Preserving the San Rafael Watershed in Southern Arizona
Preserving the San Rafael Watershed in Southern Arizona
Eleven endangered species:
Two endangered species in recovery:
Five threatened species:
Two proposed threatened species:
The Patagonia Mountains, Huachuca Mountains and the Canelo Hills are a part of the US fish Critical Habitat for Jaguars and has also been designated a Wildlife Corridor for other species including the endangered Ocelot.
Unless otherwise noted, the information contained on this page is from the Arizona Game and Fish Department. 2001.
Unpublished abstracts compiled and edited by the Heritage Data Management System, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, AZ.
DESCRIPTION: A proportionately long-legged, small-bodied artiodactyl with conspicuous pronged sheath although the horn-core is unbranched. Horny sheath is shed annually. Conspicuous white areas have hair present, especially on the rump, sides of face, two bands on throat, underparts, and part way up sides: otherwise color of animal is yellowish tan except for blackish on top of nose. Males are distinguished from females by a distinct black cheek patch, deep brownish-black color on top of nose, and by their much larger horns, the tips of which curve inward as they mature and have a forward projecting prong. (Hoffmeister 1986) Photo by fws.gov
HABITAT: The physiography of Sonoran pronghorn habitat is characterized by broad alluvial valley separated by block-faulted mountains. The Valley are fairly level, with drainage to the north and west through a braided was wash system in the center of the valleys. The size of the range of Sonoran pronghorn in Arizona is approximately 1 million ha in size.
DESCRIPTION: This member of the cat family is allied with the “roaring” cats (African lion, tiger, and leopards), and is the largest cat native to the Western Hemisphere. This large
heavy-bodied cat measures 3.7-4.8 ft. (1.13-1.5 m) in head and body, while the tail measures 1.5-2.3 ft. (0.5-0.7 m). Height at shoulder measures 2.3-2.5 ft. (0.7-0.8 m), hind foot 9-12 in (22-30 cm), and weight is 150-225 lb. (68-101 kg). Whitaker, Jr. (1997) reports weights of 119-300 lb. (54-136 kg). Females usually are 10-20% smaller than males. There are five toes on each forefoot, the pollex or first toe is smaller and set above the others. Each hind foot has four toes, the first being represented only by a tiny vestigial metatarsal bone. Each digit including the pollex has a sharp retractile claw. Skull is robust, relatively short, broad in the rostrum (more so in males than females), and wide in the zygomatic arches, with 30 teeth (canines large). The sagittal crest may become well developed, especially in males and older individuals. This yellowish to tawny cat is uniformly spotted with black. Horizontal rows of spots on the sides and back form rosettes, a ring of black with a small black spot in the center; belly white with black spots. Occasional individual jaguars display a completely melanistic pelage with visible rosettes. Legs, head, and tail have smaller, solid spots, usually giving way to incomplete bands near end of the tail. Ears are small, rounded, without tufts, and black on the back with small white or buff central spots. Pelage is rather short and bristly. The black pupil is round and the iris is golden to reddish yellow.
Photo Credit: Douglas Trent / Creative Commons
HABITAT: These large cats are known from a variety of habitats, showing a high affinity to lowland wet habitats, typically swampy savannas or tropical rain forests. In the northern and southern periphery, they may occur in warmer, more arid habitat types, including oak-pine woodland. Unlike most cats, jaguars like water and were probably closely associated with the rivers and cienegas (marshes) once prominent in southern Arizona.
ELEVATION: Recent sightings in Arizona were recorded at 5,200 and 5,700 feet (1586
and 1739 meters).
** The following information is from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
General Information: Ground colors of the short fur of the ocelot, varies from creamy, or tawny yellow, to reddish grey and grey. The underside of the body, tail, and insides of the limbs is whitish. Rather more blotched than spotted, the chain-like spots are bordered with black. Ocelots have both solid and open dark spots which sometimes run in lines along the body. The back of the ears is black with a central yellowy/white band. Solid black spots mark the head and limbs. There are two black stripes on the cheeks and one or two transverse bars on the insides of the forelegs. The tail is either ringed or marked with dark bars on its upper surface. The eye sockets or orbits are incomplete at the back, and the anterior upper premolars are present.
The species historical range included Arizona, Texas.
The ocelot is comparable in size to the Bobcat (Lynx rufus), but it is easily distinguished by its long tail and grayish or tawny coat covered with numerous dark spots and streaks. Their tracks are similar, but slightly larger and wider than the Bobcat’s, about 2-2.5 in (5.0-6.2 cm) long, equally wide and with forefoot larger than hind foot.
DESCRIPTION: Tiger salamanders are large and stocky, 7.6-16.5 cm (3.0-6.5 in.), with small eyes, broad rounded snout, no parotid glands, and tubercles on the underside of front and hind feet. The dorsum has yellow to dark olive spots and blotches (reticulation), often with irregular edges between front and hind limbs (Stebbins 1985).
HABITAT: Lakes, ponds and cattle tanks in desert grassland areas of southern Arizona and northern Mexico. The most important habitat characteristic is standing water from January through June (USDI, FWS 1999, 2003). Found in the grasslands of the San Rafael Valley and nearby foothills within the Huachuca and Patagonia mountain ranges (Reptiles of Arizona 2013).
A.m. stebbinsi inhabits the San Rafael Valley (SRV) of Santa Cruz County, Arizona and Sonora, Mexico (Collins et al. 1988; USDI, FWS 1995; USDI, FWS 1999), and Cochise County, Arizona. Tiger salamanders were first found in the San Rafael Valley, Arizona by Lowe (1954) and Reed (1951). A.m. stebbinsi is now considered a distinct subspecies based on allozyme, mitrochondrial DNA, and microsatellite DNA analyses.
Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi
Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi
DESCRIPTION: The dorsal profile is slightly curved, and the body is somewhat elongated.
Caudal fin rounded to almost square. Gonopodium of male elongated, reaching past the snout when in copulatory position. Males are small, rarely more than 2.5 cm (0.98 in.) standard length; females are larger, sometimes 5.0 cm (1.97 in.) or more, usually 3.0 to 4.5 cm (1.18 to 1.77 in.), standard length (Minckley 1973). Their body is tan to olivaceous; darker above and with white often observed on the belly. The scales on the dorsum darkly outlined, extending as black speckles to upper belly and prepectoral area; lateral band dark and continuous along sides. Fins with rays outlined with melanophores, but lacking dark spots. Breeding males blackened, with some olden in midline of predorsum, and orange at base of gonopodium and sometimes at base of dorsal fin.
HABITAT: Gila topminnows occupied headwater springs, and vegetated margins and backwater areas of intermittent and perennial streams and rivers. This species prefers shallow backwater warm water in a moderate current with dense aquatic vegetation and algae mats.
DESCRIPTION: Female Gila chubs may grow to 25.0 cm (9.8 in.) while males seldom
reach 15.0 cm (5.9 in.) in total length (Rinne and Minckley 1991). Minckley in 1973 described the following, G. intermedia: "Body chunky. Scales large, thick, and broadly imbricated, basal radii usually present. Lateral-line scales almost always fewer than 80. Dorsal fin-rays usually eight or fewer (rarely nine). Anal fin-rays eight or fewer. Pelvic fin-rays 8 or 9. Length of head divided by depth of caudal peduncle usually 3.0 or less. An abrupt, soft and fatty, nuchal hump rarely developed in large females of some populations. Total vertebrae 38-45, usually fewer than 42. Pharyngeal arch similar to that of G. robusta, teeth 2, 5-4, 2.
Color dark, over-all sometimes lighter on belly. Diffuse lateral bands rarely present. No
basicaudal spot. Breeding males with red or orange on lower cheek, posterior parts of lips, paired fin bases, and on ventro-lateral surfaces (including caudal peduncle).
HABITAT: Gila chub are normally found in the smaller headwater streams, cienegas and springs or marshes of the Gila River basin. They utilize diverse habitat types based on season
and age. Adults have been collected from deep pools with heavily vegetated margins and
undercut banks. Juveniles have been collected from riffles, pools and undercut banks of runs.
DESCRIPTION: Body thickened, chubby, or markedly compressed, laterally, in adult males. Mouth superior, highly protractile, armed with tricuspid teeth. Circuli of scales with marked, spine-like projections. Dorsal profile smoothly rounded, not markedly concave posterior to origin of dorsal fin. Body color of females and juveniles with silvery background, with narrow, vertical, dark bars on sides, generally interrupted laterally to give the impression of a disjunct, lateral band. Fins generally colorless, with the exception of an ocellate spot in dorsal, and rarely a dark spot in anal fin. Mature, breeding male with caudal fin and posterior part of the caudal peduncle yellow or orange, sometimes intense orange-red; other fins generally dark. Body iridescent light- to sky-blue, especially on dorsum of head and predorsal region" (Minckley 1973).
HABITAT: Pupfish occupy shallow waters of springs, small streams, and marshes. Often
associated with areas of soft substrates and clear water (USFWS 1993).
DESCRIPTION: The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher is a medium-sized bird approximately 15.0 cm (5.75 inches) long, including tail. Body brownish-olive to grayish-green on upper parts with pale olive breast, pale yellow belly, whitish throat, and two white wing bars. Eye ring may be faint or absent. Bill relatively large with upper mandible dark and lower mandible usually entirely yellow or pale orange, often with a small dusky tip. At higher elevations in eastern Arizona, dark individuals have been observed.
HABITAT: A riparian obligate that prefers dense canopy cover, large volume of foliage, and surface water during midsummer. They appear to avoid riparian areas found in steep, closed canyons.
DESCRIPTION: Hemispherical cactus, adults measuring 10.0-46.0 cm (4.0-18 in.) tall, 8.0-18.0 cm (3.0-7.0 in.) in diameter. Strong straw-colored central spines form cluster, one per areole, measure up to 3.0 cm (1.2 in.) long. Central spine 2.0 mm (0.08 in.) in diameter, curved or hooked at abruptly narrowing tip. Radial spines number 6 in young plants, increasing to 10-15 in older plants. Vary from 19.0-23.0 mm (0.76-0.92 in.) long with upper ones more slender. Areoles covered densely with deciduous wool which disappears at maturity. Tubercles grooved along upper surface. Stems can branch and clumps can form. Silky yellow flowers, coral color on edges, have narrow floral tube. Green fruit ellipsoid, succulent and sweet. Brown or black seeds finely veined or netted. Photo by fs.fed.us
HABITAT: Ridges in semidesert grassland and alluvial fans in Sonoran desertscrub. Desert Botanical Garden (1999) reports that “Plants are found on alluvial hillsides in rocky, sandy soils.... habitat type is primarily desert grassland....”
ELEVATION: About 2,300 - 5,000 feet (702 - 1,525 m).
DESCRIPTION: Slender, erect, terrestrial orchid. In bloom reaches 60.0 cm (24.0 in.) tall. Three to ten linear-lanceolate, grass-like leaves, 18.0 cm (7.2 in.) long and 1.5 cm (0.6 in.) wide, grow basally on stem. Fleshy, swollen roots about 5.0 mm (0.2 in.) in diameter. Twisted spike inflorescence may contain up to 45 tubular white flowers, consisting of wide-spreading lateral sepals and linear petals, with a pleated lip 6.0-8.0 mm (0.24-0.32 in.) long, creamy or pale-yellow center. Column slender, rostellum elongate and deeply bifid.
HABITAT: Marshy wetland or cienega intermixed with tall grasses and sedges. Grows on slope near water so soil is drained (aerated) although saturated. Grows in very dense vegetation. As slope increases, growth increases.
ELEVATION: About 4,000 ft. (1,220 m). Based on records in the Heritage Data Management System (HDMS), elevation ranges from 4,585 to 4,970 ft. (1398 - 1516 m) (AGFD, unpublished data accessed 2002)
DESCRIPTION: Herbaceous, semi-aquatic to aquatic perennial with cylindrical, wavy, yellowish green, slender hollow leaves borne individually or in clusters, that grow from the nodes of creeping rhizomes; inconspicuous septa at irregular intervals. Leaves terete in cross section, generally 1.0-3.0 mm in diameter, however, length varies depending on micro-habitat. When growing out of water in wet soil near a stream, leaves usually only 4-8 cm (1.6-3.2 in) tall; growing in water that supports their weight, leaves can grow up to 22.5 cm (9 in) long. Umbels of 3-10 very small, white flowers (commonly with maroon-tinted petals) of less than 1 mm, borne at the base of the leaves. Inflorescence peduncles typically 1.0-7.0 cm (0.4-2.8 in.) long, always shorter than leaves. Fruits are globose, 1.5-2.0 mm in diameter, slightly longer than wide, and red colored in late fall.
HABITAT: Cienegas or marshy wetlands at 2,000 to 6,000 feet elevation, within Sonoran desertscrub, grassland or oak woodland, and conifer forest. Plants found in unshaded or shaded sites in shallow water, saturated soil near seeps, springs and streams.
ELEVATION: 2,000 - 7,100 ft. (610 - 2166 m).
DESCRIPTION: A medium to large, stocky frog with adult lengths snout to vent from 5.0-
13.5 cm (2.0-5.4 in); US Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) report 54 to 120 mm (2.1 to 4.7 in). A distinctive pattern on the rear of the thigh consists of small, raised, cream-colored spots or tubercules on a dark background; the dorsal spots are generally smaller and more numerous than in other leopard frogs. The upper lip stripe is faint or absent in front of the eye, and the head and back are often green in coloration. Dorsolateral folds are broken toward the rear of the body, deflected medially (angling inward); skin is relatively rough on the back and the sides. The eyes are higher on the head and more upturned than other Arizona leopard frogs. The hind feet are webbed, and males have a swollen and darkened thumb base. The venter is a dull whitish or yellowish color, while gray mottling usually occurs on the throat and sometimes on the chest. The groin and lower abdomen are often yellow. (USFWS 2008). Platz (1988) notes that the “posterior surfaces of thighs have numerous small papilla, each surrounded by cream colored skin...adults have mottled venter and males along southern Arizona border have vestigial oviducts.” Photo by fws.gov
HABITAT: Historically: An inhabitant of cienegas, pools, livestock tanks, lakes, reservoirs,
streams, and rivers at elevations of 1,000 – 2,710 m (3,281-8,890 ft) in central, east-central,
and southeastern Arizona. Currently: They are often restricted to springs, livestock tanks, and streams in the upper portions of watersheds where non-native predators either have yet to invade or habitats are marginal.
ELEVATION: Elevations range from 1,000-2,710 m (3,281-8,890 ft.) (Platz and Mecham,
1979; Sredl et al., 1997; USFWS 2008).
DESCRIPTION: Typically less than 20.0 cm (7.9 in.) in total length (rarely exceeds 12.5
cm (4.9 in.) in United States). Body moderately chubby, fusiform and terete. Scales relatively small, 63 to 75 in lateral line, bearing prominent radii on all fields. Eight fin rays in dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins; rarely 9 in dorsal and 7 in pelvic and anal fins. Pharyngeal teeth, 2, 5-4, 2 (Minckley 1973). Coloration dark, with two prominent, black lateral bands above and below lateral line. Lower sides and belly lighter. Breeding colors red at bases of paired and anal fins, with some orange on belly and other ventro-lateral areas, basicaudal spot discrete, round oval in shape.
HABITAT: In Sycamore Creek, found most commonly in the largest, deepest, and most
permanent pools, with bedrock-sand substrates, and areas free of thick pads of floating algae
(Carpenter and Maughan 1993).
ELEVATION: Less than 305 to 1,219 m (1,000 - 4,000 ft.). Based on records in the
Heritage Data Management System (HDMS), elevation ranges from 3,500 - 4,190 ft. (1068 -
1278 m) (AGFD, unpublished data accessed 2001).
DESCRIPTION: The subspecies lucida is a medium sized owl. The MSO is a brown colored owl with large, irregular and numerous white spots on the head, neck, back, and underparts, giving it a lighter appearance than the other two subspecies. The sexes are nearly identical, but females have darker head and face color, and breeding females have brood patches. The remiges and rectrices of both sexes are dark brown and barred with light brown and white; tail has about ten light bands. MSO has a round face that lacks ear tufts. The large, round, brownish facial disks are concentrically barred with dark brown, with a dark brown border. Their dark brown eyes appear almost black. The bill is a pale yellowish green color, and their legs and feet are fully feathered. Juvenile spotted owls (hatchling to approximately 5 months) have a white downy appearance. Subadults (5 to 26 months) possess adult plumage but have pointed rectrices with white tips. The rectrices of adults (>27 months) have rounded and mottled tips.
HABITAT: In Arizona, they occur primarily in mixed-conifer, pine-oak, and evergreen oak forests; also occurs in ponderosa pine forest and rocky canyonlands (Ganey and Balda 1989). In Arizona, they generally foraged more than or as frequently as expected (based on availability) in virgin mixed-conifer forests (Ganey and Balda 1994). (NatureServe 2005). Range size for single owls in Arizona averages 1,600 acres and combined home ranges occupied by pairs averages 2,000 acres.
ELEVATION: the HDMS reports the elevation range between 2,720 – 9,600 ft. (829-2926 m) based on unpublished records (AGFD, accessed 2005).
DESCRIPTION: A long and slender medium-sized bird of about 30 cm (12 in)in length, weighing about 60 g (2 oz.), with relatively short dark legs. The species has a slender, long-tailed profile, with a stout and slightly down-curved bill. The bill is blue-black with yellow on the basal half of the lower mandible (bill). Adults have a narrow, yellow eye ring. The plumage is grayish-brown above and white below, with rufus primaries flight feathers. Tail feathers are boldly patterned with black and white below. Juveniles resemble adults, except the tail patterning is less distinct, and the lower bill may have little or no yellow; the plumage is held well into fall. Juveniles may be confused with C. erythropthalmus (Scott 1987). Adult males and females slightly differ, as males tend to have a slightly larger bill. (Corman 1992, USFWS accessed 10-31-2011). Photo by fws.gov
HABITAT: Suitable habitats west of the Continental Divide, is limited to narrow, and often widely separated, riparian cottonwood-willow galleries; salt cedar is also used by cuckoos. Dense understory foliage appears to be an important factor in nest site selection (USFWS accessed 10-31-2011). In addition to cottonwood-willow galleries, cuckoos in Arizona can be found in larger mesquite bosques. (Corman 1992).
ELEVATION: Usually found at elevations less than 6,600 feet (2011 m).
DESCRIPTION: The stout-bodied Northern Mexican gartersnake reaches a maximum length of 44 in (112 cm), with females larger than males. The background color ranges from olive to olive-brown to olive gray. A portion of the lateral stripe occurring on the fourth scale row, distinguish T. eques from other gartersnake species. (USFWS accessed 2011). A pair of large brown spots, extends along the dorsolateral fields, and a light-colored crescent extends behind the corners of the mouth. (Stebbins 1985, USFWS accessed 2011). Photo by fws.gov
HABITAT: In Arizona, three general habitat types are used: 1) source area ponds and cienegas; 2) lowland river riparian forests and woodlands; 3) upland stream gallery forests. T. eques megalops avoids steep mountain canyon stream habitats (Rosen and Schwalbe 1988). It is most abundant in densely vegetative habitat. (USFWS accessed 2011).
ELEVATION: Usually ranges between 3,000 and 5,000 ft. (914 - 1525 m) (Rosen and Schwalbe 1988), but may reach elevations of 8,500 feet (2593 m).
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