The Desert LCC encompasses portions of five states as well as portions of at least ten states in Northern Mexico. The area is topographically complex, including three different deserts (Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan), grasslands and valley bottoms, and isolated mountain ranges known as the “Sky Islands.” Elevations range from near sea level to over 10,000 ft. The richness of the topography supports equally diverse species composition and habitat for native plants, fish and wildlife species, including many endemic species that are extremely susceptible to climate change impacts.
The Desert LCC also includes several large river systems, including the Lower Colorado, Gila, Rio Grande, San Pedro, and Verde Rivers. The Colorado River Basin is one of the most critical sources of water in the West.