary because the wind kicked up huge clouds of alkali dust off the dry lake beds and sent them blasting towards us at high speed, but we got into the car in time so it was okay.
From back in December, was so fun watching that Say's Phoebe fly from bighorn to bighorn, looking for the best perch to hunt bugs from 😅
#saysphoebe #bighornsheep 
#raw_birds #igsouthwest
#raw_community  #wildlife 
#nature #wildlifephotography #portrait #naturephotography
#planetbirds #explorenevada #your_best_birds 
#women_wildlife_photography #animals  #raw_hidden_talent
#raw_allanimals #raw_allnature #raw_community_member #onlyinnv 
#wildlife_perfection  #wildlifefeaturez #naturelover_gr 
#nuts_about_wildlife #wildlifeiG #moon_bestanimals
There are many great views to see at Great Basin National Park. As you hike find a nice overlook away from it all, please don't climb the trees.

Although rock squirrels form burrows in the ground, they are adept tree climbers and can often be seen peering out from treetops.

Share with us some of the views you have seen at Great Basin during your last visit!!

Image: A rock squirrel taking in the view atop a tree. GBI/Joseph Danielson
Finding my first desert tortoise a couple weekends ago made me so happy. A lot of hard work went into this photo! Mojave desert tortoises are the only native testudine of the Mojave desert (testudine is the order of shelled reptiles consisting of turtles tortoises and terrapins). The desert is not an easy place for tortoises to live. They spend around 95% of their lives underground and can sometimes go 6 months without eating before needing to resurface to forage for food, making them difficult to find. They live in self-dug burrows to survive ground temperatures exceeding 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Another way they survive extreme heat is to dig impressions in the ground and then return to the puddle after a rain to drink. However it should be noted that they absorb the majority of the water in their diet from the grasses and cacti that they eat. I just found my second desert tortoise over the weekend, a much younger one, and it also had made a mess of itself - sporting green and red lips from munching grasses, cacti and flowers. These creatures are incredible. They’re intelligent, live up to 80 years old, and are truly a species we want to protect. Not only do they face pressure from droughts and predators (their shells don’t harden until a very long time after birth, sometimes more than a year, so birds wreck them), but they also suffer greatly from habitat loss. Desert tortoises are considered threatened under the United States federal endangered species act so if you see one in AZ, Cali, Utah, or AZ, don’t disturb them and PLEASE look out for them when driving on dirt roads. They can overheat in the sun if you block their path, so I chose not to spend too much time with this individual and made sure it waddled off the road to safety before I left. These animals are just so cool and interesting. They bring joy to my heart whenever I see them. Majestic, wise, adorable, focused, docile, and goofy af. Just livin their life in the desert - stumbling around and munching on vegetation. I absolutely love them.
How excited was I to see this (pregnant?) burro along the side of the road? So excited that I forgot to put Jeepy in park before getting outta the car. 🤦🏻‍♀️😂
Many thanks again to pseudopseudo for luckily possessing the strength to stop a rolling vehicle. 💕
#HowToNevada #Beatty #FreeRangeArtHighway
Wild horses doing wild horse stuff @TravelNevada #wildlifephotography #ThePhotoHour #on1pics @ON1photo https://t.co/cnJsRjNUCO