Fauna of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
There are about 300 species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles living in the Grand Staircase Escalante including mule deer, mountain lions, cougar, bighorn sheep, elk and even some bears.
Mammalian Studies - There are about 30 species of mammals in the variety of environments of the monument. Studies are an on-going process in the Grand Staircase and habitat studies are among the many going on. Quality habitats are often reflected by the number of species living in them. Research has shown that riparian habitats, with thick coverage of shrubs, grass and trees, were found to have the greatest number of mammalian species in the monument.
Amphibians and Reptiles - Species of reptiles found in the Grand Staircase include the California King snake, the plateau striped whiptail and the endangered desert tortoise. Amphibians found include the tiger salamander and the red spotted toad. Underway are studies including their habitats and behavior. There are about 46 species of reptiles and amphibians in the monument. The desert tortoise has lived on the earth for 67 million years but today it has been crowded out of its environment by urbanization and development. In addition to crowding, humans often pick up the harmless creatures which causes the tortoise to empty its bladder and as a result some die from dehydration.
Birds - Numerous birds are found in the Staircase including the endangered California Condor, Peregrine Falcon and the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher as well as the threatened Bald Eagle. Some of the species of birds living in the Grand Staircase that have been declining include the Burrowing Owl, Long-billed Curlew, Northern Goshawk, Blue Grosbeak Ferruginous and Swainson's Hawk. There are about 22 species of raptors and 200 species of birds in the Grand Staircase. The rare California Condors have a huge wing span of up to 9.5'. Some of the Condors released into the Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness area have found their homes in the Grand Staircase.Paleontological History - Research is an ongoing project with the studies including the rich paleontological history. Vast evidence of ancient Anasazi Indians and dinosaurs are consistently uncovered here.
"This is not about locking lands up. It is about freeing them up from the pressures of development and the threat of sprawl for all Americans, for all time."
One of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument's goals is the collection of complete data on species presence, populations, and habitat characteristics so that they can protect the native biodiversity. On these 1.9 million acres of land a crucial record exists of late cretaceous terrestrial life. Hidden among the beauty of this protected area there lies proof of what once roamed earth. The animals and humans of the past have left a trail for us to explore. Unlike most US lands, the majority of the pristine area of the monument still holds a key to the past. There is evidence of our past, present and future in the monument, safe on pristine land not yet disturbed by human presence.
Grand Staircase-Escalante Roads - Pristine and remote describes the roadways within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Highway 89 defines the southern border and Highway 12 accesses the northern side. In addition to Highways 12 and 89, there are 959 miles of open road in the Grand Staircase. Glendale, Utah, located on Highway 89, northeast of Zion National Park, connects the east side of Zion to Bryce Canyon via the Glendale Bench Road and the scenic backway, Skutumpah Road. To the north, Highway 12 connects Tropic and Boulder, Utah. At the southern end of the monument, roads connect Kanab, Utah and Page, Arizona. The most popular roads in the Grand Staircase are probably Skutumpah Road accessed either by the Glendale Bench Road, near the east entrance to Zion, or the Johnson Canyon Road near Kanab, both leading to Kodachrome Basin near Bryce Canyon. All interior roads except for portions of the Burr Trail and Johnson Canyon Road are unpaved and may be impassible if wet.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument - UTAH!
History of the Thunderbird
Stay in the heart of the parks, Mount Carmel Junction, and visit the treasures of the Southwest and Utah.
This is my new favorite quote:
"I don't know who Tanya Milligan is, but I mean www.zionnational-park.com
It's a better site than the NPS's anyway."
Written by the authors of the book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park