Bellevue's parks and open spaces make for great wildlife habitat, but please be aware that the City does not have the authority to manage wildlife. The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife's (WDFW) "Living with Wildlife" series provides useful information on how to coexist with many species, from European starlings to black bears. WDFW 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.
Park guests shouldn't fear wildlife, but learning how to best coexist helps both them and us! You may see temporary educational signage up at your favorite Bellevue park or trailhead, including signs about being bear aware, steps you should take in cougar country or information about beavers in our parks. Also, Bellevue park rangers host educational programs on wildlife year-round.
A coyote seen here at Coal Creek Natural Area. Coyotes are common throughout Bellevue – just seeing one nearby certainly isn’t cause for alarm.
Bellevue is rich in wildlife. Seen here, a Columbian black-tailed deer walks a game trail at Tax Lot Open Space.
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.
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”!