• Lower Cliff Dwelling


    National Monument Arizona

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NPS Photo

Nasua narica

Body length: 20 - 25"
Diet: Insects, berries, and rodents

Somewhat monkey-like in appearance, but related to raccoons, coatis are one of Arizona's more unusual animals. Although abundant in Mexico, this species occurs in the US only in this state and western New Mexico. In places where they are common, such as the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona, coatis form large bands of up to 20 members. However, solitary males, called "solitarios" in Mexico, are also often seen.

Coatis are rare at Tonto National Monument. It is unlikely that they have ever resided here, but we know that they do pass through from time to time. In addition to the photograph, taken by an infrared-triggered camera, three well-documented sightings of coati, probably all solitarios, have occurred at the Monument in recent years.

Did You Know?

snow in the desert

Tonto National Monument averages 15" of rain annually. Snow is a rare occurrence, but as long as temperatures remain above freezing, the saguaros don't seem to mind!