Kofa

National Wildlife Refuge - Arizona

The Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is located in Arizona in the southwestern United States, northeast of Yuma and southeast of Quartzsite. The refuge was established to protect desert bighorn sheep in the Sonoran Desert. Broad, gently sloping foothills as well as the sharp, needlepoint peaks of the Kofa Mountains are found in the rugged refuge. The small, widely scattered waterholes attract a surprising number of water birds for a desert area. A wide variety of plant life is also found throughout the refuge.

maps

Map of Kofa Route Off-Highway Vehicle area (OHV) in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Published by Arizona State Parks & Trails.Kofa - OHV Loop Trail

Map of Kofa Route Off-Highway Vehicle area (OHV) in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Published by Arizona State Parks & Trails.

Yuma County Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).AZ Surface Management Responsibility - Yuma County

Yuma County Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

La Paz County Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).AZ Surface Management Responsibility - La Paz County

La Paz County Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Statewide Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).AZ Surface Management Responsibility - Arizona State

Statewide Map of Arizona Surface Management Responsibility. Published by Arizona State Land Department and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

brochures

Brochure of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Kofa - Brochure

Brochure of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Hunting at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Kofa - Hunting

Hunting at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Palm Canyon Trail at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Kofa - Palm Canyon Trail

Palm Canyon Trail at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Crystal Hill Area in Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Kofa - Crystal Hill Area

Crystal Hill Area in Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Desert Bighorn Sheep at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Kofa - Desert Bighorn Sheep

Desert Bighorn Sheep at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Wildlife at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Kofa - Wildlife

Wildlife at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Birds at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Kofa - Birds

Birds at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Native Pollinators at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Kofa - Native Pollinators

Native Pollinators at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arizona. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Kofa NWR https://www.fws.gov/refuge/kofa/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kofa_National_Wildlife_Refuge The Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is located in Arizona in the southwestern United States, northeast of Yuma and southeast of Quartzsite. The refuge was established to protect desert bighorn sheep in the Sonoran Desert. Broad, gently sloping foothills as well as the sharp, needlepoint peaks of the Kofa Mountains are found in the rugged refuge. The small, widely scattered waterholes attract a surprising number of water birds for a desert area. A wide variety of plant life is also found throughout the refuge.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Kofa National Wildlife Refuge Welcome to Kofa National Wildlife Refuge The Kofa Mountains rise abruptly from the plains of the Sonoran Desert, reaching a height of 4,877 feet atop Signal Peak. Desert bighorn sheep skillfully navigate the rugged mountains while turkey vultures search for carrion as they soar overhead. Below in King Valley, endangered Sonoran pronghorn forage and venomous rattlesnakes bask in the sun. The 666,641 acre refuge was established in 1939 for the conservation of desert bighorn sheep and other native wildlife. More than 80 percent of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is protected under the Wilderness Act. This wilderness designation recognizes the relatively undeveloped nature of the land and provides outstanding opportunities for recreational activities. Desert Ecosystem The climate of the Sonoran Desert is characterized by hot summers, mild winters and low annual rainfall (4-8 inches). Cacti are able to store large quantities of water in their leaves, stems and roots, and thrive under these harsh conditions. Towering saguaros reach up to 50 feet high while prickly pear, cholla and hedgehog cacti grow closer to the ground. Camping and Historic Cabins Visitors are welcome to camp on the refuge for a maximum of 14 days in any 12-month period. Campfires are permitted, though only dead, down and detached wood from non-wilderness areas may be used. As wood is scarce, it is suggested that visitors bring their own supply. Things to Do at the Refuge Spend the night in Kofa Cabin or Hoodoo Cabin, historic cabins built by the CCC and a cattle company. They are available on a first come, first serve basis and no fee is required. Visitors are welcome to explore Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Drive across McPherson Pass in the Castle Dome Mountains and enjoy expansive views of the desert landscape. Sit quietly at Horse Tanks and look for jackrabbits, Gambel’s quail and other wildlife. Hike up to Big Eye Cabin and view historic mining structures. Please stop at the visitor center, located approximately 50 miles southwest of the refuge in Yuma, for brochures and information about seasonal interpretive programs. The staff and volunteers can also offer assistance in planning your trip to the refuge. Exhibits Exhibits in the visitor center in Yuma feature the biological diversity and cultural history of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Outside the building, enjoy the pollinator garden and learn to identify native plants. Hiking Palm Canyon Trail is a half-mile National Recreation Trail located at the end of Palm Canyon Road. The rocky, steep trail leads to a viewpoint where California fan palms, the only native palm species in Arizona, can be observed. For More Information Contact Refuge Manager Kofa National Wildlife Refuge 9300 East 28th Street Yuma, AZ 85365 928/783-7861 928/783-8611 FAX www.fws.gov/refuge/kofa/ Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. As rain is infrequent, most animals have adapted to survive with little water. Many species, such as the desert tortoise, obtain needed moisture from plants and like many desert animals, have adaptations that help them to conserve water. Some animals, including kit foxes and kangaroo rats, remain in cool burrows during the day to prevent water loss. August 2017 While Palm Canyon Trail is the only designated trail on Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, visitors are welcome to hike anywhere on the refuge so long as hikers do not enter mines or any posted closed area. All vehicles must remain within 100 feet of designated roads. Hunting Kofa National Wildlife Refuge offers hunting for bighorn sheep, mule deer, cottontail rabbit, quail, fox, and coyote. Hunters are required to have the proper licenses and permits. Rock Collecting Visitors are permitted to collect up to 10 specimens or 10 pounds (whichever occurs first) of quartz and other rocks in the designated Crystal Hill area in a 12-month period. The collection of rocks and minerals is prohibited on the rest of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy Your Visit Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is open 24/7 including holidays. The visitor center is open Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, except on federal holidays. Photographs from left to right, View from Slumgullion Pass Sonoran Pronghorn. / © John Kulberg Skull Rock in Kofa Queen Canyon. Kofa Cabin. Desert Bighorn Sheep All Photographs unless noted / USFWS Mile 76 Hidden Valley Tank Palm &T Bandy Tank M 56 24 Blue Rock Tank TA IN 0 1 2 Dixon Spring Big Eye Mine Adams Well N S 4 Salton Tanks Burnt Wagon Tank 6 Red Tank Chain Tank X King Well 21 Yaqui Tanks North Star Mine King of Arizona Mine 65 S 8 A h Was 10 Miles Military Reservation Boundary ng 36 34 Hoodoo Well 62 47 45 8 X Frenchman Tank Charco 4 71 I-10 8 Miles Red Raven Well 48 Courthouse Mtn. Engesser Pass 45B X 14 e es an X Craven Well Red Rock Dam Ma Cholla Tank Kofa Cabin Red Rock Pass Cha
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Public Use and Hunting Regulations 2019-2020 Kofa National Wildlife Refuge General Information Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established in 1939 and is managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge encompasses 666,641 acres of Sonoran desert habitat and is home to the desert bighorn sheep, Sonoran pronghorn and the California fan palm. Other notable wildlife species found in the area include white-winged dove, desert tortoise, desert mule deer, and desert kit fox. A wide variety of plant life is found throughout the refuge. Bighorn sheep are found primarily in the two mountain ranges that dominate the refuge landscape—the Kofa and Castle Dome Mountains. Although these mountains are not especially high, they are extremely rugged and rise sharply from the surrounding desert plains, providing excellent bighorn sheep habitat. Endangered Sonoran pronghorn were reintroduced in 2011 to a semicaptive breeding pen on the refuge. The first Sonoran pronghorn on Kofa were released into the wild in 2013; they now roam free on Kofa NWR and adjacent lands. The wild population has grown to about 75 animals through successful reproduction and additional releases. Water is scarce in the desert. By improving natural water holes and creating new ones, refuge managers have increased the availability and reliability of water for wildlife. Many wildlife species have benefitted from these water developments. A long-term average of approximately 400-800 desert bighorn sheep live on the refuge. Beginning in the 1950s, the refuge has provided over 560 desert bighorn sheep for transplanting to other parts of Arizona and neighboring states. Palm Canyon, at the west end of the Kofa Mountains, is well known for its stand of California fan palms, the only native palm species in Arizona. Fewer than 100 trees remain in Palm Canyon; these palms are probably remnants from an era when this area was wetter and cooler. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, numerous silver, gold and lead mines were established throughout the refuge. The most notable was the “King of Arizona Mine,” which produced 3.5 to 4.0 million dollars in gold between 1897 and 1910. The Kofa Mountains are a contraction from the name of the “King Of Arizona” gold mine. Most refuge roads are not maintained. Many are passable only by four-wheel drive vehicles. Some roads may be passable by two-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles (see map). Vehicles may be damaged by brush or rocks, or may become stuck in sandy areas. Private lands (inholdings) occur within the refuge and may be posted. Before traveling on the refuge, visitors should contact refuge visitor center to learn about current road conditions. There are no facilities on the refuge for towing, gasoline, sanitation, or drinking water. Cellular phone coverage is absent over most of the refuge. Visitors are advised to let someone know where they going and when they plan to return. Public Use Regulations The following is a summary of refuge regulations. For additional detail or clarification, contact the refuge visitor center. All public access, use or recreational activity, unless specifically authorized, is prohibited. Wilderness Passage of the 1990 Arizona Desert Wilderness Act included 547,700 acres of the Kofa NWR. Wilderness status acknowledges the relatively pristine character of the refuge and dictates some management restrictions. No vehicular travel, including bicycles, is permitted into wilderness areas. Only foot or horseback travel is permitted. Vehicles Vehicular traffic is limited to designated roads which can be identified by numbered markers at junctions. Off-road vehicle travel is strictly prohibited. Vehicles may pull off and park only up to 100 feet from designated roads. No vegetation or other refuge features may be damaged. This includes all motorized or wheeled vehicles, such as ATVs, UTVs, quadratracs, motorcycles, bicycles etc. All motor vehicle operators must be licensed and insured for highway driving. Speed is limited to 25 MPH, or less as posted. Animal and Plant Life Collecting, possessing, molesting, disturbing, injuring, destroying, removing or transporting any plant or animal or part thereof (alive or dead) is prohibited (except for legally taken game). Firearms and Explosives Carrying, possessing, or discharging explosives (including fireworks) on the refuge is prohibited. Persons may possess, carry, and transport firearms, in accordance with all Federal and state laws. Unauthorized discharge of firearms or target practice is prohibited. For additional information see the Hunting Regulations section. Weapons Other than Firearms Use or possession of other weapons, such as crossbows, bows and arrows, and airguns is only permitted in conjunction with authorized and permitted hunting activities. Disposal of Waste Littering and the dumping of sewage or liquid wastes on the refuge are prohibited. Do not bury trash—wildlife will di
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Palm Canyon Trail Kofa National Wildlife Refuge Welcome to Kofa’s Palm Canyon Trail The survival of these trees is directly dependent on the microclimate in this protected canyon. The palm trees are only able to live in the narrow side canyons where direct sunshine is limited and moisture is available. How to find Palm Canyon Finding Palm Canyon is relatively easy. Take Highway 95, running north and south between Yuma and Quartzsite, Arizona, to milepost 85. Approximately 63 miles north of Yuma or 18 miles south of Quartzsite, watch for the brown Palm Canyon sign which indicates the junction with a dirt road. Follow the dirt road east for seven miles to a parking area. The road is passable in a passenger car, but the ride may be rough. Palm Canyon All photographs USFWS. Tucked away in the narrow, rugged canyons of the Kofa Mountains is the California fan palm, the only native species of palm tree in Arizona. The small, scattered clusters of palms in Palm Canyon are a major visitor attraction on Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Hundreds of visitors each year hike the Palm Canyon Trail, a National Recreation Trail, to see the palms which seem unnatural in the desert landscape. The California fan palms (Washingtonia filifera) found in Palm Canyon are probably descendants of palms growing in this region during the last periods of North American glaciation. Some botanists theorize that the trees, which are not date-bearing, gradually spread into these canyons and other protected niches as the climate warmed to desert conditions. Other researchers have suggested that the trees may have spread from other palm groves by birds or coyotes carrying seeds in their digestive tracts. Since palm trees do not grow annual rings like other trees, it is very difficult to say how old the trees might be. California fan palms typically live for 80 to 90 years. The narrow canyon above the parking lot is Palm Canyon. A half-mile foot trail starts at the upper end of the parking area and leads into the canyon. The trail is easy to follow, but is rough most of the way due to large rocks and some steeper sections. Allow an hour to make the round-trip. Desert Vegetation As you follow the trail across washes and up hills, you will pass several species of plants common to the Sonoran Desert. The palo verde (Cercidium spp.), a small tree with bright green branches and stems, rarely has leaves as it sheds them in times of drought. Its branches and twigs have enough chlorophyll to produce all the energy the tree requires. Ironwood (Olneya tesota), a grey-green tree with small leaves, is also present in the canyon. Its leafy stems are covered with thorns, as are the branches and stems of many other desert plants. Near the end of the trail, you will notice numerous small bushes with holly-like leaves. This plant is Kofa Mountain barberry (Berberis harrisoniana). It is found only in the southwest corner of Arizona in the Kofa, Ajo and Sand Tank Mountains. It is not very common, even on the refuge. Ironwood Palo Verde The Palm Canyon trail ends at a small sign on a slightly elevated area near the middle of the canyon. By looking up at the narrow north-trending side canyon, you can see the palms. For a short time at mid-day, the trees are well-lit for taking photographs. The rest of the time, the trees are in shade. In 2001, forty-one trees were counted in the main grove. About half of those were adult size with a trunk height of 20 feet or more. Some smaller trees are becoming established at the base of the larger trees. There are a few additional palms scattered throughout Palm Canyon and in Fishtail Canyon, the next canyon to the southeast. As the fronds (large leaves) on the California fan palm die, they fold down around the trunk of the tree and form a “petticoat.” The petticoat on younger trees extends from the ground to the top of the tree. The fronds on the older trees in Palm Canyon do not form a lengthy petticoat because they tend to self-prune. The fallen fronds decay and form an organic layer in which new trees germinate. Fire You will notice from the viewing point that some of the tree trunks are black. A fire burned through the grove in 1953, seriously damaging the trees. Fortunately, most of the palms survived and young trees have become established. It is a very steep and difficult climb up to the palm trees. If you decide to try it, plan on an extra 30-40 minutes to get up to the trees and back to the bottom of the canyon. Nolinas As you look around the canyon, you will see palm-like plants which can sometimes be confused with the California fan palm. These plants are Bigelow’s nolina or Bigelow’s beargrass (Nolina bigelovii) and are growing out of cracks and on ledges, especially on the north wall of the canyon. The nolinas are much smaller than palms and do not develop a trunk. Wildlife You may see a variety of wildlife as you walk along the trail. Keep watching the skyline on both si
U.S. Fish U.S. Fish&&Wildlife Wildlife Service Service Crystal Hill Area Kofa National Wildlife Refuge Crystal Hill, located in the northwest corner of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in the Livingston Hills, is the only area within the refuge where recreational rock or mineral collecting is permitted. Quartz crystals are hidden in the washes and on the rocky slopes of Crystal Hill, making this an ideal location for rockhounding or collecting. While searching for quartz crystals at the top of the hill, visitors can also enjoy the 360 degree view of the surrounding area. Creation of the Mountains The mountains of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, which rise abruptly from the flat desert, are characteristic of the Basin and Range Province which covers much of the western United States and extends into northwestern Mexico. In this physiographic region, the Earth’s crust and upper mantle thinned and cracked as they were stretched and pulled apart. Quartz Formation Quartz, belonging to the class of silicates, comprises approximately 12 percent of the Earth’s crust. It is produced when the two most abundant elements in the surface of the Earth, oxygen and silicon, bond. Quartz crystallizes when volcanic magma cools and becomes solid. A fault created by crustal movement. Illustration from http://clasfaculty.ucdenver.edu/ callen/1202/Battle/Build/Faulting/Faulting.html This crustal movement created faults and eventually led to the creation of mountains and valleys as the Earth’s surface uplifted on the upthrown side of the fault and down-dropped on the lower side. Over time, the block-faulted mountains weathered and eroded. Volcanic episodes also occurred within the refuge and thus the mountain ranges of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge contain old lava layers and volcanic rocks, such as basalt, volcanic tuff and obsidian. Quartz appears in a variety of forms and shapes and varies from being clear to almost opaque. It may be found in the form of large grains, crystals or veins. Crystals can appear either as a single point or in a cluster. Pure quartz is white or colorless, while other types of quartz may be rose, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown, or black depending on the trace elements they contain. The Livingston Hills are known to have both quartz veins and crystals. Some veins in the hills contain tourmaline and pyrite, two other minerals. Most of the quartz crystals found at Crystal Hill are either clear or milky white. Rockhounding and Collecting on the Refuge When searching for quartz crystals on the refuge, it is important to remember that recreational (noncommercial) rock or mineral collecting is not permitted beyond the boundaries of the Crystal Hill Area (see map). Collection of rocks is limited to 10 specimens or 10 pounds (whichever occurs first) in any 12-month period. Rock or mineral collection is limited to materials that are exposed and collectable without the use of tools, including metal detectors. Digging is prohibited. Please see the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge leaflet Public Use and Hunting Regulations for more information about regulations. For Further Information U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Kofa National Wildlife Refuge 9300 East 28th Street Yuma, AZ 85365 928/783-7861 Monday–Friday: 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. February 2014 Front, illustration of a desert bighorn. Illustration by Elizabeth Montgomery Desert bighorn at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. / USFWS.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Desert Bighorn Sheep Kofa National Wildlife Refuge Kofa National Wildlife Refuge’s Desert Bighorn Sheep To many of our visitors, the desert bighorn sheep is the epitome of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge’s desert wilderness. Bighorn are a true sheep distantly related to domestic sheep. The name “desert bighorn sheep” applies to those bighorn inhabiting hot and dry mountain ranges with sparse vegetation. Biologists recognize four desert bighorn sheep subspecies, including the Mexican bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) which is found on the refuge. Characteristics Desert bighorn are stocky, heavybodied sheep, similar in size to mule deer. Weights of mature rams (males) range from 125 to 200 pounds, while ewes (females) are somewhat smaller. Due to their unique padded hooves, bighorn are able to climb the steep, rocky desert mountains with speed and agility. Bighorn rely on their keen eyesight to detect potential predators and use their climbing ability to escape. Both sexes develop horns soon after birth with horn growth continuing throughout their lifetimes. Older rams have impressive sets of curling horns measuring over three feet long with a circumference of more than a foot at the base. The head and horns of an adult ram may weigh more than 30 pounds. The ewes’ horns are much smaller and lighter and do not tend to curl. Both rams and ewes use their horns for fighting and as tools to remove the spines from and break open cacti, which they then consume. Desert bighorn sheep live to be between 10 and 20 years old. Their age is indicated by annual growth rings in the horns. Desert Adaptations Desert bighorn sheep are well-adapted to the climate of the Sonoran Desert. They are able to survive the extreme heat of summer and the cold of winter because their body temperature can safely fluctuate several degrees. Bighorn also escape the heat by resting in the shade of trees and caves during the day. Desert bighorn at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. / © Illustration by Elizabeth Montgomery Unlike most mammals, desert bighorn sheep have the ability to lose up to 30% of their body weight in water (more than a camel) and still survive. Bighorn may go without drinking for weeks or months during the cooler parts of the year, although lactating ewes need water more often. During the hot, dry summer months, bighorn often go three to seven days without drinking, sustaining their body moisture from their food alone. After drinking up to two gallons of water in just a few minutes, they recover from their dehydrated condition. (usually July-October), though breeding may occur anytime in the desert due to suitable climatic conditions. Food Bighorn feed on a wide variety of leaves, twigs, flowers, forbs, grasses, and cacti. On Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, plants that bighorn are known to forage include ironwood, palo verde, jojoba, Mormon tea, brittlebush, and barrel cactus. Historic Population Declines and Conservation In the early 1900s, desert bighorn populations gradually declined. Competition from introduced animals and human activities were primarily responsible for the population decrease. Domestic cattle and sheep, as well as feral horses and burros, compete with bighorn, especially at water sources. Native herbivores, like the mule deer, do not generally adversely affect bighorn. Domestic stock also introduced diseases Social Life Mature bighorn live in separate ram and ewe bands most of the year. They gather together during breeding season Rams battle to determine the dominant animal. They face each other and charge head-on from distances of twenty feet or more, crashing their massive horns together with tremendous impact until one animal ceases. The winning males are able to breed with the ewes. Gestation lasts about six months and the lambs are typically born in late winter. Gale Monson and Lowell Sommer, editors, The Desert Bighorn, Its Life History, Ecology, and Management, University of Arizona Press, 1990. Gary P. Nabhan, editor, Counting Sheep, 20 Ways of Seeing Desert Bighorn, University of Arizona Press, 1993. Charles Sheldon, The Wilderness of Desert Bighorns and Seri Indians, from the Southwestern Journals of Charles Sheldon, The Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, Inc. 1979 For More Information Contact: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Kofa National Wildlife Refuge 9300 East 28th Street Yuma, AZ 85365 928/783-7861 Monday–Friday: 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. to bighorn populations. Kofa National Wildlife Refuge’s bighorn, like other Arizona bighorn, suffer occasionally from chronic sinusitis (caused by a bot fly) which may ultimately be fatal. Human activities influencing bighorn numbers include habitat loss from development and habitat encroachment, such as roads, fences, canals, mining, and military and recreational activities. Individual bands and eventually whole populations have been lost as useable habitat decreases. Conservation efforts beginning in the 1930s have
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Watchable Wildlife Kofa National Wildlife Refuge Welcome to wildlife watching on Kofa National Wildlife Refuge Kofa NWR encompasses 665,400 acres of Sonoran Desert in southwestern Arizona. Broad valleys, gently rolling foothills, jagged peaks, and steep cliffs are found within this rugged Refuge. The Refuge receives little annual rainfall and is characterized by warm winters and scorching summer heat. Despite these harsh conditions, a diverse group of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles are found on Kofa NWR. Black-tailed jack rabbits, zebratailed lizards, western diamondback rattlesnakes, and desert bighorn sheep are several of the more commonly seen animals on the Refuge. Other species, including the coyote, Gila monster, desert tortoise, and kit fox, may be spotted on occasion, particularly at dawn or dusk. Listed here are mammals, reptiles, and amphibians recorded on Kofa NWR. Birds are on a separate checklist. Additional species may be present on the Refuge. Symbols used in this list follow: * Nonnative † Native to southeast Arizona border area Mammals Order Chiroptera (Bats) Family Molossidae Western Mastiff-bat (Eumops perotis) Pocketed Free-tailed Bat (Nyctinomops femorosacca) Mexican Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) Family Phyllostomidae California leaf-nosed bat (Macrotus californicus) Desert bighorn sheep. Susanna Henry / USFWS Mule Deer. Katrina Krebs / USFWS Family Vespertilionidae Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus) Townsend’s Big-eared Bat (Corynorhinus townsendii ) Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) Spotted Bat (Euderma maculatum) California Myotis (Myotis californicus) Arizona Myotis (M. occultus) Cave Myotis (M. velifer) Yuma Myotis (M. yumanensis) Canyon Bat (Parastrellus hesperus) Order Lagomorpha (Rabbits and Hares) Family Leporidae Black-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus californicus) Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) Order Rodentia (Rodents) Family Cricetidae White-throated Woodrat (Neotoma albigula) Desert Woodrat (N. lepida) Southern Grasshopper Mouse (Onychomys torridus) Brush Mouse (Peromyscus boylii) Canyon Mouse (P. crinitus) Cactus Mouse (P. eremicus) Deer Mouse (P. maniculatus) Western Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis) Family Erethizontidae Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) Family Geomyidae Botta’s Pocket Gopher (Thomomys bottae) Family Heteromyidae Bailey’s Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus baileyi) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (C. formosus) Rock Pocket Mouse (C. intermedius) Desert Pocket Mouse (C. penicillatus) Desert Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys deserti) Merriam’s Kangaroo Rat (D. merriami) Arizona Pocket Mouse (Perognathus amplus) Little Pocket Mouse (P. longimembris) Family Sciuridae Harris’ Antelope Squirrel (Ammospermophilus harrisii) Round-tailed Ground Squirrel (Xerospermophilus tereticaudus) Order Soricomorpha (Shrews) Family Soricidae Desert Shrew (Notiosorex crawfordi) Order Carnivora (Carnivores) Family Canidae Coyote (Canis latrans) Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis) Family Ranidae †Tarahumara Frogs (Rana tarahumarae) Family Felidae Bobcat (Lynx rufus) Mountain Lion (Puma concolor) Reptiles Family Mephitidae Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) Western Spotted Skunk (Spilogale gracilis) Family Mustelidae Badger (Taxidea taxus) Family Procyonidae Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) Order Artiodactyla (Even-toed ungulates) Family Antilocapridae Sonoran Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana sonoriensis) Family Bovidae Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis Mexicana) Family Cervidae Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) Family Tayassuidae Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu) Order Perissodactyla Family Equidae *Burro (Equus africanus asinus) *Horse (E. caballus) Amphibians Order Anura (Toads and Frogs) Family Bufonidae Colorado River Toad (Bufo alvarius) Great Plains Toad (B. cognatus) Red-spotted Toad (B. punctatus) Family Scaphiopodidae Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) Order Testudines (Turtles and Tortoises) Family Testudinoidae Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) Order Squamata (Lizards and Snakes) Family Crotaphytidae Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus insularis bicinctores) Long-nosed Leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii wislizenii) Family Gekkonidae Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus variegates) Family Helodermatidae Banded Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum cinctum) Family Iguanidae Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis dorsalis) Chuckwalla (Sauromalus obesus obesus) Family Phrynosomatidae Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides rhodostictus) Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos calidiarum) Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister magister) Colorado Desert Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma notata rufopunctata) Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus graciosus) Tree Lizard (U. ornatus symmetricus) Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana elegans) Night Snake (Hypsiglena torquata ochrorhyncha) Common Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getulus californiae) Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum piceus) Pine Gopher Snak
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Birds of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge Welcome to birding at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge Kofa National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 665,400 acres of Sonoran Desert in southwestern Arizona. Broad valleys, gently rolling foothills, jagged peaks and steep cliffs are found within this rugged refuge. The scattered water holes attract a surprising number of waterbirds and other migrant birds. Nesting birds include red-tailed hawk, Gambel’s quail, great horned owl, elf owl, Costa’s hummingbird, ash-throated flycatcher, canyon wren, northern mockingbird, phainopepla, Lucy’s warbler, and black-throated sparrow, among others. To see the greatest variety of birds, walk along one of the ephemeral washes. On a spring or summer morning, the washes are filled with the calls of mourning doves, Gambel’s quail, white-winged doves, phainopeplas, verdins, and ashthroated flycatchers. During the spring or fall, check the trees surrounding some of the old dirt stock tanks such as Charco 4 or Cholla Tank for migrants such as western tanager, cordilleran flycatcher, and belted kingfisher. Hike up Palm Canyon and listen for the calls of canyon and rock wrens. Scan the skies for soaring red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, and the occasional golden eagle. Please contact the refuge office with any new or unusual bird sightings that you make during your visit. This list was developed using refuge observations and studies reported since 1940. The 193 species are listed in accordance with seventh addition of the American Ornithologists’ Union Checklist of North American Birds, (1998) through the 53rd supplement (July 2012). Forty species have been documented as nesting on the refuge. Symbols used in this list follow: Common Name W Sp S F New World Vultures ___*Turkey Vulture C Hawks, Kites, Eagles and Allies ___Northern Harrier O ___Sharp-shinned Hawk O ___Cooper’s Hawk O ___Northern Goshawk ___Harris’s Hawk X ___*Red-tailed Hawk C ___Ferruginous Hawk ___Rough–legged Hawk ___*Golden Eagle U Rails, Gallinules and Coots ___American Coot Cranes ___Sandhill Crane O Plovers ___Killdeer O Stilts and Avocets ___Black-necked Stilt ___American Avocet Sandpipers, Phalaropes and Allies ___Spotted Sandpiper R ___Solitary Sandpiper ___Greater Yellowlegs ___Willet X ___Long-billed Curlew X ___Western Sandpiper ___Wilson’s Phalarope ___Red-necked Phalarope Pigeons and Doves ___*White-winged Dove C ___*Mourning Dove A ___Common Ground-Dove Cuckoos and Roadrunners ___Yellow-billed Cuckoo ___•Greater Roadrunner U Barn Owls ___•Barn Owl O Typical Owls ___Flammulated Owl X ___•Western Screech-Owl C ___*Great Horned Owl C ___Northern Pygmy-Owl X ___*Elf Owl C ___•Long-eared Owl O Winter Spring Summer Fall * December – February March – May June – August September – November Confirmed nester (39 species). Possible or probable breeder (12 species). • Federally Endangered or Threatened Species are listed in italics. A Abundant A very numerous species. C Common Likely to be seen or heard in suitable habitats. U Uncommon Present, not certain to be seen. O Occasional Seen only a few times during the season R Rare Unexpected, seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years. X Accidental Fewer than 3 records; vagrants outside their usual range. Breeding records from Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas and refuge records. Common Name Sp S Ducks, Geese and Swans ___Gr. White-fronted Goose ___Canada Goose ___American Wigeon ___Mallard ___Blue-winged Teal ___Cinnamon Teal O ___Northern Shoveler ___Northern Pintail R ___Green-winged Teal ___Redhead ___Bufflehead R ___Red-breasted Merganser ___Ruddy Duck New World Quail ___*Gambel’s Quail A Grebes ___Pied-billed Grebe X Pelicans ___Brown Pelican Herons, Bitterns and Allies ___Great Blue Heron ___Snowy Egret R F X R R R R R O O R A A R R R R R R W X X R R R X R X X Sp S C X W C U O O O O O U C C U U R C R R U X O O U R R R R X X O R R X X A A O O C O U X U U U O O O C C C C C C C O O O A Black-throated sparrow. F © Henry Detwiler, www.southwestbirders.com Common Name Curve-billed thrasher. © Henry Detwiler, www.southwestbirders.com Common Name Sp S Goatsuckers ___•Lesser Nighthawk O ___•Common Poorwill C Swifts ___Vaux’s Swift O ___*White-throated Swift C Hummingbirds ___Black-ch. Hummingbird O ___*Anna’s Hummingbird O ___*Costa’s Hummingbird C ___Broad-tail. Hummingbird X ___Rufous Hummingbird O Kingfishers ___Belted Kingfisher O Woodpeckers ___Lewis’ Woodpecker R ___Red-headed Woodpecker ___*Gila Woodpecker C ___Red-naped Sapsucker ___*Ladder-bac. Woodpecker O ___Northern Flicker O ___*Gilded Flicker C Falcons ___*American Kestrel C ___*Peregrine Falcon R ___*Prairie Falcon O Tyrant Flycatchers ___Olive-sided Flycatcher O ___Western Wood-Pewee C ___Willow Flycatcher U ___Hammond’s Flycatcher O ___Gray Flycatcher O ___Dusky Flycatcher U ___Pacific-slope Flycatcher U ___Cordilleran Flycatcher U ___Black Phoebe O ___*Say’s Phoebe C ___Vermilion Flycat
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Native Pollinators Kofa National Wildlife Refuge When the desert ironwood tree blooms in the spring, it begins to buzz with life. Bees bustle around the tree, attracted to its pink and white flowers. Bees, as well as birds, bats, butterflies, beetles, flies, wasps, and other insects, are important pollinators. These animals facilitate fertilization in plants like the desert ironwood by transferring pollen between flowers of the same species, allowing the plant to produce successful seeds. Pollinators are crucial to all national wildlife refuges as between 75 and 95 percent of all flowering plants in the world cannot self-pollinate. Birds Globally, over 2,000 species of birds feed on nectar and eat the insects and spiders associated with nectar-bearing flowers. Birds have little or no sense of smell and thus the flowers they visit are usually odorless. These flowers tend to be rich in nectar and have large, sticky pollen that cling to the birds’ feathers. When hiking on Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, you might be startled by a loud humming noise. The culprit is likely a hummingbird (family Trochilidae), a small and colorful pollinator with a long, tapered bill and bristled tongue. The noise results from the flapping of its wings which beat up to 80 times per second. This adaptation, as well as the hummingbird’s ability to fly in any direction (including upside down and backward), makes it an excellent pollinator as it can hover in front of flowers when feeding. The hummingbird is generally attracted to long, tubular, and brightly colored flowers, though it will visit nearly any nectar-producing flower. When the hummingbird feeds on the flowers’ nectar, sticky pollen attach to the bird’s bill or feathers. As the hummingbird flies from flower to flower, it spreads the pollen and fertilizes the plant. There are five species of hummingbirds found on Kofa National Wildlife Refuge: Costa’s hummingbird, black-chinned hummingbird, Anna’s hummingbird, broad-tailed hummingbird, and rufous hummingbird. Pollinators at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. / Katrina Krebs, USFWS The white-winged dove (Zenaida asiatica), named for the white stripe at the edge of its wing, is another common bird pollinator on the refuge. In the desert southwest, the white-winged dove is considered a saguaro specialist. It is almost exclusively dependent on saguaros for nutrients and water during the breeding season, eating the nectar, pollen, fruits, and seeds of saguaros. When visiting saguaro flowers, the whitewinged dove inadvertently pollinates the cactus. It also helps disperse seeds contained within the saguaro fruit it eats, either through its feces or regurgitation to its young. The white-winged dove is so reliant on saguaros that its migration and breeding season matches the flowering of the saguaro. Bees Bees are the most diverse group of pollinators with more than 1,000 species in the southwestern United States and over 4,000 species in North America. Bees are generally attracted to flowers that are blue or yellow, or a mixture of these colors. They are unable to see the color red, but can see ultraviolet light unlike humans. Many flowers that attract bees have ultraviolet patterns on the petals. These patterns, called nectar guides, help bees locate the center of the flower so they can quickly find the nectar. On Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, cactus bees (Diadasia spp.) are an incredibly important type of bee as they favor the flowers of, unsurprisingly, cacti. The cactus bee is fuzzy, brown and about the size of a honey bee. It is a solitary ground nester and is active primarily between April and June when many of the cacti are blooming on the Refuge. The cactus bee crawls inside the flowers of saguaros, prickly pears, barrel cacti, teddybear chollas, and other cacti to feed on their nectar, gathering pollen on its hairy body all the while. As the bee flies from flower to flower, the pollen is spread and the flowers are fertilized. The cactus bee also mixes some of the pollen with nectar and stores it in its nest as food for its young. Butterflies Butterflies are valuable pollinators on the refuge, especially of brightly colored flowers with sweet scents. Yet with their longer legs, butterflies prove to be less effective pollinators than bees as they do not collect as much pollen on their bodies while searching for nectar. They do serve another purpose on the refuge though: butterflies are an important food source for other animals, particularly birds. The marine blue (Leptotes marina) is found year-round in the Sonoran Desert. The upperside of its body is blue, while the undersides of its wings are striped brown and white. Host plants of this butterfly species include legumes, such as fairydusters, mesquite and acacias. White-winged dove. / Katrina Krebs, USFWS Wasps A number of wasps that pollinate plants resemble bees. However, they can generally be distinguished from bees by their narrow ab

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