From the southern sagebrush steppe to the steep mountains of north Idaho, Idaho is home to an array of wildlife species that rely on various habitats for their survival. All of the 12 million acres of public lands the BLM manages in Idaho support a diversity of fish, animals and plants. Wildlife viewing opportunities abound here and include a variety of animals around each turn. So, you are bound to witness some spectacular sights in Idaho's varied landscapes if you know where and when to look, what to look for, and how to look for wildlife in any given habitat.
Why watch wildlife?
- Provides fun and inexpensive activity for the family to enjoy together.
- Relaxing experience that provides a reconnection to nature.
- Observers can gain a better understanding of how wildlife acts in their natural environment, including how they forage for food, where they live and their interactions with other wildlife.
- Seeing wildlife can leave you with a positive, unforgettable, and personal experience that they will recall for years to come.
- Wildlife viewing experiences can help inspire conservation efforts to benefit wildlife.
When photographing wildlife, remember that your actions and behaviors can cause unintentional harm. For the well-being of the birds and animals, and to make the most of your photographing time, please keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Photograph from a distance with a telephoto or zoom lens. Allow animals to carry out their normal behavior without interruption. Animals are sensitive to human presence and will flee if approached too closely.
- Use the animals' behavior as a guide. Subtle signs of distress, such as heads up and ears toward you, skittish movements, or alarm calls, may indicate you are too close or moving too quickly.
- Avoid cliffs and nesting areas. Keep far enough away from nests and dens to avoid disturbing breeding wildlife which are especially sensitive. Your curiosity could prevent the birds from reproducing.
- Don't follow, chase, or treat wild animals in any way that might be interpreted as harassment. Harassing animals is punishable by both state and federal law.
- Respect the space of others who may be viewing the same wildlife. If you approach too closely, you will ruin everyone's opportunity for natural, relaxed photography and observation.