Arizona Wildlife Conservation Strategy

Nutrioso Rudd COA

The Nutrioso Rudd COA consists of approximately 10 miles of Rudd Creek and 15 miles of Nutrioso Creek, as well as their associated riparian and adjacent upland habitats. Elevations range from approximately 7,100 feet to approximately 9,400 feet. This COA also includes Nelson Reservoir, the AZGFD-owned Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area (Sipe) and the EC Bar Ranch property, and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests pastures adjacent to Sipe that were removed from livestock grazing to emphasize riparian and wildlife habitat needs. Three vegetation types occur within this COA, with the Petran montane conifer forest habitat type occurring at the higher elevations, and the Great Basin conifer woodland and Plains and Great Basin grassland habitat types at the lower elevations. This COA provides habitat for aquatic and riparian dependent species, as well as migratory birds, and provides connectivity to the White Mountains COA.

Conservation Goals

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


Primary Threats

1. Agriculture

1.2: Wood and pulp operations

2. Biological Resource Use

2.3: Logging and wood harvesting

3. Climate Change and Severe Weather

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

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

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

Potential Conservation Actions

1. Land and Water Protection

1.2: Resource and habitat protection
  • Acquire land and water rights and pursue conservation agreements and easements in and around COAs and other priority areas.

2. Land and Water Management

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.
  • Restore and maintain diverse habitats to support broad species assemblages that account for range shifts.

3. Species Management

3.1: Management of specific species of concern
  • Conduct research targeting species and habitat types likely to be vulnerable to climate change impacts.
  • Implement long-term monitoring protocols for vulnerable species and habitats to inform adaptive management.

Habitats Present

Strategy Species


Bald Eagle, Band-tailed Pigeon, Flammulated Owl, Golden Eagle, Mexican Spotted Owl, Northern Goshawk, Pinyon Jay, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Townsend's Solitaire, Red Crossbill


Allen's Lappet-browed Bat, Big Free-tailed Bat, Greater Western Mastiff Bat, Hoary Bat, Mexican Gray Wolf, New Mexican Jumping Mouse, Pale Townsend's Big-eared Bat, Southwestern Myotis, Spotted Bat, Silver-haired Bat, Arizona Myotis, Fringed Myotis


Arizona Black Rattlesnake


See Associated Aquatic COAs for fish species.

Protected Areas and Other Areas of Conservation Value

  • Sipe Mountain Wildlife Area
  • EC Bar Property (AZGFD)

Potential Partners

  • Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
  • Arizona Department of Fire and Forestry Management
  • Arizona Elk Society
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
  • Arizona Antelope Foundation
  • Mule Deer Foundation
  • Arizona Deer Association
  • Quail Forever/Pheasants Forever
  • Audubon Southwest

Relevant Conservation Plans

Associated Aquatic COAs