landscape of Arches, for all of its sparseness, provides
life's necessities for a variety of animals that have
adapted to meet its demands. Sixty-five species of mammals,
190 bird species, 22 reptiles, 9 amphibians, 8 fish, and
many insects live here.
Most desert mammals hunt in the early morning and evening
hours to avoid the intense desert sun. About one-third
of the area's mammals are rodents, which include squirrels,
packrats, chipmunks and porcupines. Typically, rodents
spend the daylight hours in their burrows. Desert cottontails
and black-tailed jackrabbits are also more active at dawn
the most commonly seen large mammal in the park, especially
in the Devils Garden area. Fawns and weak adults provide
a food base for the park's large predators: coyotes, bobcats
and mountain lions. The two species of cat are very elusive.
protection programs within Arches and Canyonlands National
Parks have dramatically increased opportunities for visitors
to glimpse the magnificent desert bighorn. The Moab Fault
Overlook and along Highway 191 near the park entrance
are particularly good places to watch for them. During
the breeding season (November through January), extremely
fortunate observers may see rams engage in head-butting
contests to establish their dominance over the herd.
the lizards, the western whiptail (its tail is more than
twice the length of its body) is most the most common.
The western collared lizard is very striking, with bright
green coloring and a distinctive black collar.
Arches is home to a variety of poisonous animals, including
rattlesnakes, scorpions and black widow spiders. Always
watch where you're walking and never put your hand on
a surface you cannot see.