Body length: 17 - 21"
Diet: Green vegetation, including tree leaves
Jackrabbits are large hares with long legs. True to their name, black-tails have black-tipped tails, as well as black tips on their long ears.
Like the kangaroo rat, badger, coachwhip, and zebra-tailed lizard, this species is a creature of the lower desert valley at Tonto National Monument. Although relatively common north of Route 188, few are ever seen in the vicinity of the Visitor Center or cliff dwellings. With their speed (up to 35 mph) and excellent hearing, jackrabbits apparently feel most comfortable in open desert, where they can outrun predators such as hawks and coyotes. In contrast, the smaller cottontail rabbits prefer some cover, and are more likely to hide when a predator is near.
Did You Know?
Tonto National Monument is home to a crested saguaro. Botanists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of lightning or freeze damage. About one in 150,000 saguaros develop this unusual growth.