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Mammals utilize a variety of habitat structures including cavities in snags and live trees, large downed logs, grass and shrub ground cover, rock outcrops, and burrows in deeper soils. Species can be grouped by these layers into guilds. Cavity users include the northern flying squirrel, several species of bats, and raccoons. Species that require large downed logs include the yellow-pine chipmunk and wandering shrew. Our burrowers are one of the largest and most diverse group with coyotes, river otters, badgers, Columbian ground squirrels, voles, and pocket gophers as some of its members.   

  • Wildlife Viewing Tips

    Kepple Overlook

    The patient observer will be rewarded with many wildlife viewing opportunities. Early morning and evening are the best times to observe wildlife. Spring migration occurs from mid-March through mid-May and fall migration from September through November. Most waterfowl can be found on wetlands along the auto tour route. A variety of other wildlife may be observed along the trails in the riparian, ponderosa pine forest, or grassland habitats. 

    Binoculars, camera, field guides, water, and a lunch will contribute to a pleasant visit. Quietly listen for calls and songs and wait for wildlife to resume their activities. Use your car as a blind for wildlife viewing and photography. Observation blinds may be available to allow a close-up view of wildlife with minimal disturbance.

  • Rocky Mountain Elk

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    The bugling of bull elk is frequently heard in the morning hours of early fall as they build up their harems for the breeding season. Although once absent from much of eastern Washington, the Refuge is now home year round to a herd of over 400 elk.

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  • Bats

    Hoary Bat

    The Channeled Scablands provides a great haven for bats. Eleven species of bats have been documented on the refuge ranging from the impressive hoary bat to the California myotis, one of the smallest bats in the United States.

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  • Moose

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    At a quick glance, this unique mammal with its long legs and large head can sometimes be mistaken for a horse. The moose is frequently observed feeding on deciduous trees and can often be seen along the refuge's entrance road and Auto Tour Route in the early morning and evening hours.

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