International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Near threatened. Agricultural expansion and urban sprawl have encroached upon their habitat. In addition, animals taken out of the wild for pet trade have threatened the existence of this reptile.
These reptiles are named for the Gila River in Arizona, where they were first found. They are found in arid areas with enough moisture to support scattered cacti, shrubs, mesquite and grasses. The Banded Gila monster resides primarily in the Mojave Desert.
Gila monsters are carnivores (meat eaters). They feed on eggs, rodents, frogs, lizards, insects, centipedes, worms and carrion.