The Priest Rapids Project is home to a variety of native amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The riparian habitats (green, vegetated areas on each side of streams and rivers) provide a valuable and otherwise scarce resource. These habitats are used by more than 60 different animal species documented in the Project area.
Big game species include mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk and California bighorn sheep, which are commonly seen on the west side of the Wanapum reservoir. A large number of bird species using the Columbia River and nearby lakes and ponds in the region as stopover habitat. In addition to common waterfowl such as mergansers and geese, a large number of water birds can also be observed, including loons, cormorants and great blue heron. Upland game fowl in this area include chukar and California quail. Birds of prey common to the Project vicinity are red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, bald eagles and great-horned owls.