The Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona is a “sky island” rich in biodiversity that is home to many bird species that occur at their northernmost range, including the elegant trogon and Rivoli’s hummingbird, making the area a bird watching destination. The thick-billed parrot, now only found in Mexico, once extended its range into these mountains. They also provide globally-significant habitat for Mexican spotted owls. These mountains are also home to a diversity of endemic terrestrial mollusks, including two genera of mountainsnails (Oreohelix and Radiocentrum), woodlandsnails (Ashmunella), and talussnails (Sonorella). The area has the highest bat diversity in the United States. More than 20 species have been recorded here, 11 of which are SGCN. Most of the lands in this mountain range are managed by Coronado National Forest and the Chiricahua National Monument.
- Identify and conserve areas known as stopover and breeding habitats for migratory birds and support their full life-cycle conservation through international collaborations that address threats to their migration and wintering habitats in Mexico, Central America, and beyond.
- Maintain and improve the status and distribution of endemic SGCN snails and reduce threats to their populations and habitat.
- Increase connectivity to other mountain ranges and significant wildland blocks.
3. Climate Change and Severe Weather
7. Human Intrusions and Disturbance
8. Invasive and Other Problematic Species
9. Natural System Modifications
Potential Conservation Actions
2. Land and Water Management
- Conserve or improve areas for migratory birds identified as important habitats during any part of their annual life cycle (breeding, stopover, or wintering).
- Reintroduce prescribed burns to increase habitat resiliency in this unique and diverse Madrean woodland habitat.
- Restore woodland habitats with more climate adaptable species to improve landscape resilience over time.
- Increase connectivity by removing barriers and impediments to species movement. Modify pasture and boundary fences to meet wildlife-friendly criteria to allow safe wildlife movement or provide wildlife crossing structures to minimize wildlife/vehicle collisions
3. Species Management
- Conduct research that includes surveying and monitoring species and habitats to determine status and conditions so that resources can be appropriately allocated where they are most needed.
- Monitor bat populations for white-nose syndrome.
- Conduct acoustic surveillance to detect trends in baseline bat activity and species richness over time.
- Improve management and restoration of agave species to provide resources and migration corridors for lesser long-nosed bat and other pollinator species.
7. External Capacity Building
- Form and provide support for partnerships and alliances to promote information sharing, learning, and collaboration.
- Work with federal and state agencies to address the critical need for wildlife movement across the international border with Mexico, and help design any necessary border barriers to improve wildlife movement.
- Semidesert Grasslands
- Madrean Woodlands
- Petran Montane Conifer Forests
- Petran Subalpine Conifer Forests and Alpine Tundra
American Peregrine Falcon, Elegant Trogon, Elf Owl, Flammulated Owl, Grace's Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Mexican Spotted Owl, Montezuma Quail, Olive Warbler, Red-faced Warbler, Virginia's Warbler, Western Screech-Owl, Whiskered Screech-Owl
Bearded Mountainsnail, Big Emigrant Talussnail, Cave Creek Mountainsnail, Cave Creek Woodlandsnail, Chiricahua Talussnail, Chiricahua Woodlandsnail, Portal Talussnail, Pygmy Sonorella, Reed's Mountain Woodlandsnail
Arizona Myotis, Cave Myotis, Chiricahua Fox Squirrel, Greater Western Mastiff Bat, Jaguar, Lesser Long-nosed Bat, Mexican Long-tongued Bat, Ocelot, Pale Townsend's Big-eared Bat, Southwestern Myotis, Western Yellow Bat, Yellow-nosed Cotton Rat
Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail, Hooded Nightsnake, Ornate Box Turtle, Rock Rattlesnake, Twin-spotted Rattlesnake, Black-necked Gartersnake, Green Ratsnake, Sonora Mud Turtle
See Associated Aquatic COAs for fish species.
Protected Areas and Other Areas of Conservation Value
- Chiracahua National Monument
- Chiracahua Wilderness
- Leslie Canyon National Wildlife Refuge
- US Forest Service
- National Parks Service
- Borderlands Restoration Network
- Sky Island Alliance
- Sonoran Joint Venture
- Bat Conservation International
Relevant Conservation Plans
- Coronado National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan
- Chiracahua National Monument General Plan
- Lesser Long-nosed Bat Status Assessment
- Chiricahua Leopard Frog Recovery Plan
- Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Recovery Plan