A black footed ferret kit yawns. Kimberly Tamkun / USFWS

The Department of the Interior covers the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Mangement and the United States Geological Survey, all of which have employees that spend a significant amount of time enjoying public lands. Many of them have captured gorgeous photos of wildlife over the years. Here are some of their best shots of wildlife in honor of World Wildlife Day.


Dinner is served

A great blue heron spears a carp for a meal.

All wet

This Great Horned Owl is enduring cold drizzly weather to cover up two young owlets in her nest.

Beep Beep

A roadrunner near Lake Mohave was captured by a Bureau of Reclamation camera trap.


A juvenile owl looks impressive, especially when surprised by a nosy photographer.


A Mexican spotted owlet looks on as its photo is taken.


A baby desert tortoise peeks out of its shell.


Two egrets interact in the wild.


Two Northern Spotted owlets sit on a branch.


A black footed ferret kit yawns.


Why did these two porcupines cross the road? We may never know.


This picture was taken when the elk calf was just 25 minutes old at Mammoth Hot Springs.

Bald Eagle Family

A bald eagle family at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania.


An orca leaps out of the water in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Bald Eagle

At six weeks old, this eagle isn’t anywhere near old enough to go bald.

Sea Turtles

Loggerhead sea turtles on the North Carolina coast.


A baby Sonoran Desert tortoise set against a backdrop of prickly pear cacti.

Dancing in the (near) dark

Sandhill cranes dancing at sunset.


A golden eagle chick is photographed in its nest.

Fenced in

Two young mountain lions ended up treed (or fenced) by a group of coyotes. The standoff ended peacefully, with the mountain lions spotted with their mother soon afterwards.


A seal pup nuzzles its mother in Antarctica.


A seal pup in Antarctica, photographed by a USGS scientist doing research there.

Which way?

A black bear checks out the information station at a trailhead.

Moose Volleyball

Two moose wander onto a National Park recreation area. No word on the final score.

Grizzly cubs

Right now they look soft and cuddly, but grizzlies can grow to be absolutely huge.

The Hills Are Alive

A Caribou runs across a mountain in Denali National Park

Red Fox

A red fox near Highway Pass in Denali National Park.

Seal Pup

The first seal pup of the 2015 season, spotted at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

Bobcat Kitten

A bobcat kitten dubbed B327 in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Bison with Calf

A bison and her calf at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge.


There are two different kinds of turtle in this picture taken at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge. The larger one is a spiny softshell turtle. The smaller ones are false map turtles.


A mother—Jo-Jo—and her foal, part of a herd of wild horses in Assateague National Park.

Bog Turtle

A young bog turtle that was measured and microcipped in an effort to identify it in the future as part of ongoing research in the area.

Narrow Escape

A crane leaps away from an alligator.


A female mountain lion cub in Southern California.

Striped skunk

The photographer braved days of smell to capture this picture.

Burrowing Owls

Owls like these make their homes in abandoned prairie dog dens.

Elk Pair

A pair of elk in Great Sand Dunes National Park.

River Crossing

A bull elk in Gardner River in Yellowsotne National Park.

Goat Family

A family of goats in Olympic National Park.

White Weasel

A white weasel spotted in the Bear River Refuge.

Screech Owls

These three screech owls are being carefully rehabilitated after trauma to their eyes.

Ground Squirrel

A ground squirrel spotted in Glacier National Park.

Cold drink of water

A raccoon in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge.


Every day is groundhog day for this flower-chomping critter in Shenandoah National Park.

Horned Lizard

A horned lizard small enough to fit in a hand was found during a survey near Burns, Oregon.

Cranes at sunset

Sandhill cranes gather at the water’s edge at San Luis Lake in Great Sand Dunes National Park.

You looking at me?

A bison herd at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife refuge grew from 16 to over 80 in just a few years.

Prairie Dogs

A prairie dog jump-yips in front of its companions.


Sparky the bison, who was struck by lightning is alive and well.

Grizzly and cub

A grizzly bear and her cub were photographed in Yellowstone National Park.


A grizzly bear plays in Denali National Park.

Foggy Moose

A moose and calf in the early morning fog.

Ewe talking to me?

A ewe and lambs in Denali National Park.


Meet Guamá, an orphaned manatee found near Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Hold it

A northern hawk owl shows off its talons in the black cottonwood forest.

Bison Jam

A traffic jam caused by Bison in Yellowstone National Park.


An owl in Oregon near Newell Creek.

Fox Pups

Fox pups emerge from their den in Yellowstone National Park.

Nap time

An otter rests in some kelp.

White tailed deer

A deer poses pristinely in Glacier National Park.

On the prowl

A fox spotted in Bering Land Bridge National Park.

Hiding Chick

An american avocet chick takes a break and hides from predators on a beach.

Moose, moose, moose, Bear!

Wildlife in Denali National Park.