Wildlife

Photo of black tail doe

Bellevue's parks and open spaces make for great wildlife habitat, but most species are managed by the state Department of Fish & Wildlife. WDFW's "Living with Wildlife" series provides useful information on how to coexist with many species, from European starlings to black bears. Fish & Wildlife also provides information on how to report wildlife-related crimes and about hunting and fishing regulations.

The US Fish & Wildlife Service has information on migratory birds (including waterfowl), federally threatened or endangered species, and eagles.

Bellevue park rangers host educational programs on wildlife year-round.

You may see temporary educational signage up at your favorite Bellevue park or trailhead, including signs about being bear aware. Most bear conflicts can be resolved by eliminating access to available food sources, including garbage cans, bird feeders, compost, barbecues, pet food and garden refuse. Please follow these guidelines to keep our black bears as wild as possible. Occasionally cougars, the largest member of the cat family in our area, are reported in Bellevue. There are some simple steps you should take in cougar country, but keep in mind that cougar attacks on humans are extremely rare.

Bobcats roam Bellevue’s parks and open spaces. Note the black spots and banding on the legs and the short, bobbed tail – both of which help us identify this as a bobcat and not a cougar.

 

Bellevue is rich in wildlife. Seen here, a Columbian black-tailed deer walks a game trail at Tax Lot Open Space.
A coyote seen here at Coal Creek Natural Area. Coyotes are common throughout Bellevue – just seeing one nearby certainly isn’t cause for alarm.

 

Much of Bellevue is bear country. Bears love easy to get food including trash, birdseed, hummingbird feeders, pet food, compost, orchard fruit, and grills. To help prevent conflicts, please turn your yard into food-free zone. While recreating in the parks, remember to view bears from at least 100 yards away… no sneaking up for “selfies”!