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Flora and Fauna of Cave Creek Ranch and Canyon

The stones, plants, wildlife and archaeological remains attract natural history enthusiasts, students, and scientists to visit Cave Creek Canyon not just to study birds, but to study in fields with exotic-sounding names such as arachnology, entomology, herpetology, ornithology, mammalogy, botany, geology, anthropology and ecology.

Cave Creek Canyon offers so much, in fact, that the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation has operated a research center for students, geologists, biologists and anthropologists in the North Fork of the canyon for half a century. 

In addition to the bird species count, the numbers of mammals, reptiles, butterflies, ants and moths found in the Chiricahua Mountains is staggering. No where else in North America can one see such an array of plant and animal life. For example, 39 percent of the moth species in the continental U.S. ccan be found here, along with

  • 21% of the reptile species
  • 21% of the ant species
  • 56% of the bat species
  • 23% of the mammal species

Coati, also known as Coatimundi



Mammals & Reptiles



Need a local Bird or Natural History Guide?

Naturalist Journeys, a local nature travel company, handles bookings and advance registration. They can schedule individual custom birding and nature walks.
866-900-1146 or 520-558-1146

Other guides include P.D. Hulce and
John Yerger.

John Yerger can be reached at

P.D. Hulce can be reached at
Work:  520-558-2396    
Home:  520-558-1154


Reservations and Information: 520-558-2334, email