Wildlife abounds in the San Pedro Riparian NCA as a result of the abundant food, water and cover within and surrounding the riparian zone. The NCA supports over 350 species of birds, more than 80 species of mammals, two native species and several introduced species of fish, as well as more than 60 species of amphibians and reptiles.
Birds -- One of the major attractions here is the Globally Important Bird Area which attracts thousands of birdwatchers from all over the world each year. Over 100 species of breeding birds and another 250 species of migrant and wintering birds occur in this area, representing roughly half the number of known breeding species in North America. Notably, 36 species of raptors, including the gray hawk and Mississippi kite can be found within the NCA. Other enticing species include the green kingfisher, Bell's vireo, northern beardless-tyrannulet, Abert's towhee, Lucy's warbler, and yellow-billed cuckoo. The NCA's bird checklist (pdf format) includes nearly 400 species.
The Friends of the San Pedro lead guided birding walks every 2nd Wednesday and 4th Saturday at 7:00 a.m. (starting from the San Pedro House).
The San Pedro Avian Resources Center is a BLM led, volunteer-based, MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) protocol and bird-banding program. BLM biologists are in the process of banding on the San Pedro, and cooperate with banders operating at Chiricahua and Coronado national monuments and in Sonora. In addition to banding more than 6000 birds of 100 species, they have trained dozens of biologists and volunteers from Arizona and Sonora.
Mammals -- are abundant throughout the area, although some are nocturnal and thus rarely seen. Included in this group are many species of rodents, several bats, mountain lions and bobcats. Other mammals, like the white-tailed deer, mule deer, javelina, desert cottontail and black-tailed jackrabbit, are commonly observed.
Reptiles and Amphibians -- The combination of desert and riparian habitats within the NCA creates a favorable environment for large numbers of reptiles and amphibians. The most notable of these are the Mexican garter snake, Mojave rattlesnake and Gila monster. More common species include the western diamondback rattlesnake, desert grassland whiptail lizard, ornate box turtle and Woodhouse's toad.
Fish -- Historically, the San Pedro River contained 14 species of native fish. Today, these have been largely replaced by introduced species such as the common carp, black bullhead and mosquitofish. Only the longfin dace and desert sucker remain from the original San Pedro populations.
San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
4070 South Avenida Saracino
Hereford, AZ 85615
Manager: Vi Hillman
3201 E. Universal Way
Tucson, AZ 85756
Phone: (520) 258-7200