Grand Staircase Escalante Nature & Wildlife

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Nature & Wildlife


Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Utah has many rare species of plants and animals which can be spotted on trips through its rugged and beautiful terrain.

  • 84% of Utah’s flora is found within the Grand Staircase
  • Many species are endangered or threatened
  • 125 species of plants
  • 800 species of flora
  • 200 species of bird and 22 raptors
  • 250 species of birds 
  • 30 species of mammals
  • 46 species of reptiles and amphibians

Although the Grand Staircase area is dry and arid, there are some small streams supporting hardy shrubs and flora as well as the Paria River. An amazing 84% of Utah’s flora is found within the Grand Staircase and the region’s isolation has largely protected the integrity of its original flora and fauna, much of which is endangered or threatened.

Visitors may be lucky enough to see:

Vegetation

There are more than 125 species of plants, many of which are endangered and only found in Utah or the Colorado Plateau.

  • Sagebrush
  • Rabbitbrush
  • Bitterbrush
  • Blackbrush
  • Yucca

Trees

  • Pinyon Pines – some over 1000 years old
  • Cottonwood
  • Willow velvet
  • Ash
  • Pine
  • Junipers
  • Gamber oak

Flora

The area supports an amazing 800 species of flora and desert wild flowers including:

  • Orchids
  • Shooting stars
  • Primrose
  • Buttercup
  • Monkey flowers
  • Arctic daisies
  • Dwarf phlox

Birds

There are 200 species of bird and 22 raptor in the Grand Staircase including:

  • Endangered California Condor – recently reintroduced to the area under a breeding program
  • Peregrine falcon
  • Southwestern willow flycatcher
  • Bald eagles – threatened

Birds declining in number include:

  • Burrowing Owl
  • Long-billed Curlew
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Swainson's Hawk

Wildlife and Fauna

There are 300 species of amphibians, birds, reptiles and 30 species of mammals living in Grand Staircase NM

  • Desert bighorn sheep Mountain lions
  • Pronghorns Coyotes
  • Mule deer Black bear
  • Elk Cliff Chipmunk
  • Rodents Bobcats
  • Beaver Gray Foxes
  • Porcupines Skunk
  • Rabbits

Reptiles and Amphibians

There are 46 species including:

  • Desert tortoise which have lived on earth for 67 million years
  • California kingsnake
  • Tiger salamander
  • Red spotted toad
  • Rattlesnakes

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