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Grasslands comprise a small part of the Chihuahuan Desert but are vital to the biological diversity of the ecoregion. Characteristic grasses of the Chihuahuan Desert are tobosa (Pleuraphis mutica) and black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda) but other common species include alakali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides), big alkali sacaton (S. wrightii), mesa dropseed (S. flexuosus), blue grama (B. gracilis), sideoats grama (B. curtipendula ), hairy grama (B. hirsuta), slender grama (B. filiformis), chino grama (B. brevista), spruce top grama (B. chondrosioides), bush muhly (Muhlenbergia porteri), several three awns (Aristida spp.), and fluff grass (Dasyochloa pulchela) (Johnson 1974, Dinerstein et al. 2000). Many of the sites discussed...
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This file represents the final version of an assessment of the extent, condition, and distribution of grassland types in Arizona as indicated by expert interviews and field verification. Coverage includes the state of Arizona, Southwestern portions of the state of New Mexico, and the Northern portion of Sonora, Mexico.
What are current conditions for important park natural resources? What are the critical data and knowledge gaps? What are some of the factors that are influencing park resource conditions? Natural Resource Condition Assessments (NRCAs) evaluate and report on the above for a subset of important natural resources in national park units (hereafter, parks). Focal study resources and indicators are selected on a park-by-park basis, guided by use of structured resource assessment and reporting frameworks. Considerations include park resource setting and enabling legislation (what are this park's most important natural resources?) and presently available data and expertise (what can be evaluated at this time?). In addition...
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Natural landscapes in the Southwestern United States are changing. In recent decades, rising temperatures and drought have led to drier conditions, contributed to large-scale ecological impacts, and affected many plant and animal species across the region. The current and future trajectory of climate change underscores the need for managers and conservation professionals to understand the impacts of these patterns on natural resources. In this regional assessment of the Southwest Climate Change Initiative, we evaluate changes in annual average temperatures from 1951–2006 across major habitats and large watersheds and compare these changes to the number of species of conservation concern that are found within these...
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The Sevilleta LTER supports a long-term, integrated, interdisciplinary research program addressing key hypotheses on pattern and process in aridland ecosystems. Sevilleta LTER research includes studies in desert grassland and shrubland communities, and riparian and mountain forests emphasizing pulse driven processes in space and time. Key drivers (e.g., climate, fire, water, resource availability) govern dynamics in each landscape component. Our focus on how biotic and abiotic drivers affect spatial and temporal dynamics of aridland ecosystems allows us to conduct long-term research that addresses important basic theories and yet has significant relevance to regional, national and international priorities. The...
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The Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (SWReGAP) is an update of the Gap Analysis Program’s mapping and assessment of biodiversity for the five-state region encompassing Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. It is a multi-institutional cooperative effort coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey Gap Analysis Program. The primary objective of the update is to use a coordinated mapping approach to create detailed, seamless GIS maps of land cover, all native terrestrial vertebrate species, land stewardship, and management status, and to analyze this information to identify those biotic elements that are underrepresented on lands managed for their long term conservation or are “gaps.”
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Grasslands of the Sky Islands region once covered over 13 million acres in southeastern Arizona and adjacent portions of New Mexico, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Attempts to evaluate current ecological conditions suggest that approximately two thirds of these remain as intact or restorable grassland habitat. These grasslands provide watershed services such as flood control and aquifer recharge across the region, and continue to support dozens of species of concern. Prioritizing conservation interventions for these remaining grassland blocks has been challenging. Reliable data on condition and conservation value of grasslands in the region have not been systematically summarized. State and national boundaries further complicate...
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In response to concerns about rangeland fragmentation associated with exurban development, ranching families, agency representatives, and conservation groups have organized to address management concerns through the Malpai Borderlands Group (see: http://www.malpaiborderlandsgroup.org). This group promotes large acreage conservation easements throughout the region as means to promote rangeland connectivity. Shrub encroachment and long-term loss of grass productivity are primary natural resource concerns. Fire, which is facilitated in areas free of exurban development, is a key conservation practice. Additional practices include mechanical brush management, prescribed grazing, and erosion control structures. The conservation...
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Riparian grasslands dominated by big sacaton (Sporobolus wrightii) once covered floodplains across the southwest, but have been reduced to some 5% of their historical extent. Sacaton stands that remain provide key resources for watershed function, wildlife, and livestock—yet may need special management to sustain these benefits. This report describes mapping methods and management recommendations that can be applied to riparian grasslands throughout the region. By examining sacaton grasslands in the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, this project also refines methods for evaluating ecological condition, and provides managers at this site with detailed maps of both high-quality habitat and restoration needs.
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Funded by Arizona Game & Fish Department, our team of conservation biologists and GIS Analysts at Northern Arizona University are creating detailed linkage designs for 16 priority areas highlighted in the Wildlife Linkages Assesment. These plans identify and map multi-species corridors that will best maintain wildlife movement between wildland blocks, as well as highlight specific planning and road mitigation measures required to maintain connectivity in these corridors. Note: The linkage design reports are in compressed PDF format for faster download. Unfortunately, the compression occasionally makes small text on maps within the report difficult to read. If you would like a high-resolution PDF or PNG copy of any...
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To help resource managers prioritize management actions across large landscapes, the Integrated Landscape Assessment Project (ILAP) produced databases, reports, maps, analyses, and other information showing mid- to broad-scale (thousands to hundreds of thousands of hectares and larger areas) vegetation conditions and potential future trends, key wildlife habitat conditions and trends, wildfire hazard, potential economic value of products that might be generated during vegetation management, and other critical information for all lands and all major upland vegetation types in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. ILAP work involved gathering and consolidating existing information, developing new information...
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Biologists, engineers, planners and land managers from nine public agencies have worked together since 2004 to identify large blocks of protected habitat, the potential wildlife movement corridors through and between them, the factors that could possibly disrupt these linkage zones and opportunities for conservation. Recognizing that habitat connectivity is a landscape issue involving multiple land jurisdictions, this workgroup has engaged in unprecedented cooperation and facilitated discussions and partnerships to help ensure a unified approach to wildlife linkage conservation and management. This reinforces the commitment to and efficiency of wildlife connectivity measures undertaken by all stakeholders, using...
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Our Mission & History Volunteers in the Tumacacoris. Photo by Trevor Hare Sky Island Alliance is a science-based conservation organization. We are dedicated to the protection and restoration of the rich natural heritage of native species and habitats in the Sky Island region of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. We work with volunteers, scientists, land owners, public officials, and government agencies to establish protected areas, restore healthy landscapes, and promote public appreciation of the region's unique biological diversity. Sky Island Alliance pioneered landscape-level conservation planning by integrating the science of conservation biology with grassroots organizing and on-the-ground...
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TNC developed a digital version for the whole of David E. Brown and Charles H. Lowe’s 1981 map. Previously, GIS representations of this map were only available for its Arizona and New Mexico portions. Users: please note the relatively coarse source scale of the paper map (1:1,000,000) when using this digital version for analyses. A layer file (.lyr) which mimics the familiar color scheme of the paper map is also available.
NPS is transforming the way park resource information is managed and delivered to parks, partners, and the public. IRMA (Integrated Resource Management Applications) is the name given to the project that has guided this transformation, and to the web portal that is its end result. View or download the IRMA project brief (.pdf). IRMA is a portfolio of tools and applications, and the beginnings of a "one-stop" for data and information on park-related resources. From IRMA you can search for, view, and download documents, reports, publications, data sets, and park species lists. You can get information on park visitor numbers, park projects, and apply for a park research permit. Park staff can navigate to certain internal...
Categories: Data; Types: ArcGIS REST Map Service, Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: Chihuahuan Desert, English, GIS, Madrean, Mojave Desert, All tags...
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This virtual flora and fauna was created to serve as a gateway for the environmental research community, as well as the general public, to access and contribute to a growing collection of specimen records and observations. These data represent the products of MABA research expeditions as well as historic data from herbaria, museum collections, and scientific literature. Sky Island Alliance's MABA project is a visionary initiative to catalog, protect, and restore one of the world's premier biodiversity hotspots - the Southwestern U.S. and Northwestern Mexico’s Madrean Sky Island region (Sonora, Arizona, Chihuahua, and New Mexico). MABA is committed to inventorying the wildlands and wildlife of these Sky Islands —...
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The Sonoran Joint Venture Bird Conservation Plan (Plan) provides the biological foundation for the activities of the Sonoran Joint Venture (SJV). The Plan summarizes the status of avian species, prioritizes these species, provides habitat discussions and conservation recommendations, and lists Focus Areas for conservation action. This Plan will be a blueprint for regional bird conservation. It will guide the SJV staff, Board, and committees in their actions and inform SJV partners of beneficial activities. Finally and most importantly, this Plan demonstrates and emphasizes the need for conservation action and for the resources to achieve the SJV’s biological objectives. There are approximately 740 species documented...
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The Nature Conservancy has been a leader in spatial conservation planning for many years. The primary planning tool used by the Conservancy for landscape-scale conservation planning over the past decade has been Ecoregional Assessments. Our United States Ecoregional Assessments identify priority areas for conservation within the United States. This includes data from 67 Ecoregional Assessments, which identified over 9,000 conservation priority areas. Importantly, this dataset contains the conservation targets that we hope to conserve within these priority areas. Conservation targets include both species and habitat types (e.g. plant communities; ecosystems). Our dataset includes 8,507 unique species and 6,633 habitat...


    map background search result map search result map The Nature Conservancy's Priority Conservation Areas Extent and Condition of Grasslands in Arizona, Northern Mexico, and Southwestern New Mexico Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project Integrated Landscape Assessment Project Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment (MABA) Project Malpai Borderlands Portal Natural Resource Condition Assessments Integrated Resource Management Applications (IRMA) Sevilleta GIS Vector Datasets Arizona Missing Linkages Arizona's Wildlife Linkages Biotic Communities of the Southwest GIS Layer Sky Island Alliance Status and Distribution of Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands in the United States and Mexico Sustaining the Grassland Sea Managing Changing Landscapes in the Southwestern United States Sacaton Riparian Grasslands Sonoran Joint Venture Bird Conservation Plan Sacaton Riparian Grasslands Sustaining the Grassland Sea Sky Island Alliance Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment (MABA) Project Arizona Missing Linkages Arizona's Wildlife Linkages Extent and Condition of Grasslands in Arizona, Northern Mexico, and Southwestern New Mexico Managing Changing Landscapes in the Southwestern United States Status and Distribution of Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands in the United States and Mexico Biotic Communities of the Southwest GIS Layer Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project Integrated Landscape Assessment Project Sonoran Joint Venture Bird Conservation Plan The Nature Conservancy's Priority Conservation Areas Sevilleta GIS Vector Datasets Natural Resource Condition Assessments Integrated Resource Management Applications (IRMA)