http://www.scenic.com/ | Grand Canyon National Park is home to a huge diversity of plants and wildlife that live in ecosystems ranging from desert to pine forests. Learn about the fascinating animals that call the Grand Canyon home.
What makes Grand Canyon
National Park so remarkable is
that it boasts five different
ecosystems throughout the park,
all supporting a diversity of plants
In fact, if you hiked from the
Colorado River to the North Rim
of the Grand Canyon, along the
way you’d see different
ecosystems that can be found
from Canada to Mexico.
The Grand Canyon is home to:
• 1,750 plant species
• 373 bird species
• 91 mammal species
• 57 amphibian and reptile species
• 17 fish species
• 8,400+ insect species1
At more than a mile deep, differences
in elevation, temperature, and
precipitation result in very different
environments, from the canyon rim to
the river. Let’s explore.
The boreal forest is found on the North Rim
of the Grand Canyon, and receives the most
rainfall every year. The forest is dominated by
tree species like quaking aspen, Douglas fir,
and other evergreen trees. Animals that
inhabit the boreal forest include:
• Elk: several different species can be
found in the boreal forest.
• Black bear: while seen less frequently,
black bears are known to inhabit the
• Wild turkey: frequently seen in meadows
on the North Rim.
Found on both the North and South Rims
of the Grand Canyon, the ponderosa
pine forests contain trees that can grow
to be 125 feet tall and live 500 years.
• Squirrel: the three different types
include the Abert’s squirrel, the
Kaibab squirrel, and the golden-
mantled ground squirrel.
• Mule deer: can weigh up to 200
pounds and feed on bushes/shrubs.
• Sapsucker woodpecker: as its name
suggests, feasts on tree sap.
Also called a “pygmy” or “dwarf” woodland, the
pinyon-juniper woodlands are found below the
North and South canyon rims, and feature highly
drought-resistant plants and trees. These
woodlands are home to:
• Bobcat: resembling a lynx, bobcats hunt
cottontail rabbits, and other small mammals.
• Pinyon jay: beautiful blue jays that can store up
to 50 seeds in their throats.
• Ring-tailed cat: a member of the raccoon family,
ring-tailed cats have long, bushy, striped tails.
Receiving only 7 inches of rain per year, the
desert scrub is very dry and features short
scrubby bushes and cacti. Temperatures can
soar to over 100 degrees F. Animals include:
• Bighorn sheep: known for their incredible
curved horns (males), bighorn sheep can
scale near-vertical cliffs.
• Javelina: a member of the peccary family
(and resembling pigs), the javelina has a
tough snout to feast on cactus.
• Scorpion: an iconic symbol of the desert,
there are three species of scorpions in
Riparian refers to plants and animals that live
along the banks of a river. Animals that make
their home along the Colorado River at the
bottom of the Grand Canyon include:
• Canyon tree frog: a small frog that lives in
perennial or intermittent streams in the
• Beaver: these large rodents cut willows,
cottonwoods, and shrubs for food.
• Coyote: coyotes can be found virtually
everywhere in the national park, they are
among the most numerous predators.
Grand Canyon National Park attracts millions of visitors from all over
the world every year. With such stunning beauty and abundant
wildlife, it’s no wonder the area is such a popular destination.
There’s no limit to the things you can do during your visit to the
national park. From a Grand Canyon air tour to river rafting to hiking,
there are endless ways to explore this geological wonder.
Scenic Airlines is the largest and most experienced
aerial tour operator in the world, specializing in
charter Grand Canyon airplane tours and Grand
Canyon tours. Scenic has pioneered the aerial
sightseeing industry since it began tours in 1967.
Our Grand Canyon air tours showcase the most
impressive landscapes of the National Parks,
allowing visitors from all over the world to
experience the rich beauty of the Southwest.
Scenic offers over 20 unique tours varying from
easy and relaxed to adventure expeditions. Tours
range from a one-hour, air-only sightseeing flight,
to a three-day, two-night program throughout the
Southwest. Visit www.scenic.com for tour
information or call (800) 634-6801.