Wildlife in a Built Environment
Photograph Courtesy of Springs Preserve
Wildlife may not be the first thing you think of as an attraction in a place like Las Vegas. And yet, the desert landscape is rich with life. Mandalay Bay houses a lovely aquarium called Shark Reef. Its most stunning structure is the glass tunnel where a great variety of sharks and fish swim over and around you. Then, just four miles off the strip, Las Vegas is home to a stunning 180-acre nature preserve. The Springs Preserve includes two museums, a butterfly habitat, botanical garden, an operational water pumping facility, playground, and miles of trails that you can bike or walk. And keep your eyes open because the preserve contains over 250 species of native wildlife. It’s also the perfect place to learn about the history of the rise of Las Vegas and its ecology.
Red Rocks and Dinosaurs
Red Rock Canyon has a one-way 13-mile scenic drive, hiking and biking trails, rock climbing sites, and a campground bursting with wildlife. Comprised of 195,819 acres located within the Mojave Desert, it’s a geological wonder that is millions of years in the making. It is also an active paleontology site where scientists have found fossils from dinosaurs, and mammals such as mammoths and American lions, and marine life such as coral and sponges. Wait, what? Marine life? Yes. At one time, Las Vegas wasn’t the desert we all know today but it was submerged under ocean water rich with sea life.