Colorado River > Grand Canyon - National Park Desert Gazette
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Wildlife in the Grand Canyon

Desert Scrub Habitat

Amphibians
Amphibians are generally absent from dry desert upland areas that are more than one mile from water.

Birds
Approximately 30 bird species breed primarily in the desert uplands and cliffs of the inner canyon. There are no endemic birds here. Virtually all bird species present breed in other suitable habitats throughout the Sonoran and Mohave deserts. Park biologists estimate that at least 100 pairs of peregrine falcons nest along the cliffs of the inner canyon. The abundance of bats, swifts, and riparian birds provides ample food for peregrines, and suitable eyrie sites are plentiful along the steep canyons walls. Also, several endangered California Condor individuals, re-introduced to the Colorado Plateau on the Arizona Strip, have made the eastern part of the Park their home.

Insects, Spiders, Centipedes, Millipedes
Numerous insects and arachnids live in Grand Canyon National Park's desert scrub and coniferous forest habitats. Some of the common insects found at elevations above 2,000 feet are orange paper wasps, honey bees, black flies, tarantula hawks, stink bugs, beetles, black ants, and monarch and swallowtail butterflies. While scorpions are found mostly in the lower elevations, solpugids, wood spiders, garden spiders, black widow spiders and tarantulas can be found crawling around in the higher elevations.

Mammals
The mammalian fauna in the woodland scrub community consists of 50 species, mostly rodents and bats. Three of the five Park woodrat species live in the desert scrub community. Many generations of woodrats inhabit the same middens, which can serve as valuable indicators of past climatic conditions and associated vegetation. Numerous caves in the inner canyon provide roost sites for migratory and resident bats. Maternity colonies are especially prone to disturbance from human exploration, and greater efforts are needed to inventory park caves for bats and establish protective measures where necessary. Reptiles
The arid conditions of the desert scrub uplands favor a fauna comprised chiefly of reptiles and desert-adapted rodents. Except for the desert banded gecko, which seems to be distributed only near water along the Colorado River, all of the reptiles found near the river also appear in the uplands, but in lower densities. The desert gopher tortoise, a threatened species, inhabits the desert scrublands in the western end of the park.

Mammals
Reptiles
Birds
Insects
Amphibians
Crustaceans
Fish
Mollusks

Riparian
Desert Scrub
Coniferous Forest



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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - glossary - comments
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