Arizona Wildlife Conservation Strategy

Lower Little Colorado River COA

The Lower Little Colorado River COA consists of approximately 165 miles of the Little Colorado River and associated riparian and adjacent upland habitat, from Lyman Lake, at an elevation of approximately 5,900 feet, downstream to the boundary of the Navajo Nation northwest of the City of Winslow, at an elevation of approximately 4,800 feet. Three habitat types are included within this COA, beginning upstream within the Great Basin conifer woodland habitat type, then quickly transitioning into the Plains Great Basin grassland and Great Basin desertscrub vegetation types. This COA provides habitat for aquatic and riparian dependent species, as well as migratory birds, and provides connectivity between other COAs, including the Rim to River, Silver Creek, Petrified Forest Puerco River, and the Middle Colorado River.

Conservation Goals

  • Improve and maintain woodland, grassland, and desert scrub vegetation communities within their range of natural variability for wildlife habitat, and 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.
  • Promote native riparian vegetation and native fish recovery.
  • Maintain and enhance travel corridors 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

3. Climate Change and Severe Weather

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

7. Human Intrusions and Disturbance

7.1: Recreational activities
7.3: Work and other activities

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

11. Transportation and Service Corridors

11.1: Roads and railroads

Potential Conservation Actions

2. Land and Water Management

2.1: Site/area management
  • Conserve a variety of habitats that support healthy populations of fish and wildlife as climate changes.
  • Improve recreational management to better protect riparian areas.
  • Restore and maintain diverse habitats to support broad species assemblages that account for range shifts.
2.3: Habitat and natural process restoration
  • Identify and protect key wildlife corridors for landscape connectivity.
  • Improve management of water quality and quantity to maintain and enhance water levels for wildlife habitats.
  • Develop and enhance artificial waters on the landscape.

3. Species Management

3.1: Management of specific species of concern
  • Establish new wild and/or captive populations of climate vulnerable SGCN, including Chiricahua leopard frog and narrow-headed gartersnake.
  • Collect specimens or samples for taxonomic analysis, genetics, research, and/or disease testing.
  • Implement long-term monitoring protocols for vulnerable species and habitats to inform adaptive management.

Habitats Present

Strategy Species


Northern Leopard Frog


American Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Golden Eagle, Mountain Plover, Prairie Falcon, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Swainson's Hawk, Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo


Diablo Mountainsnail


Black-tailed Prairie Dog, Gunnison's Prairie Dog, Mexican Gray Wolf, Stephen's Woodrat, Hoary Bat, Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Silver-haired Bat, Big Free-tailed Bat


Black-necked Gartersnake


See Associated Aquatic COAs for fish species.

Protected Areas and Other Areas of Conservation Value

  • No associated Protected Areas

Potential Partners

  • Navajo Nation
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Arizona State Land Department
  • Coconino County
  • Audubon Southwest
  • Private Landowners
  • Pueblo of Zuni
  • Apache County
  • Navajo County

Relevant Conservation Plans

Associated Aquatic COAs