8 Animals that Live in Mountains

While desert animals need features to sustain extreme drought, mountain animals need features to adapt to living at high altitudes.

A high elevation means less air so a higher lung capacity is one of the features that these animals have developed. being able to climb steep slopes of majestic mountains in immense mountain ranges is another.

In this article, you’ll discover some of the animals that live in mountains.

1. Andean condor

The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is the only member of the genus Vultur and a remarkable member of the New World vulture family Cathartidae. As their name suggests, they can be found in the Andes mountain range in South America.

It’s the largest bird n the world with a combined wingspan and weight. They have a maximum wingspan of 3.3 meters (10 feet 10 inches) and weigh up to 15 kilos (33 lb). It’s a true scavenger and nests at an altitude of up to 5,000 meters (16,000 feet).

Animals that live in mountains Andean Condor
The mighty Andean condor / Wiki Commons

2. Mountain lion

The mountain lion (Puma concolor) or cougar is another animal that doesn’t seem to have any problems with high elevation levels. It’s one of the biggest cats in the world and an extremely solitary animal that thrives in the most desolate places imaginable.

This ambush predator has quite an extensive range as well. They live in the wild all across the Americas, from the Canadian Yukon in the north to the utmost southern part of the Andes mountains in the south.

Mountain Lion
A mountain lion in nature / Wiki Commons

3. Himalayan Tahr

The Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus) is one of the many animals that live in mountains that occur in a particular mountain range. You can find these animals in the Himalayas, the highest range in the world. More specifically, these animals are native to southern Tibet, northern India, western Bhutan, and Nepal.

These are even-toed ungulates, a type of hoofed animal, that has been perfectly adapted to climb on rocky surfaces. Despite being natives of the Himalayas mountain range, they have been successfully introduced to mountains in other parts of the world, including Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States.

Himalayan Tahr
Himalayan Tahr / Donald Macauley / Wiki Commons

4. Mountain goat

The mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) can easily be described as one of the best climbers in the world. Their natural habitat is cliffs and rocks and their strong legs make this hoofed animal one of the sure-footed creatures on the planet.

The native range of this animal includes the Rocky Mountains and the Cascade Range in North America. They are also native to just about every other mountain range in the western part of the continent, all the way from the Canadian Yukon to the southern part of the Western Cordillera.

Mountain goat
The mountain goat in its natural habitat / Wiki Commons

5. Lammergeier

The Lammergeier is the common name of an animal also referred to as the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus). This is another massive bird of prey that is considered to be an Old World vulture. Its closest extant relative is the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus).

Bearded vultures are sparsely distributed in their native habitat, but this includes a wide variety of mountain ranges. They are native to the Pyrenees and Alps in Europe, the Caucasus region, the Arabian Peninsula, and even the Himalayas. It’s one of the few vultures that doesn’t feature the distinctive bald head.

A Lammergeier flying around / Imran Shah / Wiki Commons

6. Brown bear

The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is one of the best-known bear species in the world and can be found in both Eurasia and North America. They are often referred to as grizzly bears and they are the second-largest bears in the world as only the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is larger.

They can be found in the mountainous regions of their native range and although these animals were pretty common before, they have become sparsely distributed today due to habitat loss. Despite this unfortunate notion, they are still listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List with a population of approximately 200,000 individual bears roaming around in the wild.

Brown bear
Brown bear / Wiki Commons

7. Yak

The domestic yak (Bos grunniens) is a domesticated type of cattle animal that is a descendent from the wild yak (Bos mutus). These animals have a vast range in Asia as they can be found in the mountains regions of Siberia, Mongolia, all the way through to the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayas.

These animals have a couple of other names as well, including the Tartary ox, grunting ox, or hairy cattle. The latter is a reference to the extremely dense and long coat of hair that protects them from the cold weather conditions in the high areas they live.

Yak in the mountains
A yak in the mountains / Alexandr Frolov / Wiki Commons

8. Alpine Chough

The Alpine Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus) is also known as the yellow-billed chough and is one of just two species that make up the genus Pyrrhocorax. It has two subspecies that cover a vast range that starts from the Pyrenees mountains in Spain to mountainous areas in Central Asia and Nepal.

The bird can easily be recognized by its black plumage, yellow beak, and red feet. These are monogamous birds that build a single nest and protect it for life. These nesting places can be found at extremely high altitudes in caves or mountains of cliffs.

Alpine Clough mountain animals
Alpine Clough / Wiki Commons