Mountain animals come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny rodents to massive bears. While many are harmless, others can be downright dangerous.
If you’re planning on spending time in the mountains, it’s important to be familiar with the most common mountain animals and how to protect yourself from them.
This guide provides an overview of the most common mountain animals to learn more about them.
List of Animals That Live in the Mountains
- African Buffalo
- African Wild Dog
- Alpine Chough
- Alpine Salamander
- American Black Bear
- Andean Mountain Cat
- Asian Black Bear
- Blue Sheep
- Brown Bear
- Clouded Leopard
- Cotton Rat
- Crane Fly
- Geoffroy’s Cat
- Giant Panda
- Guinea Pig
- Hawaiian Honeycreeper
- Himalayan Marmot
- Himalayan Tahr
- Himalayan Tahr
- Red Panda
- Snow Leopard
- Spectacled Bear
- Stick Bug
- Tibetan gazelle
- Tibetan sand fox
- Tyrant Flycatcher
12 Most Common Mountain Animals
Mountain animals have to be able to adapt to a wide range of conditions. They must be able to withstand the cold temperatures and high winds of the mountains, as well as the intense sunlight. Some mountain animals are also adapted to living in very dry conditions.
Here is a list of some of the most common mountain animals.
|Grasses, berries, insects, fish, mammals, carrrion
Bears are the most common mountain animals. They are large and powerful, and they can be very dangerous if they feel threatened. Bears live in forests and mountains all over the world, and they are often seen as a symbol of strength and power.
They are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals. Their diet consists of berries, nuts, roots, insects, fish, and small mammals.
Bears are very good at climbing trees. The smaller species can often be seen lounging around in high places, out of reach from other predators. They typically mate in the summer, and the female bear gives birth to two or three cubs in the winter.
2. Mountain Goats
|Lichens, grasses, ferns, herbs
Mountain goats are another one of the most common mountain animals on the list. They are known for their sure-footedness, as they can climb steep, rocky slopes with ease. Mountain goats are also good swimmers.
They are herbivores and feed mostly on grasses and sedges. In winter, when grasses are covered with snow, mountain goats eat lichens.
They live in herds and the size of a herd can range from a few animals to several hundred. While they are generally calm animals, they can be aggressive if they feel threatened. Mountain goats have been known to attack humans in these situations.
|Leaves, stems, short grasses, foliage, shoots
Gazelles are known for their grace and beauty, but also for being fast and agile. They are found in Africa, Asia, and Europe.
There are many different types of gazelles, but the most common ones are Thomson’s gazelle, the grants gazelle, and the red-fronted gazelle:
- Thomson’s gazelles are the most common type of gazelle. They are found in Africa and Asia. They are known for their distinctive black and white stripes.
- Grant’s gazelles are another common type of gazelle. They are found in Africa and are known for their reddish-brown coat.
- Red-fronted gazelles are the third most common type of gazelle. They are found in Africa and Europe. Red-fronted gazelles are known for the red fur on their faces.
Gazelles are herbivores, which means that they eat plants. They feed on grass, leaves, and flowers. They are often preyed upon by many different animals, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas.
|Deer, coyotes, raccoons, porcupines, and other small animals
Cougars are also commonly found in mountains. They are also one of the most dangerous mountain animals. This large cat can weigh up to 200 pounds and has a long tail and sharp claws.
They are incredibly fast, clocking in at more than 40 miles per hour. They are good climbers and can jump up to 20 feet in the air.
Cougars are mostly nocturnal, meaning they are active at night. They hunt alone and usually ambush their prey from behind. When hunting, they typically target deer, but will also eat smaller animals like rabbits and squirrels.
While cougars are not typically aggressive towards humans, they have been known to attack people. In North America, there have been around 126 attacks on humans by cougars in the past 100 years. Most of these attacks have been by young male cougars that were either starving or trying to establish their own territory.
|Rabbits, hares, rodents, lizards, snakes, domestic animals
Bobcats are small to medium-sized cats with short fur and black spots on their coats. They are the most common type of mountain lion in North America. Bobcats are fierce predators that hunt a variety of animals, including rabbits, deer, birds, and rodents. They are also known to eat carrion (dead animals).
They typically live in forests, but can also be found in deserts and mountains. They are solitary animals, except during the mating season or when females are raising their young.
The bobcat is one of the few species of cat in North America that can withstand cold weather. Bobcats in northern regions of their range typically have thicker fur than those in southern regions.
|Large hoofed mammals such as deer and moose and smaller mammals such as rodents and hares
Wolves are among the most common mountain animals. They are very adaptable and can live in a variety of habitats, including forests, tundra, and grasslands.
Wolves are carnivores and primarily eat large ungulates, such as deer, elk, and moose. They also eat smaller mammals, such as rabbits and rodents, as well as fruits and vegetables. In areas where their prey is scarce, wolves will often scavenge carcasses left behind by other predators.
|Fruits, insects, lizards, rabbits, birds, snakes
Coyotes are one of the most common animals found in North America. They are members of the dog family and are closely related to wolves, which shines through in their intelligent and adaptable nature. This has helped them survive in a wide range of habitats.
They are smaller than wolves, weighing between 20 and 50 pounds. Some individual coyotes can weigh up to 80 pounds. They are generally gray or brown in color, with a light-colored belly. Coyotes have long snouts and bushy tails.
This dog-like carnivore is found throughout North America, from Alaska and Canada all the way down to Mexico. They have also been introduced to parts of Europe and Asia. In North America, coyotes live in a wide range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and deserts.
Coyotes are carnivores and their diet consists primarily of small mammals, such as rabbits and mice. They will also eat birds, reptiles, amphibians, fruits, and vegetables.
|Grasses, shrubs, twigs, tree bark
Elk are a common type of mountain animal. There are two species of elk:
- The North American elk (Cervus canadensis)
- The European red deer (Cervus elaphus).
They are herbivores, eating mostly grasses and leaves, and live in herds of 10-100 animals led by a dominant male. Elk are hunted for their meat and antlers, which are used in traditional medicine.
Elk are the largest members of the deer family. Male elk, or bulls, can weigh up to 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms), while females, or cows, weigh up to 600 pounds (270 kg). They are about 6 feet (1.8 meters) long from nose to tail and stand about 3.5 feet (1 meter) at the shoulder.
They are found in North America and Europe. In North America, they range from Alaska and Canada south to New Mexico and California. In Europe, they are found in Scandinavia, Russia, and the Balkans.
|Stems, fruits, bamboo shoots, ants, termites
Gorillas are the largest living primates in the world. They are distinguished by their large, round heads, short muzzles, small ears, and large, bare hands and feet. Their hair is typically black, but some subspecies have red or brownish hair. Gorillas live in tropical or subtropical forests of central Africa.
There are two species of gorillas, the eastern gorilla, and the western gorilla. The eastern gorilla is further divided into two subspecies, the mountain gorilla and the lowland gorilla. The western gorilla is also divided into two subspecies, the Cross River gorilla and the western lowland gorilla.
Gorillas are mostly herbivorous, eating leaves, stems, roots, fruits, and flowers. They occasionally eat insects, but this is not a major part of their diet. Gorillas are shy and peaceful animals that live in family groups led by a silverback male.
|Grass and other various kinds of plants
Llamas are furry creatures, native to the Andes mountains and are used as pack animals by many people who live in these mountainous regions.
They are very strong and can carry heavy loads for long distances. They are also known for their quiet dispositions and their ability to spit when they are agitated.
Their diet consists mainly of grasses and other vegetation. Llamas typically live for around 15 years and can grow to be over 6 feet tall at the shoulder. These animals are social creatures and live in herds of anywhere from a few dozen to several hundred individuals.
While llamas are not typically considered to be dangerous animals, they can spit and bite if they feel threatened.
|Mammals, birds, coastal birds, carrion
Eagles are among the most common mountain animals. They are known for their keen eyesight and hunting prowess and can be found in many different types of habitats. They typically nest in trees or on cliffs, and often hunt prey from a perch.
There are many different species of eagle, including the golden eagle, bald eagle, white-tailed eagle, and harpy eagle. Eagles are generally larger than other birds of prey, with some species having a wingspan of over 2.5 meters (8 feet).
Eagles are apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain and have no natural predators. However, they can sometimes be killed by large mammals such as bears or wolves.
Eagles are important symbols in many cultures and have been depicted in art and literature for centuries. In the United States, the bald eagle is the national bird and is considered an iconic species.
|Squirrels, rabbits, gophers, birds, rats
Falcons are known for their hunting prowess, and their ability to fly at high altitudes. Falcons typically eat small mammals, such as rabbits and rodents.
They live in a wide variety of habitats, including mountains. In fact, many species of falcons can be found in mountainous regions around the world. Over time, they have adapted to live in these regions, with specialized feathers and talons that help them navigate the rocky terrain.
While falcons may be the most common bird of prey in mountains, they are not the only ones. Other birds of prey, such as eagles and hawks, can also be found in these habitats.
They are also among some of the fastest animals in the world. The peregrine falcon can dive at up to 240 mph.
How Do Animals Survive in the Mountains?
Animals have a variety of adaptations that allow them to survive in the mountains. Some of these adaptations include thick fur coats to protect against the cold, large paws for walking on snow, and the ability to store food for long periods of time. Additionally, many animals hibernate during the winter months in order to conserve energy and survive on less food.
What Is the Highest Altitude an Animal Can Live At?
There is no definitive answer to this question as different animals have different tolerances for altitude. Some animals, such as the chinchilla, can live at altitudes of up to 16,000 feet (4,876 meters), while others, such as the elephant, can only live at altitudes of up to 8,000 feet (2,438 meters).