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Biotic Communities

of Arizona

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This plant community is common along parts of the Mogollon Rim and in other mountainous regions of central and southern Arizona from 4000 to about 6000 feet. Chaparral consists largely of dense shrub thickets nearly impenetrable to human travel. Communities usually are a mix of several species of shrubs such as mountain mahogany, shrub live oak, manzanita, and silk tassel. Succulent plants, including prickly pear cactus, agave, and yucca, commonly grow alongside the shrubs as well.

Mule deer and sometimes elk can be found browsing or grazing on this community's shrubs and grasses, though smaller mammals such as the cottontail rabbit or cliff chipmunk are generally more common. Nesting birds include the scrub jay, canyon wren, rufous-sided towhee, and the black-chinned sparrow. Several lizards and snakes are common including the western rattlesnake and Arizona alligator lizard.

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