Not Many Gila in the Gila, but Plenty of Other Critters

Gila Monster

Gila Monster By sneakymooseJonathan

Gila National Forest has a ton of animals, many that you can’t see anywhere else in the country. But just not that many Gila monsters, the giant poisonous lizard of the southwest. I talked to a biologist in the Gila, which is on the who said they might be found in New Mexico above Silver Springs. Locals say you might find them–along with coati–near the Catwalk Bridge. But to see them in the wild your best bet is to go nextdoor to Arizona.

The IUCN Red List classifies the Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum or in, Spanish Monstruo De Gila)¬†as near threatened. But it also says they are “infrequently seen but not rare” in Arizona. In New Mexico the group says “the species is commonly encountered in the Redrock Wildlife Area in Grant County and at Granite Gap in Hidalgo County.” Both are near Lordsburg. Redrock is a sanctuary for bighorn sheep, which I also wouldn’t mind seeing.

If you’re really intent on seeing a Gila, head to the Rattlesnake Museum in Albuquerque, which has one named Mollie.

Where to See Wildlife Out West

IUCN Red List Gila Monster Habitat

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