Arizona Wildlife Conservation Strategy

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area COA

The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA) is a protected area encompassing 47 miles of the San Pedro River and approximates the boundary of this COA. As one of the best examples of desert riparian habitat in the United States, containing 55,990 acres of public land between the international border and St. David, Arizona, this BLM-managed area is a rare remnant of what was once an extensive network of similar riparian ecosystems throughout the American southwest.

Conservation Goals

  • Provide a base flow sufficient for SPRNCA management purposes.
  • Ensure vegetative communities support healthy, diverse, and abundant populations of native wetland plants, fish, and wildlife species.
  • Improve habitat connectivity in corridors between mountain ranges and in riparian areas.
  • Conserve the exceptional example of low-elevation desert riparian habitat and the breeding and migratory birds that depend on it.


Primary Threats

1. Agriculture

1.1: Annual and perennial nontimber crops

4. Residential and Commercial Development

4.1: Housing and urban areas
4.2: Commercial and industrial areas

7. Human Intrusions and Disturbance

7.3: Work and other 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
  • Modify pasture and boundary fences to meet wildlife-friendly criteria to allow safe wildlife movement.
2.2: Invasive/problematic species control
  • Maintain native desertscrub through chemical and manual treatments of invasive and problematic species.
  • Protect native flora through appropriate stocking rates and to address soil erosion from grazing.
2.3: Habitat and natural process restoration
  • Increase connectivity by removing barriers and impediments to species movement.

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 improve wildlife movement.

Habitats Present

Strategy Species


Chiricahua Leopard Frog, Lowland Leopard Frog


American Kestrel, Arizona Bell's Vireo, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Arizona Botteri's Sparrow, Bullock's Oriole, Common Black Hawk, Costa's Hummingbird, Elf Owl, Gray Hawk, Hooded Oriole, Inca Dove, Lucy's Warbler, Mississippi Kite, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Swainson's Hawk, Yellow Warbler, Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo


Cave Myotis, Greater Western Mastiff Bat, Hoary Bat, Lesser Long-nosed Bat, Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Western Red Bat


Gila Monster, Sonora Mud Turtle, Mexican Gartersnake


See Associated Aquatic COAs for fish species.

Protected Areas and Other Areas of Conservation Value

  • Saint David Cienega RNA Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC)
  • San Pedro River RNA Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC)
  • San Rafael RNA Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC)

Potential Partners

  • BLM Tucson Field Office
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Tucson Audubon Society
  • Cienega Watershed Partnership

Relevant Conservation Plans

Associated Aquatic COAs