Mancos State Park provides visitors with excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. From the tufted-eared Abert’s Squirrel to the graceful Mule Deer, mammals of all sizes can be found in the park. Ask a Ranger, or stop by the front gate to pick up a Mancos State Park Mammal List, or take a gander at our Watchable Wildlife Kiosk located near the front gate. Hikers may also want to watch their step, because Mancos is home to a number of reptiles such as Garter Snakes and Horned Toads.
Migratory and resident birds are known for this area, including the black-billed magpie, raven, mountain bluebird and gray jay, raptors, and waterfowl and shorebirds attracted to the reservoir. Mule deer are a common sight, as are cottontail rabbits, the Abert's squirrel, porcupines, raccoons, the least chipmunk, coyotes and ground squirrels. Anglers are attracted by the cold- and warm-water fishing opportunities, which include rainbow trout, yellow perch, and catfish.
Wildlife Viewing Guidelines
Wildlife viewing can be a fun and exciting element of your visit to any natural area. However, to help protect our wildlife, as well as yourself, please follow the following guidelines when watching the park’s critters:
NEVER, ever approach wildlife. No matter how docile or friendly an animal appears, they are nonetheless wild, and therefore, unpredictable. Even a curious chipmunk can bite or scratch you if it feels threatened.
NEVER feed a wild animal. There are a number of reasons why feeding wildlife is a bad idea. Just to name a few . . .animals can become dependent on humans for a food source and become "junk-food junkies". Bears and other critters can pose a safety threat to people and property. Many animals carry disease.
Always view wildlife from a distance. We recommend keeping at least 100 feet between you and the animal you are viewing. In the case of black bears, we recommend at least 100 YARDS to provide a reasonable safe distance.
While in the park, always keep you dog or other pet on a leash no longer than 6 feet. This helps to prevent your dog from harassing wildlife, as well as keeping it safe from potential harm. Remember that this one isn’t just a recommendation, it’s also a law.