Noah Austin

When it comes to spotting Arizona mammals, Mount Graham red squirrels (Tamiasciurus fremonti grahamensis) are among the rarest sights of all. Found only high atop their namesake and other peaks in Eastern Arizona’s Pinaleño Mountains, these squirrels, a subspecies of the Southwestern red squirrel, numbered in the low hundreds until 2017, when the lightning-caused Frye Fire burned much of their habitat. After the fire, the Arizona Game and Fish Department counted just 35 surviving squirrels, but as of late 2022, the population was thought to have rebounded to more than 150. As seen here, the squirrels often feed on pine cones, but they’ll also eat other plants and fungi.