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Biotic Communities

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Madrean Evergreen Woodland

This woodland has its origins in the Sierra Madre mountain range of Mexico and reaches its northern extent in the ranges of southeastern Arizona. The climate of the woodland is characterized by mild winters with some rain and occasional snow and wet, warm summers. Evergreen oaks dominate with junipers and sometimes pines also growing in the mix. Lovely open savannas are common in some areas with numerous grasses growing beneath the oaks. Common tree species include Emory Oak, Mexican Blue Oak, Silverleaf Oak, Alligator Juniper, and Mexican Pinyon Pine. This woodland is important habitat for the white-tailed deer in Arizona, as well as the Apache squirrel and eastern cottontail. Birds found in this habitat include the colorful trogon, numerous hummingbirds, Montezuma quail, and the Mexican jay.

Coati, or coatimundi, can sometimes be seen wandering in groups of 20 or more, usually at dawn or dusk. These sleek, raccoon-like animals eat anything from insects and lizards to cacti and manzanita fruit. Coati are very social and quite noisy compared to raccoons. They are able tree-climbers, using their tales to grasp branches. The native range of these interesting creatures is mostly in Mexico, but some populations live as far north as the Sky Island region of southeastern Arizona, especially in the evergreen woodlands of the Huachuca Mountains just north of the Mexican border.

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