Arizona Wildlife Conservation Strategy

Eagle Creek COA

The Eagle Creek COA is adjacent to the Bear Wallow Wilderness Area to the north, the Blue Range Primitive Area and the San Francisco Blue COA to the east, and the San Carlos Indian Reservation to the west. This COA is characterized by its remote, rugged terrain and sparse road network. Elevations range from approximately 4,100 feet to 9,100 feet, allowing the Eagle Creek COA to span six vegetation types, from Petran montane conifer forests in the highest elevations to semidesert grasslands in the COA’s lower elevation. This diversity in elevation, combined with diverse topography, geology, and vegetation types, provides habitat for numerous native wildlife and plant species. Named for the main waterway that flows along its western boundary, Eagle Creek, along with its key tributaries provide perennial water sources that support diverse assemblages of native aquatic and riparian dependent plant and wildlife species within this otherwise dry and rugged landscape.

Conservation Goals

  • Improve and maintain forest, woodland, chaparral, and grassland vegetation communities within their range of natural variability for wildlife habitat and to make these communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
  • Improve and maintain the hydrologic and ecological function of the watershed conditions, streams, riparian and wetland areas and the habitats they support.
  • Maintain and enhance travel corridors and thermal cover for a wide variety of wildlife species.


Primary Threats

1. Agriculture

1.2: Wood and pulp operations

2. Biological Resource Use

2.1: Unlawful take of terrestrial animals
2.3: Logging and wood harvesting

3. Climate Change and Severe Weather

3.1: Habitat shifting and alteration
3.2: Droughts
3.3: Temperature extremes
3.4: Storms and flooding

8. Invasive and Other Problematic Species

8.1: Invasive non-native species
8.2: Problematic native species

9. Natural System Modifications

9.1: Fire and fire suppression
9.2: Dams and water management

Potential Conservation Actions

2. Land and Water Management

2.1: Site/area management
  • Restore and maintain diverse habitats to support broad species assemblages that account for range shifts.
  • Identify where future climate conditions may support Madrean woodland habitats, including areas upslope of their current range where they were not historically found
2.3: Habitat and natural process restoration
  • Identify and protect key wildlife corridors to improve landscape connectivity.
  • Implement projects focused on improving the quality of altered systems creating suitable habitat and/or habitat for wildlife.
  • Improve the connectivity of natural landscapes to better link wildlife populations and allow for range shifts.
  • Maintain natural fire regimes on the landscape through prescribed burns and natural fire management.

3. Species Management

3.1: Management of specific species of concern
  • Implement long-term monitoring protocols for vulnerable species and habitats to inform adaptive management.
  • Conduct research targeting species and habitat types likely to be vulnerable to climate change impacts.
  • Collect specimens or samples for taxonomic analysis, genetics, research, and/or disease testing.
3.4: Ex situ conservation
  • Establish new wild and/or captive populations of climate vulnerable SGCN.

5. Law and Policy

5.4: Compliance and enforcement
  • Improve management of recreational activities in sensitive riparian areas.

Habitats Present

Strategy Species


Lowland Leopard Frog


Bald Eagle, Band-tailed Pigeon, Golden Eagle, Mexican Spotted Owl, American Goshawk (Northern Goshawk), Northern Pygmy-Owl, Pinyon Jay, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher


Diablo Mountainsnail


American Pronghorn, Mexican Gray Wolf, Pale Townsend's Big-eared Bat, Hoary Bat, Allen's Lappet-browed Bat, Silver-haired Bat, Big Brown Bat, Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Southwestern Myotis, Arizona Myotis


Arizona Black Rattlesnake, Black-necked Gartersnake, Madrean Alligator Lizard, Milksnake, Mountain Skink, New Mexico Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake, Sonora Mud Turtle


See Associated Aquatic COAs for fish species.

Protected Areas and Other Areas of Conservation Value

  • Black River
  • Fish Creek
  • Snake Creek

Potential Partners

  • Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe
  • Arizona Elk Society
  • Arizona Antelope Foundation
  • Mule Deer Foundation
  • Quail Forever/Pheasants Forever
  • National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Audubon Southwest
  • Private Landowners
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Relevant Conservation Plans

Associated Aquatic COAs