Can I put out food and water for birds so I can watch them?
Contact your local Arizona Game and Fish Department office and/or the Forest Service for information on what types of birds are in the area, as well as if there are any restrictions on feeding.
For information visit Feeding Wildlife Law.
How many animal species in Arizona are federally listed as endangered or threatened?
Arizona's wildlife includes 61 species of animals listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.
I think I saw a wolf; how can I tell the difference between a coyote and a wolf?
Wolves stand 2 to 3 feet tall at the shoulder and measure up to 5 feet long, including their tail. Coyotes are 1 to 2 feet tall and can measure up to 4 feet in length, including tail. Wolves weigh 45-85 pounds, while coyotes weigh 20-45 pounds.
The fur color of a Mexican gray wolf is very similar to that of a coyote. A wolf's fur can be a grizzled gray, black or rust color. It will not be all white or all black. A coyote's fur can be grizzled gray or rust, and is rarely white or black.
A wolf's ears are rounded and relatively short. Its nose is large, broad, and blocky, and its face often has markings. A wolf moves in a stiff and unique gait. A coyote's ears are prominent, pointed, and relatively long. Its nose is slender and pointed, and the face is mostly one color. A coyote moves with more bounce and a bounding gait.
Coyotes usually display skittish behavior around humans, unless they are being fed somehow. Wolves sometimes display a curious behavior and may linger in one area, although they normally avoid human contact.
For more information on wolves in Arizona, visit azgfd.gov/wolf.
What is designated critical habitat?
The law provides for designation of "critical habitat" for listed species judged to be prudent and determinable. Designated critical habitat is a specific geographic area that has the appropriate habitat conditions necessary for that particular species to occupy and thrive. This habitat is protected from some actions and activities which may disturb, destroy or alter those habitat parameters.
What is nongame wildlife?
Nongame wildlife usually means animals that are not hunted, trapped, or fished in a traditional sense. So defined, nongame wildlife includes most native and many exotic fish, all amphibians and reptiles, birds except for game birds and wild turkey, and mammals except for most game mammals, predators, and furbearers. There are several "nongame" species that can lawfully be taken under the auspices of an Arizona hunting, trapping, or fishing license (examples: Apache trout, coatimundi, most rattlesnakes and rodents, and both of Arizona's native jackrabbits). Visit the Nongame web site.
What is the difference between endangered and threatened?
Defined under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the term "endangered," means that a species is in danger of becoming extinct throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The term "threatened" means a species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future without proper management.
What is the difference between native (indigenous) and nonnative (exotic) animals?
Exotic species were brought into Arizona by humans, either intentionally or accidentally. Several exotic animals have been established in Arizona for so long that many people think they are native (examples: pigeon, house sparrow, bullfrog, bass, and channel and flathead catfish).
What is the difference between the terms extinct and extirpated?
An extinct animal means that there are no living representatives of this organism in existence either in the wild, zoos or other institutions. Animals that are extirpated have been eliminated from a geographical area. This differs from "extinct" in that this organism may still exist in other parts of its range. Extirpation is usually the first step toward extinction.
When are bear cubs born?
Bear cubs are born in the den in late January or early February, and weigh only about 8 ounces at birth. Litter size ranges from one to five, but the Arizona average is two cubs. Upon emergence from the den in May, the cubs average about 6 pounds. They will nurse from their mother through June, and also forage for other foods. The cubs den with their mother their first fall, at which time they usually weigh 40-70 pounds. Upon emergence from the den the following spring, they will become independent of their mother.
When do bears hibernate?
Although there is no set time frame for bears to hibernate, most begin going into hibernation in late October. Females with cubs den first, followed by other females and finally, the adult males. During the months of hibernation, bears do not eat or drink, but instead rely on the fat stored in their bodies for survival. By the same token, they also do not eliminate waste materials during the denning period. Bears can completely stop kidney function for up to five months with no apparent ill effects, a physiological mystery currently being studied by researchers. Bears emerge from the den in March or April.
When I'm hiking or camping, do I need to worry about bears and mountain lions?
The Arizona Game and Fish Department urges you to always be aware of your surroundings; the forest is home to many types of wildlife. Always make your presence known when you're out hiking and stay on trails. Be prepared for the unexpected.
More information about both bears and mountain lions is available at the department's Web site at Living with Wildlife
. The department also has several brochures about bears and mountain lions that include safety tips. You can get the brochures at any Arizona Game and Fish Department office.
Where can I get more information about Mexican gray wolves?
Visit the following Web sites about this project for more information on Mexican wolves and their reintroduction: azgfd.gov/wolf and mexicanwolf.fws.gov.
The Mexican Wolf Recovery Program is a partnership between Arizona Game and Fish Department, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, USDA Wildlife Services, and White Mountain Apache Tribe.
Where should I go to watch wildlife?
You can purchase the "Arizona Wildlife Viewing Guide" at any Arizona Game and Fish Department office or on the department's Web site at azgfd.gov. The guide lists unique areas statewide for viewing wildlife and costs $14.95. Wildlife areas are also a good place to view wildlife, and information about those can also be found on the department's Web site