Arizona Wildlife Conservation Strategy

East Verde River COA

This perennial stream begins in the Mogollon Rim and flows west to its confluence with the Verde River. The area consists of primarily undeveloped portions of xeric-habitat with a small band of riparian vegetation along the stream channel, though a few small communities that rely on the river for water, such as Whispering Pines and East Verde Estates. Continued expansion could result in increased degradation of important riparian habitats for SGCN species such as the lowland leopard frog which are present within perennial portions of the East Verde River.

Conservation Goals

  • Improve important riparian habitat for SGCN species through streamflow improvements and habitat restoration.
  • Reduce invasive species encroachment that could reduce the availability of above-ground and below-ground water for wildlife and native plant species.


Primary Threats

3. Climate Change and Severe Weather

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

4. Residential and Commercial Development

4.1: Housing and urban areas
4.2: Commercial and industrial areas
4.3: Tourism and recreation areas

8. Invasive and Other Problematic Species

8.1: Invasive non-native species

9. Natural System Modifications

9.2: Dams and water management

Potential Conservation Actions

2. Land and Water Management

2.2: Invasive/problematic species control
  • Remove salt cedar from the stream channels and replace with native broadleaf riparian trees such as cottonwood and willows where applicable.
  • Reduce fuels loads in anticipation for large standing dead monocultures of salt cedar due to the Tamarisk leaf-beetle.
2.3: Habitat and natural process restoration
  • Restore natural streamflow where previously altered.

3. Species Management

3.1: Management of specific species of concern
  • Implement long-term monitoring protocols for native species and habitats to inform adaptive management.
3.2: Species recovery
  • Improve habitat for riparian obligate SGCN such as the lowland leopard frog and yellow-billed cuckoo.

Habitats Present

Strategy Species


Arizona Toad, Chiricahua Leopard Frog, Lowland Leopard Frog


Common Black Hawk, Gray Hawk, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo


Hoary Bat, Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Southwestern Myotis, Yuma Myotis


Arizona Black Rattlesnake, Narrow-headed Gartersnake, Sonora Mud Turtle


See Associated Aquatic COAs for fish species.

Protected Areas and Other Areas of Conservation Value

  • Verde River Greenway State Natural Area
  • Upper Verde River Wildlife Area (AZGFD)
  • Sycamore Canyon IBA

Potential Partners

  • US Forest Service
  • Whispering Pines
  • Doll Baby Ranch

Relevant Conservation Plans

Associated Aquatic COAs