While it may not seem like a desert state is going to be a place where a naturalist is going to feel at home, the state is full of surprises. Arizona has a large number of different plants, animals, and Eco-systems that are appealing to those who are interested in the more natural parts of life. Many of these fascinating specimens remain segregated and protected from the modern world, making them all the more appealing to naturalists.
Protected cactus forests behave as biomes that are trapped in time. With restrictions on everything from the cactus to rocks, hikers are careful to not disturb the natural bio-diversity. This means that plants and animals live together as they have for thousands of years, with hundred year old cactus providing homes for birds, snakes, lizards, and more. These forests are open to the public, but not easy to stumble into, giving them a level of protection that keeps them pristine.
Even in areas where humans have settled, wildlife has still found a way to co-exist. Many people accept that lizards will be a part of their home life. Others enjoy the sounds of birds that are not swayed from their thousands of year old migratory patterns.
here, people know to be wary of the different venomous animals. Huge lizards known as Gila monsters command respect, with sightings reported to spotting groups on a regular basis. These shy lizards are known for being fast, quick to bite, and lovably chubby. Journeying even a few miles outside of a city is enough to find one of these beautiful creatures and to learn more about their natural habitats.
The state has a number of natural history museums that show off the variety of different species and their habitats as well. These generally include outdoor exhibits, gardens, indoor exhibits, and even underground exhibits, showcasing animals, plants, and even insects in their natural habitats. Donations to these museums help preserve natural populations in addition to the museums themselves, with yearly memberships costing well under $100 per person.
Finally, the natural fauna can be seen on every porch and within every apartment community as well. Special care is taken to preserve natural landscape, even for shopping malls. The biodiversity of the area is actually important to all residents, making it a great place to learn about the desert and to study it within a completely natural setting.