The Wildlife of Southern Arizona

An essential part of any successful ATV adventure is exposure to wildlife. Between our tours in the West Sedona Canyon and Box Canyon, there is ample opportunity to catch a glimpse of the various animals that inhabit Southern Arizona. These ecosystems support an extraordinarily diverse population of plants and animals, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, trees, and flowers. Want an idea of what you might see on your ATV tour? Here’s a short guide to Southern Arizona’s wildlife. 

Animals: 

Western Bluebird - These uniquely-colored birds range from California to Arizona, to New Mexico. Males have bright blue feathers with brownish backs and orange to grey chests and stomachs. Female and immature western bluebirds have duller colors, which help play a part in mating. After losing their natural habitats to deforestation, these birds have adapted to open terrain and even deserts. 

Black-Tailed Jackrabbit - Also known as the “American Desert Hare,” these rabbits are fairly common throughout the western United States, especially in Sedona. Their breeding peaks during springtime but can occur anytime in warmer parts of the year. These incredible hares can jump up to 15 feet in the air, run up to 35 miles per hour, and are usually identified by their powerful rear legs and long distinctive ears. (Fun fact: Baby black-tailed jackrabbits are born with full coats of hair and perfect eyesight.)

Least Chipmunk - Aptly named, the least chipmunk is the smallest species of chipmunk in North America. Despite their physical size, the least chipmunk is the most widespread across the U.S. and Canada. You can usually catch them stuffing their cheeks with whatever they can forage. Overall, these are very cute critters to watch! 

Collared Pecarry - Also known as javelinas, these animals are medium-sized and pig-like. They are one of three “New World peccaries,” meaning they are indigenous to North America.  Their hair is long, spiky, and has a definitive line around their neck as if they were wearing collars--giving them their name of “collared pecarrys”. Their tusks are short and straight, which allow them to crush seeds and cut into plant roots. They can also rub tusks together to make a noise that wards off potential predators. 

Rattle Snakes - Sedona has an abundance of rattlesnakes, including “the black-tailed rattlesnake, the prairie rattlesnake, the diamondback rattlesnake, and the Mojave rattlesnake”.  If you have a fear of snakes, you have nothing to worry about! These snakes often keep to themselves, and the noise of the ATV’s will likely chase them away. Arizona’s rattlesnakes also play a huge role in balancing the rodent populations. These are fascinating animals, and on the off chance you manage to see one, there’s no reason to fear!

Depending on which tour you take, you may see different types of animals, insects, and wildflowers. What time of year you adventure also makes a difference! The month of March means it’s the beginning of spring, and with the new season comes a plethora of spring wildflowers--and with the spring flowers comes an incredible and diverse wave of Arizonian butterflies! You have a good chance of seeing gossamer-winged butterflies, brush-footed butterflies, and even Arizona’s state butterfly the swallowtail! 

Which animals do you hope to see on your ATV tour? Book an adventure now to get a closer look at the beautiful natural world of Southern Arizona and its wildlife. Tour our website for more details, or call us at (800)-242-6335.