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Tabular Data: Defining Ecosystem Water Needs of the Upper Gila River and Assessing the Impacts of Climate Chang
Final Report BOR R12AP80915 FY12: Defining Ecosystem Water Needs of the Upper Gila River and Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change
Final Report Executive Summary: The Nature Conservancy and a team of 14 academic partners (the project team) received funding from the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART program and the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative in 2012 to conduct this Gila River Flow Needs Assessment. The assessment describes the existing condition of the Gila River in the Cliff-Gila Valley and examines the potential impacts of CUFA diversion and climate change on the riparian and aquatic ecosystem. The project team was assisted by 35 academic, agency and consulting scientists who have expertise in some aspect of the Gila River’s hydrology and ecology. This larger team of scientists provided input on a review draft of this assessment...
The substantially natural hydrography of the upper Gila River supports one of the highest levels of aquatic and riparian biodiversity in the region, including the largest complement of native fishes and some of the best remaining riparian habitat in the lower Colorado River Basin. Native vegetation dominates the broad and structurally diverse floodplain, creating habitat for hundreds of birds and other wildlife. Two of the Gila’s fish species, spikedace and loach minnow, and a neotropical migratory bird, the southwestern willow flycatcher, are federally listed as endangered. The yellow-billed cuckoo, a candidate species for listing, nests in the Cliff-Gila Valley. Changes to the river’s hydrology, including peak...