Chiricahua National Monument Wildlife Overview


The prime time for viewing animals in Chiricahua National Monument is when the sun begins to set. Out of 70 animals commonly seen in the monument, 50 of them are active only at night or dusk. To see the bats, rodents, foxes, and bears that live here, you should walk quietly and sit often, becoming a part of your surroundings. If you're lucky, you might also spot a big cat, like a Bobcat or Mountain Lion.

The desert shrew is one of the more difficult animals to spot. It is very small, appearing something like a mouse with a long, pointed nose.

Numerous species of bat are common throughout the monument. They may be found flying at dusk and at night and are very common at the springs. Bats can easily be distinguished from birds by their quick erratic flight, but it is difficult to identify the different species. During the day, you may spot them hanging from twigs, in hollow trees, or in cracks in rocks or caves.

Hares and rabbits may be seen during the day when flushed out from under a bush. The Blacktail Jackrabbit, the Desert Cottontail, and the Eastern Cottontail can be found here.

The cliff chipmunk and rock squirrel are very common in the campground. The Chiricahua Fox Squirrel is often found in canyon bottoms in a pine or cypress tree. Two ground squirrels, the Spotted Ground Squirrel and Harris' Antelope Squirrel, can be found in low country west of the monument.

Pocket Mice and Kangaroo Rats may be found at low elevations in mesquite and grassy areas in the northwest and southwest corners of the monument and west of it. Kangaroo rats are quite distinctive. Look for their burrows and tracks under the mesquite.

Published: 2 Oct 2009 | Last Updated: 9 Jun 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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