American badger (Taxidea taxus)
"American Badger (Taxidea taxus) The badger is a short, stocky carnivore well adapted for digging. Badgers prefer flat, open areas of desert and grassland with sandy soil suitable for digging burrows. They are a very rare species at Saguaro National Park, though there have been several sightings and infra-red triggered photographs of them over the past few years. Park biologists are concerned about the future of badgers in the park, as they fear that badgers are in a population decline due to habitat loss outside the park boundaries." [Source:
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
"The ringtail, sometimes called the ringtail cat or miner’s cat, is actually a member of the raccoon family. The small, squirrel-sized ringtail is Arizona’s state mammal. Though fairly common at Saguaro National Park, they are secretive and rarely show themselves. They live in rocky canyons and den in caves, rocky crevices, hollow trees, and sometimes buildings. They are great leapers and climbers and use their long, banded tails for balance. They also have semi-retractable claws and can climb headfirst down cliffs and trees."
"The elusive mountain lion is the most powerful predator at Saguaro National Park. It is found in both districts. They have the ability to kill prey larger than themselves and can leap 20 feet (6.1 m) or more! Their jaws are so strong that they can bite through the shells of adult desert tortoises, something no other predator in the Sonoran Desert can do."
Mountain lion (Puma concolor)
24 - 30 in
15 - 20 lbs
rodents, birds, insects
rodents, reptiles, insects
2 - 3 lbs
24 - 32 in
5 - 6 ft
80 - 150 lbs
mostly large, and sometimes
small mammals, birds, carrion
15 - 30 lbs
2 - 4 ft
Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
"Bobcats, also known as wildcats, are much smaller than mountain lions and have shorter tails. These cats do well around park borders of urban Tucson where food like rabbits and quail are abundant. Despite their relatively small size, reports have cited bobcats preying on animals as large as adult deer!"
"The hog-nosed skunk is named for its fleshy, pig-like snout, which it uses to root for insects and grubs. It can be distinguished from the similarly colored hooded skunk by its long nose and considerably shorter tail. Saguaro National Park is home to 4 species of skunks!"
20 - 35 in
5 - 10 lbs
reptiles, plant roots and bulbs
6 - 10 lbs
22 - 32 in
Hooded skunk (Mephitis macroura)
"The hooded skunk barely enters the U.S. from Mexico and is only found in southern parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. This skunk has two color phases, a white phase (shown here) where the back is white, and a dark phase where the back is black with two white side stripes."
"This squirrel-sized skunk is the smallest skunk in the southwest and the only one known to climb trees. It is easily distinguishable from other skunks by its size and unique markings. When threatened, this skunk will do a handstand and spray the offender from its anal scent glands! The spotted skunk is active year-round except during exceptionally cold periods when several individuals will often den together."
Spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis)
14 - 19 in
1 - 2 lbs
reptiles, bird eggs, small mammals, fruits,
6 - 10 lbs
20 - 30 in
Striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis)
"The striped skunk is boldly colored black and white to warn would-be predators away. If harassed or attacked, skunks spray a noxious fluid from their anal glands. They can spray over 10 feet! The striped skunk has predators, however, like the great horned owl with an extremely poor sense of smell."