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Arizona Habitats

Arizona HabiMap

Arizona HabiMap

The Arizona Experience is proud to feature the Arizona HabiMap, a customizable fountain of knowledge for geography and wildlife developed by Arizona Game and Fish. This extraordinary tool can reveal almost anything about the land uses of Arizona relating to wildlife management and the distribution of wildlife. Search for the habitat of over 200 individual species or assess the conservation needs of a specific area. The HabiMap also offers information on water systems, land use, and AZ Game and Fish areas. Simply open the “Layers” directory and select the information you want to see. Or, use the draw feature to find wildlife and conservation priorities within an area of your choice.

Physiographic Provinces

Why are climates in Northern Arizona and Southern Arizona so different? Explore Arizona’s three main physiographic provinces and find out.

Arizona truly is a land of extremes. Temperatures vary from place to place and even day to night. Summer temperatures in the Phoenix area regularly top 110°F, while points north receive regular snowfall in the winter months. The land is regularly subjected to sustained drought and torrential downpour. It is on average one of the sunniest states in the U.S., and one of the driest. The Colorado Plateau can receive up to 30 inches of rain a year. Phoenix gets just over eight inches. The extreme southwest corner of Arizona, near Yuma and Organ Pipe National Monument, receives a mere three inches of rain every year!

High plateau, low desert, rugged mountains, hidden canyons and riparian ecosystems sustain a unique and complex web of life. From northeast to southwest, the subdued topography and shimmering rocks of the Colorado Plateau give way to the ruggedly folded and faulted mountains of Arizona’s Transition Zone, which in turn yields to the mountain ranges, sky islands, and intervening valleys of the Basin and Range Province. Each area has unique vegetation and wildlife that has adapted to thrive in that specific habitat.

Read the "Riparian Areas: Rivers and Wetlands" article. Read the "Sky Islands" article. Read the "Colorado Plateau" article.

Biotic Communities

Chiricahua National Monument Harris Hawk

Arizona’s biotic communities represent almost all of the world's biomes. The only one not strictly represented in Arizona is the tropical forest, although it is found in the far southern reaches of the Sonoran Desert Region in Baja California. Language for biome descriptions is provided by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.