“Sabino Canyon is one of the very best venues for lizard-watching in the United States,” said Larry Jones, Assistant wildlife Program Manager on the Forest. “There are at least 16 species of lizards found there, among the highest diversity in the country. Not only is the lizard fauna diverse, but lizards are also extremely abundant in many parts of the canyon. Most species are readily approachable, being accustomed to the 1.5 million annual visitors to the canyon.”
For the last two years, the Coronado National Forest (CNF) and Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) have conducted guided lizard-watching tours for urban youths for Tucson Parks and Recreation Department’s KIDCO program. The tours have been so successful that guided lizard walks will now be offered to the public. SCVN, CNF, and guest herpetologists will join forces to lead the walks. Attendees should bring water, sensible shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and binoculars if they have them. Options will include observation near the Visitor Center and Nature Trail for those with limited time or walking ability. Those in good physical condition may spend two or more hours looking for as many species as possible throughout the recreation area.
For those that cannot attend the guided walks, information including a photographic checklist [NB: this take a while to download] and route information will be available at the Visitor Center for self-guided lizard walks. Participants of guided and self-guided lizard walks will receive a two by three foot poster of the lizards of Sabino Canyon at no cost.<