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Fauna

Desert TortoiseThere are more than 50 species of mammals in Nevada, including black bear, antelope, elk, deer, mountain lion, lynx, bobcat, coyote, raccoon, porcupine, fox, American badger, gopher, weasel, skunk, chipmunk, rabbit, squirrel, wild turkey, and rat.

The bighorn sheep, the state animal, can be seen in the Sheep Range, north of Las Vegas. Wild burros and horses can be seen just a few miles from Las Vegas.

There are 250 species of birds, such as fox sparrow, mountain chickadee, stellar jay, purple finch, hawk, swift, humming bird, quail, partridge, woodpecker, quail, magpie, roadrunner, seagull, owl, golden and bald eagle, vulture, wild duck, goose, mountain bluebird. Pelicans, cormorants, gulls, and herons can be seen at Anaho National Island Wildlife Refuge.

More than 35 species of snakes and lizards make Nevada their home. The gila monster, which can be found at the Red Rock Canyon, is the only poisonous lizard, but chances of seeing one are minimal since it is nocturnal.

The desert tortoise is the state reptile.

Species of fish include Lahontan cutthroat (trout), bass, and catfish. The cui-ui (kee-wee) or sucker, a species of fish found only in the Pyramid Lake, is thought to have existed since the last Ice Age (between 1 million and 25,000 years ago).

snakesThe three venomous snakes in southern Nevada are all rattlesnakes: the sidewinder, the speckled rattlesnake, and the Mohave rattlesnake. There are no venomous snakes at Mt Charleston.

Kangaroo rats and sidewinders can live their entire lives without drinking water.

Nevada has the largest number of wild horses, 28,000, which is 70% of the wild horses believed to roam free in the US.

chipmunckMt Charleston is home to Palmer's Chipmunk, the only place on Earth where it can be seen.

Henderson Bird PreserveYou can view almost 200 species of birds at the Henderson Bird Preserve, a 147-acre migratory bird stop, located at 2400 Moser St in Henderson (Sunset and Boulder Hwy). Open to public daily between 6 am and 3 pm. 566-2940.

burrosAs you visit areas around Las Vegas, you may run into burros or coyotes which will gladly eat food from your hand. Do not feed them. It is unsafe ... and illegal.

life in the desertVisit also the Nevada Wildlife Federation website and the MojaveMax.com website for more information about life in the desert.

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