According to City-Data, major animal species of Arizona include: the jackrabbit, skunk, bighorn sheep, coyote, desert-cottontail rabbit and mountain lion. Others Arizona animals include: the cactus wren, roadrunner, hawk, owl, raven, Gila monster, spider and centipede, plus the sidewinder and rattlesnake. Many desert animals are nocturnal, and they are often become active close to sunset and sunrise. Arizona transitions from a desert to mountainous terrain of over 8,000 feet.
The Gila monster is a rare lizard with bead-like skin and alternating stripes of black and yellow. This reptile is the only poisonous lizard in the United States, and it is very rare. Sidewinders, scorpions and western diamondback rattlesnakes are also poisonous animals that live in Arizona.
The mountain lion and coyote are the top of the food chain. The mountain lion is rarely seen, but coyote specimens up to 250 pounds have been captured in Arizona. The gray fox, deer, elk and antelope live in the northern highlands area of Arizona. Other large mammals include black and brown bears, along with badgers and jackrabbits.
Native birds include the cactus wren which is the state bird, white pelican and thick-billed parrot. Quail, woodpeckers and roadrunners are abundant. Southern eagles and hawks are birds at the top of the food chain in Arizona.
Endangered and threatened species in the desert state include: the desert tortoise, long-nosed bat, masked bobwhite, ocelot, jaguar and the Apache trout, plus two species of gray wolf. According to the Arizona Ecological Services, dozens of animal species in Arizona are endangered or threatened as of July 2014.