Arizona Wildlife: Plants and Animals of Arizona

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The plant and animal life of Arizona is as varied as its scenery and climate. It has many species found in many other places, and many that are found only in Arizona and a few other places.

In the desert are many unique and beautiful plants that live with very little water. Most of these are cactus, which are protected under state law, such as the tall, fluted saguaro and organ pipe, the “teddy bear“ cholla, the prickly pear and the yucca. There are the ocotillo bush, the mesquite and Palo Verde trees. Palm trees are not native but are a common sight in Arizona.

The desert is very beautiful in the spring for cactus plants and desert trees have blossoms too. And if there has been more rain than usual, the desert floor is covered with desert grass as well as tiny, colorful desert flowers. Desert animals and reptiles include the rattlesnake, the Gila monster, the prairie dog, coyote, javelina, horned toad, jaguar, bighorn sheep, the jackrabbit and the unusual desert bird, the roadrunner.

In the mountain northland are ponderosa pine trees, aspen, walnut, maple, juniper, and oak and pinion pine. Wild turkey, mountain lion, deer, elk and bear roam the vast national forest in the state. Arizona is a paradise for the hunter, the explorer and the nature lover.