The cottontail rabbit is one of the most commonly seen mammals in Fremont Indian State Park. These small rabbits, which measure up to 12 inches long and weigh 2-4 pounds, are found throughout the park during the spring and summer months. Cottontail rabbits feed on grasses, clover, and other vegetation. They also eat fruits and nuts. They are most active during twilight hours, where they can be seen hopping around in search of food. These rabbits have a white underside and long ears. They are generally solitary but may be found in groups with other cottontail rabbits.
Fremont Indian State Park is home to a variety of raptor species, including hawks, falcons, eagles, ospreys, and kestrels. These birds of prey can be seen soaring overhead or perched in trees or atop telephone poles. Hawks prefer open areas with plenty of space to hunt for small rodents, while falcons prefer woodlands with plenty of tall trees to hide in and dive for their prey. Eagles can be seen in both open and wooded areas, hunting for fish or small mammals. Ospreys specialize in catching fish and can be seen swooping down to the surface of lakes and ponds to snatch their prey from the water. Kestrels are one of the smallest raptors found in the park, often seen hovering over open fields as they search for insects.
The mountain lion is one of the park’s top predators. This large, solitary cat can reach up to eight feet long and weigh as much as 200 pounds. Mountain lions are rarely seen in Fremont Indian State Park, but when they do appear it is usually at night or early morning hours. They feed on deer, birds, rabbits, and other small mammals. These cats can be identified by their tawny-brown fur, long tail, and large paws. They are powerful climbers that can scale steep cliffs with ease and have been known to take down prey up to three times their size. Mountain lions are shy creatures that would much rather avoid humans than confront them.
The ringtail is one of the park’s most interesting and unique animals. This nocturnal mammal, which looks like a fox or cat, has a long, striped tail and gray fur. Ringtails live in rocky areas such as cliffs or boulder piles where they can find shelter from predators. They feed on insects, small rodents, birds, lizards, and other small animals. During the day, they can often be found curled up in a den or napping in a tree. They are shy animals and tend to flee if disturbed. Ringtails are excellent climbers and usually climb trees to escape danger. Their long tails help them balance when running along branches or rocks.