Mammals

When you visit Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR), you may see a lot of watchable wildlife other than birds. Mammals of all sizes, 45 species in all, live in or sometimes come to the refuge. In the spring moose, black bear, white-tail deer, and mule deer use the habitat around the refuge for food and for rearing their young. From mid-June through mid-July, moose feed on the abundant aquatic plants in the wetlands. Black bears may also visit KNWR during the summer, along with rarely seen predators such as mountain lions and bobcats. Otters and muskrats swim in the creeks and ponds, while beavers cut down trees along Myrtle and Deep creeks. The beavers try to plug up Refuge water control structures and build dams in our water delivery ditch, which refuge staff must remove to maintain the wetlands. By December elk and deer move down from the snow-covered Selkirk Mountains and feed on refuge crops to survive during the winter. Snowshoe hares use the snow for camouflage.  Badgers, martens, mink, porcupines, six species of squirrels and chipmunks, seven species of bats, and various other seldom seen small mammals also live or feed in the refuge.

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