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Zion National Park
Wildlife >> Wildlife / Animals
Insects, Spiders, Centipedes, Millipedes
Please do not feed the animals, even when they beg.
Contained within the park are:
900+ species of flora (richest diversity of plants in Utah)
78 species of mammals
291 species of birds
44 species of reptiles and amphibians
8 species of fish
Threatened and endangered species found within the park include:
Mexican Spotted Owl
Southwest Willow Flycatcher
Rare/Special concern species within the park:
-Great Basin Spadefoot - Scaphiopus (=Spea) intermontanus
-Red-spotted Toad - Bufo punctatus
-Arizona Toad - Bufo microscaphus microscaphus
-Canyon Treefrog - Hyla arenicolor
-Northern Leopard Frog - Rana pipiens
-Tiger Salamandar - Ambystoma tigrinum
-Some 8,000 feet above sea level, a Peregrine Falcon cruises from its perch atop Zion's high plateau. A flock of Band-tailed Pigeons note its approach and bolt on noisy wings into a stand of ponderosa pines. The falcon careens over the edge of its looming sandstone world and drops roughly 2,000 feet along a sheer rock wall; White-throated Swifts scatter to give it space. At the base of the cliffs the raptor's flight becomes more horizontal. From the pygmy forest of pinyon and juniper, thirty Pinyon Jays squawk their disapproval, and further down, along the Virgin River, a Black-headed Grosbeak eyes the Peregrine from the cover of a big cottonwood. Soon, the falcon's shadow is streaking across searing desert terrain, where a Roadrunner abandons its pursuit of lizards to avoid becoming prey itself.
-Amazingly, a Peregrine Falcon can be within a talon's grasp of each of Zion's major habitats during a flight lasting only a few minutes.
-In Zion National Park, a diversity of environments is compressed into a relatively small space. While the birdwatcher lacks the Peregrine Falcon's luxury of 100 m.p.h. plus flight, he or she can still visit Zion's different habitats within a day.
-Try to experience the varied landscapes of Zion. You will likely be impressed with their stunning beauty, and with the many bird species that occupy them.
Zion Bird List:
-This list contains 291 bird species.
The Virgin River Habitat
Flowing through Zion National Park are the North and East forks of the Virgin River and their various tributaries. These streams are all part of the Virgin River drainage, which is part of the larger Colorado River Basin. There are six fish species native to the Virgin River Basin, four of which reach the headwaters where Zion is located. Three of the six species are found widely in the Colorado River system, and three are found only in the Virgin River.
The rivers of Zion National Park retain their full complement of four species of native fish in healthy populations. Such a statement cannot be made for any other comparable river system in the southwest U.S. This rare and desirable condition is only possible because stream flow in the park is essentially natural, with all of the floods, sediment transport and periods of low flow that have always occurred.
The fish of the Virgin River drainage have evolved adaptations to the unique local conditions, including heavy silt loads, frequent floods, and wide fluctuations in water temperature and discharge.
Unfortunately, outside of the park the native fish of the Virgin River have experienced population declines due to habitat fragmentation and the introduction of non-native species. Efforts are currently underway to protect rivers that provide good habitat, and restore areas of lost or degraded habitat to provide for the recovery and protection of the native fish.
Zion Native Fish List:
Virgin River Spinedace - Lepidomeda mollispinis
Speckled Dace - Rhinichthys osculus
Flannelmouth Sucker - Catostomus latipinnis
Desert Sucker - Catostomus clarki
Fish Introduced to Zion (all present in low numbers):
Rainbow Trout - Oncorhynchus mykiss
Cutthroat Trout - Oncorhynchus clarki
Brown Trout - Salmo trutta
Channel Catfish - Ictalurus punctatus
Brook Trout - Salvelinus fontinalis
-- Insects, Spiders, Centipedes, Millipedes
Zion National Park is home to numerous species of insects, spiders. Below is just a few of those species.
Tarantula Hawk/Pepsis Wasp - Pompilidae hemipepsis
Darkling Beetle - Tenebrionidae coelocnemis
Doodlebugs/Antlions - Myrmeleontidae neuroptera
Tarantula - Theraphosidae aphonopelma
-Do not feed the animals!
-Wild animals become unhealthy from eating human food and grow dependent on it as a food source. Often animals that are fed become nuisances and must be destroyed. It is also against the law to feed any wild animal.
-Additionally, feeding wildlife is dangerous. Small rodents can and will bite the hand that feeds them, transmitting a variety of diseases. Larger animals, such as deer, have been known to buck or kick suddenly and cause serious injuries.
-If you are watching an animal and it notices you, or changes its behavior because of your activities, you are too close. Rather than attempting to get that perfect photograph or get just one step closer, please step back and enjoy your wildlife experience from a safe distance.
-Mother deer sometimes leave their fawns alone for short periods of time as they feed. As young fawns have no scent, they are safe from predators. If you observe a fawn by itself, it has probably not been abandoned. Leave the fawn alone, do not feed it, do not pet it, and do not try and catch it; its mother will return.
Zion Mammal List:
This list contains 75 mammal species.
Click here to view the Zion Mammal List
Zion Reptile List:
Click Here to view the Zion Reptile List
Country Life Realty
Links to Desert Museums
These items are historical in scope and are intended for educational purposes only; they are not meant as an aid for travel planning.
Copyright ©Walter Feller. 1995-2023 - All rights reserved.