This report summarizes the results of the first two meetings of the Arizona-New Mexico Jaguar Conservation Team (JAG Team) Research Committee and outlines future research that will guide the JAG Team in sound conservation management of jaguars in the United States. Research objectives were identified and approved by the JAG Team. These objectives are to describe and quantify (1) the current distribution and (2) habitat requirements of jaguars in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. The second meeting focused on selecting study methods to achieve these objectives.
After virtual extirpation from the Southwest during the mid-1900’s, jaguars have been rediscovered in portions of their former range in the United States, changing the way we think about their current status and distribution. However, we must look ahead and take the next step towards responsible jaguar conservation and apply serious, in depth and objective research on the jaguar in the borderlands region. We emphasize the unique situation of wild jaguars currently occupying portions of southeastern Arizona and recommend investigations to learn as much as possible on the specific habitat selection and habitat requirements of these jaguars while the opportunity exists. We propose a combination of studies. These would include noninvasive presence/absence surveys to determine the current status and distribution. Once jaguars are located, we recommend conducting detailed studies of their habitat selection and ecology using a combination of GPS telemetry and noninvasive monitoring techniques.
The Jaguar Conservation Agreement provides opportunities and incentives for interested parties to become involved with conservation activities. These activities include collection of biological information (to provide a sound scientific basis for decisions); consideration of relevant cultural, economic, and political factors; design and implementation of a comprehensive approach to conservation (including public education); and monitoring, evaluation, and feedback. This summary will focus on the mapping efforts and make recommendations to the Jaguar Conservation Team on conservation measures for potential jaguar habitat.
In March 1997, the Arizona Game and Fish Department and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish entered into a Conservation Agreement with other state, local, and federal cooperators, with voluntary participation by many private individuals, to conserve the jaguar (Panthera onca) along borderlands of Arizona and New Mexico and to stimulate parallel efforts in Mexico. Under the Conservation Agreement, an annual evaluation and progress report must be submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The first of these reports was completed in July 1998 and the second in June 2000. This third report is a comprehensive review of all Jaguar Conservation Agreement activities from March 1997 through December 2003. We compiled the information herein with assistance from members of the Jaguar Conservation Team and Jaguar Working Group, to help ensure that objectives outlined in the Conservation Agreement are being accomplished and that any deficiencies identified are addressed and corrective measures are implemented. In this report, we will identify progress, or lack thereof, in accomplishing the goals and objectives set forth by and for the JAGCT for the last 6 years.
Lake Pleasant has historically been regarded as one of the premier largemouth bass (Micropteus salmoides) fisheries in Arizona. However, the quality of the largemouth bass fishery has decreased, resulting in low angler satisfaction and a general concern for the health of the fishery. The leading hypothesis for the cause of this decline is the recent invasion of striped bass (Morone saxatilis), which may be responsible, in part, for the shift in largemouth bass size structure through competition for resources and predation.
The goal of our study was to develop information to help manage aquatic plants in Arizona’s reservoirs to benefit sport fish management activities and angler access. To attain this goal we surveyed aquatic plants in reservoirs throughout Arizona and evaluated if the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s aquatic weed harvesting program was benefiting the fisheries program. Aquatic plant harvesting is probably a worthwhile endeavor to improve angler access and keep our angling customers satisfied. However, we strongly recommend that more effective decontamination procedures be implemented to limit the spread of invasive species
Water developments are a widely used wildlife management tool in the arid Southwest. The ecological effects of those facilities have received little study and remain a source of controversy. We studied direct and indirect effects of wildlife water developments in southwestern Arizona from 1999-2003. Our results did not support hypothesized negative impacts suggested by critics of wildlife water development programs.
Apache trout is a federally threatened salmonid native to headwaters of the Little Colorado, Black, and White rivers in east-central Arizona. Decline of Apache trout to threatened status was attributed to over-fishing, habitat degradation and negative interactions (predation, competition and hybridization) with introduced nonnative salmonids. Although over-fishing is no longer considered a threat, habitat degradation and negative interactions with nonnative salmonids continue to threaten Apache trout, and it is towards these threats that recovery actions are directed. While barrier construction began in 1979 and livestock exclusion began in the mid-1980s, the efficacy of these recovery actions at increasing Apache trout abundance and improving habitat condition had not been evaluated. We therefore initiated a study to evaluate the efficacy of riparian fencing and barriers.
This project consisted of multiple activities: Fish salvage, fish holding and repatriation, stream renovation, fish barrier construction and watershed stock tank renovations. Fish salvage and restocking operations were done in coordination and in conjunction with USFWS and a larger research project being conducted by NAU through separate funding. Brief information on methods and results from those efforts are provided. The Department, utilizing resources provided directly by USBR and via a grant from the FWS, implemented holding facility construction and operation. The Department coordinated the stream renovation with planning and implementation assistance provided by all the aforementioned partners. The USBR conducted all activities related to the fish barrier design and construction, details of which will not be included in this report.
This strategic plan identifies the management direction that the Arizona Game and Fish Commission has provided to the Department for the next six years. The plan discusses the most important issues facing the Department, including the recruitment and retention of hunters, anglers and shooting sports participants, and explains how the Department plans to respond to those issues.
Prior strategic plans focused on just one of the programmatic areas for which the Department is responsible; for example, Wildlife 2006 was solely a wildlife strategic plan. In contrast, Wildlife 2012 provides strategic guidance for all programs within the Arizona Game and Fish Department. It emphasizes wildlife management, which is the Department’s primary focus. However, Wildlife 2012 also addresses off-highway vehicle and watercraft recreation beyond their impacts to wildlife resources, as well as the administration of the Department.
An update to the Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030 (FRP30), to bring its Road Network Illustration (Map 25) into compliance with Arizona Revised Statute requirements and to resolve inconsistencies between Map 25 and parts of the Flagstaff City Code. This update does not alter the intent of FRP30; it is only concerned with correcting errors, removing legal vulnerability, and improving the readability of FRP30.