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Sedona Wildlife and Natural History

Animals, Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians, Insects, and Plants of Sedona and the Verde Valley

Learn all about wildlife, including birds, trees, plants, and flowers, common to Sedona and the surrounding area.  The natural history of the Sedona and the Verde Valley is unique, with the riparian green-belt of Oak Creek attracting a surprising diversity of animals and birds.

Javelina, the Collared Peccary in Sedona Arizona.

The Javelina - Sedona, Arizona's Famous Pig-Like Desert Dweller

They're hairy, stinky, and downright adorable! Meet the Javelina, Sedona's famous pig-like desert dweller. Otherwise known as the Collared Peccary, the Javelina is one of three species of New World peccaries. They look like small, very hairy pigs, with bulky bodies perched on short legs with dainty three-toed hooves. Their hair is long and bristly, with spiky ruffs around their necks and sometimes on top of their heads. Baby javelina, or piglings, look a little more like domestic piglets, plus a lot of hair.

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Prairie dogs can be found in the high desert of Northern Arizona.

Prairie Dog Towns Among Northern Arizona Roadside Attractions

A short day trip from Sedona, area visitors can venture into the high desert wilds of Northern Arizona to find prairie dog colonies, referred to as "towns." These cuddly-looking little "dogs" peer curiously above their burrows, always on the lookout for danger and signaling their clan through a variety of chirps and calls. Endearing to watch, they love to hug and kiss (literally!), and exhibit a complex yet fascinating lifestyle while benefiting over a hundred other wildlife species.

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Arizona ravens are known for their intelligence as well as amusing antics.

In Praise of the Arizona Raven

Of all the magnificent birds associated with the desert Southwest, the Common Raven gets short shrift in the publicity department. Compared to the California condor, poster-bird for late 20th century conservation efforts, the quirky roadrunner immortalized by Saturday morning cartoons, or even the roly-poly quail that putter around every backyard from Tucson to Sedona, the raven barely gets a nod as having a place in Arizona's natural and cultural landscape.

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