Gold Canyon is a beautiful place to live. With the Superstition
Mountains so close by, we see a lot of amazing wildlife strolling
through The Casas all year long. Some even making their homes
along side us.
What are most prevalent within our community are the Desert
Cottontail rabbits, Gambel's Quail, and Mourning Doves. But
we have a lot of other creatures who are not always out in
the open but always present. Geckos, Desert Whiptails, Yarrow's
Spineys, and a many other reptiles can be seen scurrying over
rocks and under cacti. The majority of the wildlife here is
harmless, but there are a few creatures to watch out for.
There are several variety of scorpions that can be found
in the Sonoran Desert, however only two have venomous stings.
The Bark Scorpion and the Giant
Hairy Scorpion are the two you want to avoid. The Bark
Scorpion is by far the most prevalent and makes it's homes
in rock and wood piles. If you are stung by either of these
contact Poison Control for assistance. The very young and
the elderly should seek medical attention immediately if stung.
The Windscorpion and the Tail-less Whipscorpion may look formidable
but are not venomous
Among the many varieties of spiders here in the desert there
are 3 varieties that cause the most trouble. The Western
Black Widow spider has a poisonous bite that will require
medical attention. Black Widows are not always black, but
they will always have the tell tale hour class marking on
their underbelly. The hourglass can range in shade from yellow
to red. The Fiddle-Back spider, known also as the Violin spider or Brown Recluse,
are not usually aggressive but do have a venomous bite which
will require medical attention as well. These unfriendly arachnids
make their homes in woodpiles, ground litter, and even clothing
piles. So avoid letting laundry pile up without giving it
a good shaking out. Lastly is the Desert
Tarantula. Although, by far the largest of the three troublemakers,
the Tarantula is the least likely to cause trouble. In fact,
they are often kept as pets. They rarely bite but can release
tiny irritating hairs on the backs when bothered. Remember,
if you are bite by a spider, try and bring the little guy
along with you when you seek medical attention so your physician
can properly prescribe treatment.
Snakes & Lizards
Coral snake can be mistaken for the Milk or King snake
(which are not venomous) because of their bright
red, black, and white bands, but there is an easy way to spot
the difference. "Red and yellow, kill a fellow; red and
black, friendly jack". In the Western Coral snake color
bands, the black and red bands do not meet. They are always
separated by a white or yellowish band in between. Although
bites from this desert dweller are rare, they can be fatal,
so seek medical attention immediately if you believe you've
been bitten. Sidewinders and Western
Diamondbacks as well as a variety of less common Rattlesnakes
warrant caution as well. Most often, rattlers will alert you
to their presence with a rapid shake of their tails. Most
bites happen when man and snake simply stumble upon one another
unexpectedly. So remember to watch where you step when climbing
or hiking and listen closely for their warning sounds. Some
rattlesnake bites are more dangerous than others, some even
fatal, but as a general rule, always seek medical attention
if bitten. The only venomous lizard to be wary of is the Gila
Monster. If you manage to catch site of this slow moving
lizard, always maintain a safe distance. The are unmistakable
with their bright red, orange, yellow, and even pinkish markings.
Four Legged Fellows
They can be heard howling and yipping beginning at dusk
and through the night. These hearty and highly adaptable wild
dogs are a common site in our area. Over the years, the Coyote has learned to live among it human neighbors. They are of
little or no threat to us, but can be a threat to smaller
animals, particularly house pets, such as cats and small dogs.
It is a good idea to keep pets indoors when unattended by
their owners. Cats disappear in frequently, as do small stray
dogs. Do not feed or attempt to approach coyotes at any time.
It is unsafe for you and harmful for the coyotes as well.
They are wild animals and should be treated as such. Javelina,
or wild boars, can be seen occasionally wandering through
the area. Always maintain a safe distance as javelina with
young can be very aggressive towards humans and other animals.
Their sharp tusks and teeth can cause serious wounds to both
people and animals. Bobcats make their homes nearby as well and, although rarely spotted,
can quickly take small pets as prey. Lastly and far more illusively
Lions. Yes, residents have reported sightings of these
large cats over the years, here, in our community. They, like
Bobcats are very shy of humans, and if you should ever have
the opportunity to see one, consider yourself lucky. They
can be very dangerous, and should be treated with tremendous
caution, as fatal attacks have occurred in other areas of
the state. Long periods of drowt can often drive these big
cats into more populated areas in search of food and water.
Lastly, there are a wide array of predatory birds in the
area. Large and powerful Hawks, Eagles, Falcons, and Owls
nest and hunt here and in the nearby terrain. Small pets have
been reportedly taken from patios when left unattended. Again,
we encourage all residents and guest to make their beloved
pets, indoor pets.
On a final note, the desert and its wildlife are overwhelmingly
more beautiful then dangerous, when treated with respect.
Remember, the same thorny cactus that you bump into in Summer
will offer amazing blooms to you in Spring. If you would like
to contribute photos or information to this webpage, please email us with