Introduction • San Pedro River Drainage North running river Located mostly in SE Arizona Only river that has not been dammed in SE US Provides riparian habitat for many species
The river basin provides food, shelter and water to 389 species of birds which adds up to about half of bird species found in North America (Steinitz et al. 2003) • The San Pedro River basin is listed as the number one birding site in the United States by Wild Bird Digest Magazine
Important Species of Birds • Willow Flycatcher Endangered Species Dependent on riparian habitat, which makes the San Pedro river a prime site for habitat.
Northern Goshawk • Accipiter species • Feeds on small mammals • White stripe over eye • Black bars on tail • Lives in mountainous habitat
Summer Tanager • bright red plumage for males and a bright yellow plumage for females • found in wooded areas in Arizona • The numbers in populations of this species have decreased significantly due to land clearing (Tekiela, 2003).
Black Crowned Night Heron • Aquatic species • Eats fish and insects • Black crown • White belly • Populations have decreased In past 100 years
Red Winged Black Bird • Males of this species are jet black all over and have red and yellow stripes located on the wings • females of this species are striped and brown in coloration • visits the San Pedro every spring • one of the most numerous species in Arizona • Associated with aquatic environments
Migrant Species • Wilson’s Warbler • Yellow Rumped Warbler
Problems • Cattle Grazing Decreases vegetation for food and habitat of bird species • San Pedro National Conservation Area • Cattle were removed • Bird surveys conducted • Bird species and populations increased due to removal
Brood Parasites • Parasitize nests of other birds • Brown headed and Bronzed Cowbirds • Known to parasitize over 200 species of birds
Problems • Three hundred years ago wetlands comprised about 5% of the state, whereas now they are less than 1% of the states landmass (Krueper et al. 2003) • lowering of the water table in the basin • about 80% of Arizona vertebrate species rely on wetlands at some point in their life cycles
Conservation • In 1988, the U.S. congress set aside the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area • corridor for migrating birds • a refuge for native species
Willow Flycatcher Program • Arizona Game and Fish Department • Management operatives include: • bird surveys • nest monitoring • brood parasite trapping. • The agency also monitors areas of riparian regeneration, and works to minimize land use impacts