Some of the most prevalent land mammals on the peninsula are the coyote and the wild donkey (burro). Coyotes can be occasionally spotted in the interior desert areas and they usually maintain a distance of at least 50 feet. Mostly, they are very discreet and don’t want to be seen by humans.
Burros are very agile and skillfully navigate the rocky slopes of Baja, even when carrying a load. Though wild burros roam the interior, they have been considered fairly easy to tame. Mexicans have relied on these animals for their strength and sure-footedness for generations. They are also able to cover great distances with less food and water than horses. These animals are very loyal when well cared for.
Many smaller carnivores may be encountered in Baja, among them the fox, lynx, bobcat, skunk, badger and racoon. One might even spot an occasional wolf, though sadly many were killed by ranchers in the mid 1900’s.
If you happen to make your way up onto the mountain slopes at about 5,000 feet, you might see a mule deer. At higher elevations white-tailed deer have been seen. There are quite a few types of rabbits in the Baja Peninsula – the jackrabbit, desert cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit and the brush rabbit may all be seen.
It is truly amazing how many small rodents of all types manage to survive in the desert. Among them, the kangaroo rat, white-tailed antelope squirrel, marsh rice rat, piñon mouse and Botta’s pocket gopher.
Of course, we must not forget about Baja’s largest and possibly most famous mammal – the gray whale. Many tourists visit each year in hopes of spotting one of these majestic marine mammals.