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A sampling of some of Arizona’s diverse wildlife: (top) a bald eagle, photo by Gary Beverly; (left) a humpback chub, photo by George Andrejko; (middle) a juvenile desert tortoise, photo courtesy of the Arizona Game and Fish Department; (right) a Mexican gray wolf pup, photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A sampling of some of Arizona’s diverse wildlife: (top) bald eagle, photo by Gary Beverly; (left) humpback chub, photo by George Andrejko; (middle) juvenile desert tortoise, photo courtesy of the Arizona Game and Fish Department; (right) a Mexican gray wolf pup, photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Protect and Conserve Arizona’s Native Wildlife and Habitats

Arizona is an amazing and ecologically rich state, making it the ideal home for a wide diversity of species. Our state’s rich flora – almost 4000 species of native plants – is unequalled by few other regions of the United States and provides unique habitat for a wealth of animal species:

  • 36 native fish species
  • 25 native amphibians
  • 107 species of native reptiles
  • 534 species of birds (including 7 non-native species)
  • 138 species of mammals
  • Over 220 species of native snails and one native freshwater mussel
  • Tens of thousands of insect and arachnid species

Unfortunately, many of the species that inhabit our state are on the path to extinction. With 62 federally-listed endangered and threatened species – 45 animals and 17 plants – Arizona ranks within the top 10 states for listed species.

A hotter, drier climate is likely to drive more of these species closer to the brink, which is why it is essential to limit impacts from development, roads, water diversions, overgrazing of livestock, agriculture, nonnative species, and much more.

Our Goals

  • Maintain viable and sustainable populations of all native wildlife species
  • Preserve and restore natural habitats
  • Safeguard important habitat connectivity and corridors
  • Ensure greater resiliency in light of climate disruption by reducing and eliminating stresses

Current News/Take Action!

December 15, 2014, PHOENIX, Arizona - Today conservation groups filed a formal objection to a plan by the Tonto National Forest to allow hundreds of helicopter landings in five Wilderness areas on the Tonto National Forest, ostensibly to "manage" bighorn sheep. The groups contend the action violates the Wilderness Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Forest Management Act, and will harm wildlife including bighorn sheep, as well as other wilderness values. Click here to read more (58 KB pdf).

November 25, 2014, FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) released revisions to the federal rule governing endangered Mexican gray wolf reintroduction, which would obstruct the imperiled subspecies' recovery. The Service's Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and draft record of decision propose alterations to government management of America's only wild population of one of the world's most critically endangered mammals. Click here to read more (61 KB pdf).

November 21, 2014, GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed that a female northern Rockies gray wolf is roaming the North Kaibab National Forest near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This pioneer traveled hundreds of miles to northern Arizona, an area that scientists have said is one of the last best places in the Southwest for wolves. The Grand Canyon wolf is currently fully protected under the Endangered Species Act, but could lose those protections under an Obama administration plan to strip gray wolves of protections nation-wide. Click here to read more (99 KB pdf).

April 25, 2014, PHOENIX - The Arizona Game and Fish Commission unanimously endorsed a plan this week that will make it vastly easier to kill endangered Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico and arbitrarily caps the number of wolves in both states at 300, and allowing for a number as low as 125. Significantly, the commission also recommends that management of wolves be taken away from the federal government, where it has been since passage of the federal Endangered Species Act, and given to the state, which has long been hostile to wolves. Click here to read more. (58 KB pdf)

Santa Catalina Bighorn Sheep Restoration Project - Sierra Club has significant concerns about the Santa Catalina Bighorn Sheep Restoration Project. While we support restoration of native species to their natural habitat, we do question the efficacy of introducing animals to an area where they disappeared, where it is unclear why the population died out, and where a majority of the habitat is poor to fair. Read more in our letter to Arizona Game and Fish, our letter to the Forest Service, our letter to the Coronado National Forest and our Letter to Bighorn Sheep Population Management Project.

September 5, 2012, Suit Filed to Protect Wildlife From Lead Poisoning in Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest PHOENIX, Ariz.— Conservation groups sued the U.S. Forest Service today for failing to protect wildlife from toxic lead in spent ammunition in Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest. The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and Grand Canyon Wildlands Council filed suit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, a federal law governing disposal of hazardous waste. Lead bullet fragments from hunting contaminate the food supply for Arizona wildlife such as condors, bald and golden eagles, northern goshawks, ferruginous hawks and ravens; and are also a hazard to human health for those eating game shot with lead ammunition. Read full Press Release (70 KB pdf), Read Complaint (86 KB pdf)

Get involved with our various wildlife outings and events! Check out our Online Calendar for upcoming opportunities.

Check out our latest Action Alerts to take action on current wildlife issues.

For more information about how you can get involved, upcoming meetings and events, and more, please contact Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org or Dale Volz at dvolz@earthlink.net.

Sign up for our wildlife email list to keep up-to-date on happenings in Arizona!

Arizona’s Wonderful Wildlife

These are just some of the cool critters that call our state home and that we have worked with. If you would like information about a different species, please contact Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org.

Wildlife Resources

Wildlife Factsheet (102 KB pdf) – learn more about Arizona’s wildlife and how you can get involved

Habitat Connectivity (coming soon) – learn why habitat connectivity is one of the key issues for wildlife species and what’s being done to preserve or enhance important corridors

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – visit the webpage for the Southwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Arizona Game and Fish Department – visit the webpage for our state wildlife agency

Links to Headings on this page...

Our Goals

Current News

Arizona’s Wildlife

Wildlife Resources

To get involved with the Sierra Club’s wildlife work in Arizona, please contact our office at (602) 253-8633 or email grand.canyon.chapter@sierraclub.org

A black-tailed prairie dog, photo by Scott Sprague.
black-tailed prairie dog, photo by Scott Sprague

 

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