Wildlife of Red Rock Canyon ~ 4K


JASON JONES: Setting aside places
like Red Rock is really important, because it provides the last refuge,
so to speak, for these animals to persist. Desert tortoises, you could have a chance
of encountering here at Red Rock Canyon. The desert tortoises
are a threatened species. They can live up to 60 to 80 years. JANINA LITTLE: Desert tortoises
are specifically adapted to the desert environment
by holding in their water. They reabsorb it through their bladder
over and over again. They can go six months, maybe even longer,
without taking another drink. If you get too close to a desert tortoise,
you could scare it, which then, it might urinate
and then lose all of its water, and it would dehydrate and die. So the best thing to do,
stand back, take pictures, be glad that you even had the chance
to see a desert tortoise. Pacific tree frogs
are actually a really small frog. They have this
really interesting life cycle, where while they may be somewhat
terrestrial and jumping around on land, they really need water sources
to reproduce. So once they deposit their eggs
in these water sources, those eggs turn into tadpoles
and then those metamorphose into a frog. So, it’s kind of this cool cycle
and it’s very much tied to water sources. Gila monsters are the only
venomous lizards in the United States. The thing that makes
the Gila monsters unique is the fact that they are
very, very brightly colored. They’re absolutely beautiful animals. RETICH: They have these massive claws that they use to dig their burrows out. JONES: Gila monsters have
a really acute sense of smell with that forked tongue. And their ability to
find a tortoise nest is just amazing. And they will go and excavate
that tortoise nest and readily predate on that nest. RETICH: Phainopepla
are pretty common here, which they’re really neat birds. They’re the only silky flycatcher
in the United States. DIX: Chuckwallas are interesting
in that when they feel threatened, they’ll actually go under rocks
and inflate their body in a way to where they get stuck. So if something was trying to
reach under there and grab them out, they can’t do it. The burros are here because
we have a law that was passed in 1971. It was the Free-Roaming
Wild Horse and Burro Act, and so essentially we saw it
as they’re a symbol of the West, and so we felt that it was
necessary to protect them. It’s important not to feed burros, because they can become accustomed
to human behaviors and interactions and then that’s when they end up
on the roads and getting hit and killed. So it’s important to respect them
from a distance and not allow them to approach you. The two rattlesnake species
that we have here at Red Rock Canyon are the Mojave rattlesnake
and the Panamint rattlesnake. The Mojave rattlesnake is
widely known for its venom, which is known to essentially
do anything from stop respiration to induce a heart attack. Whereas the Panamint rattlesnake
has a hemotoxin which ultimately results in
the necrosis of tissue or even the loss of a finger. So kind of two different means
to subduing prey. So keep a distance to make sure
you’re not bitten by a rattlesnake. I would suggest
at least three times the body length. Maintaining at least a buffer
around that snake is the best way to ensure
that you’re not bitten. DIX: Tarantula hawks are
a type of big wasp, essentially. The female tarantula hawks,
what they’ll do is they’ll actually sting
and paralyze tarantulas. And they’ll lay their eggs
inside the tarantulas, the larvae will develop and kind of
eat their way out of the tarantula and then eventually
turn into new tarantula hawks. Regarding the food web
of this desert ecosystem, deserts are really nutrient-limited. It’s appropriate to call them a web
because you have all these nodes, which represent species,
and as you pluck away those nodes, essentially that web
becomes less effective at doing the job it needs to do. So that delicate connection
that all these animals have is something that is really important
to preserve and protect.

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