Utah is known for its pristine wilderness and wild topography. The Rocky Mountains and Colorado Plateau’s geographical areas extend throughout Southern Utah. Prairies, deserts, lakes, river canyons, buttes, plateaus, and mountains create a complex and supportive ecosystem for an array of animals. Because of its diverse climate and terrain, South-Central Utah is home to over 600 species of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.
One of our favorite animals is Ringo the Ringtailed Cat, a frequent visitor here at Zennest. Ringtailed cats are notorious scavengers that love the rocky desert and mountain playground. They are also the State Mammal of Arizona.
Here’s a shortlist of some of the Zennest’s other wildlife neighbors and where to spot them!
Over the past 50 years, restoration efforts have taken place to bring back bighorn sheep population numbers. Today, you can view these curved-horn icons in the steep terrain and cliffs of Canyonlands and Zion National Parks, and other rocky terrains. Other mountain-dwelling animals include animals at the top of the food chain like mountain lions, mountain goats, elk, black bears, bobcats, golden eagles, hawks, and owls.
Massive mammals – including moose and American bison herds – roam Utah’s grasslands. 250 to 400 bison continue a presence in the Henry Mountains from Blue Bench to Coyote Bench. Southern Utah’s rugged grasslands are also home to the Utah prairie dog, antelope, mule deer, coyotes, and foxes.
In Southern Utah near Moab and the Arizona border, dry and hot temperatures provide the perfect habitat for a range of reptiles. This includes the Gila monster, tortoise, lizards, and snakes.
Warmer months are the best times for wildlife spotting. The seasonal cycle and annual migration mobilize local animal populations; Visit Utah recommends spring and fall for bird watching. Finally, remember the importance of giving wildlife space! For the animals’ safety and yours, it’s best to admire from afar. More information is available on Visit Utah.