MODERN PLANTS AND ANIMALS
Lands within the monument, which range in elevation from 5,300 to 6,200 feet above sea level, receive less than 10 inches of moisture in an average year.
The plants which have become adapted to this semiarid situation are mostly small and inconspicuous, yet many have tiny but beautiful flowers. The showy blossoms of the yuccas, mariposa-lily, and cactuses are on display only in the spring, but such common plants as the aster, painted-cup (paintbrush), rabbitbrush, and sunflowers bloom throughout a good part of the summer.
Birds, mammals, and reptiles are far more common than you are likely to suppose. Common mammals of the area include the jackrabbit, cottontail, antelope ground squirrel, skunk, coyote, bobcat, porcupine, and pronghorn (antelope). The most noticeable resident songbirds are the horned lark, house finch, rock wren, phoebe, and several species of sparrows. There are more than a dozen species of snakes and lizards, including the prairie rattlesnake.
Last Updated: 14-Aug-2009