Mammals at Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mammals Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge Mammals The Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939, to reserve and set apart lands for the conservation and development of natural wildlife resources. Now, more than 50 years later, many species of Sonoran wildlife have benefited from the protection of the Refuge. Wilderness status was given to most of the Refuge in 1990, which means that these species, including the endangered Sonoran pronghorn and Lesser long-nosed bat, will have a better chance to survive and reach a natural balance within this part of their range. In order to survive in the harsh Sonoran desert environment, mammals have had to adapt through a variety of means. These include nocturnal life styles, extreme efficiency in obtaining and conserving water (some live on water extracted from plant life only), and protective coloration. Water sources on the Refuge are natural rock basins, called “tinajas,” a few manmade storage areas, flowing washes after rains, and one intermittent seep. Natural adaptation has enabled these species to live for thousands of years with the available resources. While the majestic bighorn and rare pronghorn receive a lot of attention, there are more than 40 other species of mammals whose presence is necessary to maintain the ecological balance of the Refuge. You will notice that bats, squirrels, mice, rats, and gophers make up the majority of mammal residents on the Refuge. These small creatures play a major part in sustaining the chain of life, that includes the larger and better-known residents. So, when a glimpse is seen of any of these wary and shy desert dwellers, you have had a unique opportunity to experience firsthand a part of this complex and fragile Sonoran desert ecosystem. Sonoran Pronghorn FWS Photograph The following list includes mammals whose presence within Cabeza Prieta boundaries has been verified. Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus pallidus) Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus) Bats California leaf-nosed bat (Macrotus californicus) [Category 2 candidate species] Lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae verbabuenae). This bat has endangered status; formerly called Sanborn’s long-nosed bat. Pocketed Free-tailed Bat (Nyctinomops femorosacca) Silver-haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) Rabbits and Hares Antelope jackrabbit (Lepus alleni alleni) California Myotis (Myotis californicus stephensi) Black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus eremicus) Pallid bat (Antrozous pallidus pallidus) Desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii arizonae) Western Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus hesperus hesperus) Squirrels Harris antelope squirrel (Ammospermophilus harrisii) Townsend’s big-eared bat (Plecotus townsendii) (Category 2 candidate species) Rock squirrel (Spermophilus variegatus grammurus) Big free-tailed bat (Tadarida macrotis) (Category 2 species) Round-tailed ground squirrel (Spermophilus tereticaudus neglectus) Pocket Gophers Botta’s pocket gopher, three subspecies (Thomomys bottae growlerensis, phasma, pusillus) Pocket Mice Arizona pocket mouse (Perognathus amplus taylori) Bailey pocket mouse (Perognathus baileyi baileyi) Desert pocket mouse (Perognathus penicillatus pricei) Rock pocket mouse (Perognathus intermedius phasma) Kangaroo Rats Merriam’s kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami merriami) Desert kangaroo rat (Dipodomys deserti arizonae) Desert Pocket Mouse Mice and Rats Cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus eremicus) Peccaries Collared peccary, “javelina” (Tayassu tajacu) Suggested Reading List William H. Burt & Richard P. Grossenheider, Pinacate cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus papagensis) [Category 2 candidate species] Deer and Relatives Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) (Peterson Field Guide Series), Houghton Mifflin Co. 1964. Canyon mouse (Peromyscus crinitus disparilis) Pronghorns Sonoran pronghorn (Antilocapra americana sonoriensis). This animal is listed as endangered. Southern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys torridus torridus) White-throated wood rat (Neotoma albigula mearnsi) Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida auripila) Doglike and Foxlike Animals Coyote (Canis latrans mearnsi) Kit fox (Vulpes macrotis macrotis) Gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) Racoons and Relatives Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus yumanensis) Weasles and Relatives Badger (Taxidea taxus berlandieri) Western spotted Skunk (Spilogale gracilis leucoparia) Cats Bobcat (Felis rufus baileyi) Mountain Lion (Felis concolor) FWS Photograph Sheep and Relatives Desert Bighorn (Ovis canadensis mexicana) Following are animals which have been verified near the Refuge and would be expected to be resident or transient, but no verified sightings have been made on the Refuge. A Field Guide to the Mammals Mammals of Donald F. Hoffmeister, , University of Arizona Press, 1986. Arizona Deserts James A. MacMahon, (Audubon Society Nature Guide), Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1988. Gale Monson & Lowell Summer, editors, , University of Arizona Press. The Desert Bighorn A Field Guide to Animal Tracks (Peterson Field Guide Olaus A. Murie, Series) Houghton Mifflin Co. Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana) Underwood’s mastiff bat (Eumops underwoodi) (Category 2 candidate species) Little pocket mouse (Perognathus longimembris) White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus couesi)