Arizona Wildlife Conservation Strategy

Marble Canyon and Vermilion Cliffs COA

This COA is also an Important Bird Area (IBA) and acts as a vital corridor where the Colorado River connects Glen Canyon Dam to the north with the mouth of the Grand Canyon to the south. This COA is the location of a reintroduced population of California condors, providing important foraging and roosting habitats for the species. Because of its stunning landscapes and accessible recreational areas, Marble Canyon and Vermilion Cliffs are very popular with recreationists, including hikers, campers, and boaters.

Conservation Goals

  • Improve conservation efforts for California condors, including recreation management to minimize disturbance and reduction of lead poisoning.
  • Control invasive species, including salt cedar, common reed, Ravenna grass, and Russian olive, that are degrading riparian habitats.


Primary Threats

1. Agriculture

1.3: Livestock farming and ranching

7. Human Intrusions and Disturbance

7.1: Recreational activities

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

2.1: Site/area management
  • Improve fencing and other forms of management to control for trespass livestock that can damage sensitive habitats, especially springs.
2.2: Invasive/problematic species control
  • Develop management actions to reduce invasive species such as tamarisk, common reed, Ravenna grass, and Russian olive which can severely degrade native habitats along the Colorado River.

4. Education and Awareness

4.3: Awareness and communication
  • Increase awareness and education of the effects of lead poisoning to wildlife, especially California condors. Promote the use of non-lead ammunition.

Habitats Present

Strategy Species


Great Basin Spadefoot


American Dipper, American Peregrine Falcon, California Condor, Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon, White-throated Swift, Common Merganser, Canyon Wren


Grand Canyon Talussnail, Rocky Mountainsnail, Suboval Ambersnail, Niobrara Ambersnail


Allen's Lappet-browed Bat, Big Free-tailed Bat, Bushy-tailed Woodrat, Canyon Mouse, Desert Woodrat, Dwarf Shrew, Greater Western Mastiff Bat, Hoary Bat, Houserock Valley Chisel-toothed Kangaroo Rat, White-bellied Long-tailed Vole, Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Mexican Long-tongued Bat, Northern Pocket Gopher, Pale Townsend's Big-eared Bat, Spotted Bat, Western Red Bat


See Associated Aquatic COAs for fish species.

Protected Areas and Other Areas of Conservation Value

  • Marble Canyon Wilderness Area
  • Paria-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area
  • Vermillion Cliffs National Monument
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Grand Canyon National Park

Potential Partners

  • Navajo Nation
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • National Parks Service
  • The Peregrine Fund
  • The Grand Canyon Trust
  • Audubon Southwest

Relevant Conservation Plans

Associated Aquatic COAs