Desert Dogs (Coyote and Foxes)

A coyote walking in a natural setting.

NPS photo

Coyote (Canis latrans) The yapping of coyotes can be heard throughout both districts of Saguaro National Park. Their barks and howls are used to communicate with other coyotes, but sometimes they seem to vocalize just for fun. Coyotes are opportunists and will eat both plants and animals. In fact, in the summer months a large portion of their diet is saguaro and prickly pear cactus fruit. Coyotes are extremely good runners and can reach speeds of 40mph dashing after jackrabbits.

A kit fox in a natural setting.

NPS photo

Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis) The kit fox is found only in certain regions of the Tucson Mountain District of the park. They prefer flat, open areas with fine soil for digging. Due to the small amount of suitable habitat at TMD, it is doubtful that kit foxes were ever abundant in the park, but park biologists are concerned that habitat destruction outside the park could lead to their disappearance within the park.

A gray fox standing on a rock in a natural setting.

NPS photo

Common Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) The gray fox is the only canid species known to climb trees, which it does to catch prey and elude predators like coyotes. They have even been photographed in the prickly arms of saguaros! These mischievous and curious foxes are often photographed tugging on and inspecting the infrared-triggered cameras that are set out to monitor the medium to large mammals of Saguaro National Park.

Last updated: February 25, 2015

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