Arizona Wildlife Conservation Strategy

Virgin River COA

This delicate river ecosystem provides quality habitats for several aquatic and terrestrial SGCN. The Virgin River springsnail is an endemic freshwater mollusk that is found at several unnamed springs along the Virgin River near Littlefield in northeastern Arizona. Some of these springsnail populations are on BLM land and others on private and ADOT right-of-way to Interstate 15 (the "Little Jamaica Spring"). Several other SGCN also occur within the riparian corridor of this sensitive desert river, including southwestern willow flycatcher, Mohave desert tortoise, woundfin, and Virgin River chub.

Conservation Goals

  • Implement conservation actions for the springsnail to maintain and improve its status and distribution, and reduce threats to their populations and habitat.
  • Improve and protect quality riparian area habitat for SGCN.


Primary Threats

1. Agriculture

1.3: Livestock farming and ranching

3. Climate Change and Severe Weather

3.1: Habitat shifting and alteration
3.2: Droughts

8. Invasive and Other Problematic Species

8.1: Invasive non-native species

9. Natural System Modifications

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
  • Improve livestock management especially in areas that may adversely affect springs.
  • Work with partners, such as ADOT, to improve management that reduces runoff and other adverse effects from I-15 that runs along the Virgin River.
  • Improve management to maintain water quality and quantity in this desert river that is under increasing pressure.
2.2: Invasive/problematic species control
  • Monitor and control for invasive plant species along the river, including Russian olive and salt cedar that may reduce the quality of habitats for avian species.

3. Species Management

3.1: Management of specific species of concern
  • Implement long-term monitoring protocols for vulnerable species and habitats to inform adaptive management.

Habitats Present

Strategy Species


Arizona Toad


Bullock's Oriole, Common Black Hawk, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Spotted Sandpiper, White-throated Swift, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Arizona Bell's Vireo


Desert Springsnail


Allen's Lappet-browed Bat, Desert Woodrat, Hoary Bat


Mojave Desert Tortoise


See Associated Aquatic COAs for fish species.

Protected Areas and Other Areas of Conservation Value

  • Virgin River Gorge

Potential Partners

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Arizona Department of Transportation
  • Private Landowners

Relevant Conservation Plans

Associated Aquatic COAs