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 40 species of amphibians and reptiles.
-- One of the major attractions here is the internationally renowned birdlife 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, Mississippi kite and crested caracara can be found within the NCA. Other enticing species include the green kingfisher, northern beardless-tyrannulet and yellow-billed cuckoo. A checklist
(pdf format) of birds on the San Pedro is available.
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 green rattlesnake and Gila monster. More common species include the western diamondback rattlesnake, desert grassland whiptail lizard, Sonoran box turtle and Couch's spadefoot 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, yellow bullhead and mosquitofish. Only the longfin dace and desert sucker remain from the original San Pedro populations.
San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
Manager: Mark Rekshynskyj
1763 Paseo San Luis
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635-4611