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Sonoran and Mohave Deserts - More Information

Background information on DU's Sonoran and Mohave Deserts conservation priority area
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Current conservation programs

Ducks Unlimited completed several wetland enhancement projects in the Coconino National Forest in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and then aided in several wetland graduate projects in the region. Seasonal wetlands were restored on Salton Sea NWR by DU and the USFWS. These habitats are extensively used by snow geese, American wigeon, black-necked stilt, and colonial waterbirds. DU's current conservation program in this region has concentrated on viable floodplain restorations along the lower Colorado River corridor, partnering with the USFWS and Bureau of Reclamation. Current work emphasizes the eradication of exotic vegetation (such as tamarix) and mimics natural hydrologic conditions for native wetland vegetation to compete.

Goals

  • Restore viable wetland and riparian habitats (at least 1,000 ha) along the lower Colorado River corridor and watershed and Gila River watershed.
  • Restore wetlands in the Imperial, Cibola, and Havasu NWR complexes in the floodplain corridor of the lower Colorado River.
  • Evaluate the viability of potential habitat projects at the Salton Sea.

Assumptions

  • The availability of wetlands is the prime limiting factor for waterfowl and other waterbirds.
  • All potential wetland restorations should be considered for disease and heavy metal risk.

Strategies

  • Provide technical assistance and wetland restoration efforts to resource managers in the lower Colorado River corridor, Mogollon Rim and Choachella-Imperial Valleys.
  • Partner with the USFWS, Bureau of Reclamation, Arizona Department of Game and Fish, Colorado River Indian Tribe, and others.
  • Expand restoration of the Gila River watershed.
  • Provide technical assistance to the USFS for montane, riparian and seasonal wetland restoration, such as the San Pedro River watershed.
  • Evaluate potential habitat projects at the Salton Sea for long-term viability and to potentially partner with conservation organizations, such as the USFWS and National Audubon Society.
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