Cactus Forest Loop Road CLOSURE
The Cactus Forest Loop Road in Saguaro National Park Rincon Mountain District (east) will be closed March 10th and 11th from 5am to 8am. The Visitor Center Parking Lot will also be closed on March 11th from 5am to 8am for road striping. More »
Construction on roads in Tucson Mountain District may cause delays up to 30 mins
Starting February 3rd, work will begin to improve safety features along Picture Rocks Road, Sandario Road and Kinney Road. Work may cause delays up to 30 minutes and the work is scheduled to continue into March. More »
Coatis, Raccoons, and Ringtails
NPS/saguaro national park
White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica) The coatimundi, or coati, is a member of the raccoon family found from Arizona to South America. It has a long snout with a flexible nose which it uses to root in the soil for grubs and other invertebrates. They can flip over rocks in search of snakes and lizards or use excellent climbing skills to forage for nuts, berries, or bird eggs in trees. Sonoran Desert coatis are most often found in oak- and sycamore-lined canyons, or in lower elevation riparian areas in winter. They are most active during the morning and late afternoon (diurnal). They spend the night in trees or caves. Female coati and their young live in bands and are joined by males during mating season.
NPS/saguaro national park
Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor) Though not usually considered a desert animal, the raccoon can be found in the Sonoran Desert as long as it has a source of permanent water nearby. They adapt well to life near humans and can be found in suburbs and developments often digging through trashcans. In wild habitats, most of their food is found in and along ponds, rivers, and streams.
Total length: 24 - 37in (60 –95cm)
Weight: 12-30lbs (5.4 - 13.6kg)
Diet: Fish, frogs, aquatic insects, invertebrates, birds, eggs, mice, carrion, fruit, nuts, and grains
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) The ringtail, sometimes called the ringtail cat or miner’s cat, is actually a member of the raccoon family. The small, squirrel-sized ringtail is Arizona’s state mammal. Though fairly common at Saguaro National Park, they are secretive and rarely show themselves. They live in rocky canyons and den in caves, rocky crevices, hollow trees, and sometimes buildings. They are great leapers and climbers and use their long, banded tails for balance. They also have semi-retractable claws and can climb headfirst down cliffs and trees.
Total length: 24 - 32in (61.6 - 81.1cm)
Weight: 1.5 - 2.5lbs (870 - 1100g)
Diet: Rodents, fruit, birds, snakes, lizards, and invertebrates
Did You Know?
Even though the Sonoran Desert is known as very hot and dry place, snow sometimes falls and accumulates on the desert floor of Saguaro National Park. When it does it turns the desert into a winter wonderland. More...