Arizona Wildlife Conservation Strategy

Quitobaquito COA

Quitobaquito Springs is a low desert spring-fed ecosystem in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument along the US-Mexico border. The spring channel and pond support endemic populations of ESA-listed Quitoboquito pupfish and Sonoyta mud turtle, and Quitobaquito Tryonia (a springsnail). In addition, the pond is an important watering and foraging resource for Underwood’s mastiff bat and greater western mastiff bat. As one of the only perennial water sources in the area, this spring is also vital to migratory birds.

Conservation Goals

  • Improve aquatic habitats to maintain perennial nature of the spring that provide essential habitats for native wildlife, including several SGCN.
  • Implement conservation actions in the Quitobaquito Tryonia Strategic Conservation Plan (a CCA) to maintain and improve the status and distribution of this snail and reduce threats to its populations and habitat.


Primary Threats

1. Agriculture

1.3: Livestock farming and ranching

3. Climate Change and Severe Weather

3.2: Droughts

7. Human Intrusions and Disturbance

7.3: Work and other activities

Potential Conservation Actions

2. Land and Water Management

2.1: Site/area management
  • Improve habitats by restoring water retention and shoreline habitat of the pond with an improved pond liner and habitat features for wildlife.
  • Reduce groundwater pumping in the region that is adversely affecting the spring.
  • Improve and protect stopover and breeding habitats for migratory birds and support their full life-cycle conservation through international collaborations that address threats to their migration and wintering habitats in Mexico, Central America, and beyond.

3. Species Management

3.2: Species recovery
  • Ensure that at-risk species have viable populations through captive breeding, artificial propagation and gene banking that can offset any aquatic habitat losses due to dewatering.

7. External Capacity Building

7.2: Alliance and partnership development
  • Work with federal and state agencies to address the critical need for wildlife movement across the international border with Mexico, and help design any necessary border barriers to allow wildlife movement.

Habitats Present

Strategy Species


Sonoran Desert Toad


Gilded Flicker, Cactus Wren, Western Screech-Owl


Quitobaquito Tryonia


California Leaf-nosed Bat, Greater Western Mastiff Bat, Hoary Bat, Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Pocketed Free-tailed Bat, Sonoran Pronghorn, Underwood's Mastiff Bat


Sonoran Desert Tortoise, Sonoyta Mud Turtle


See Associated Aquatic COAs for fish species.

Protected Areas and Other Areas of Conservation Value

  • Organ Pipe National Monument

Potential Partners

  • National Parks Service
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
  • University of Arizona

Relevant Conservation Plans

  • No associated Conservation Plans

Associated Aquatic COAs

  • No associated Aquatic COAs