Arizona's Natural Heritage
The same environmental conditions that produce such an interesting array of wildlife and habitat have made Arizona very popular with humans as well. Warm winter climates in the lower elevations of the state and cool summers in the high country, along with myriad outdoor recreational opportunities, have encouraged an ever increasing number of people to call Arizona home. In response to this influx, and the associated outdoor activity, environmental managers are studying the long-term effects of increased human demands on our environmental resources.
In order to make sound management decisions, resource managers and administrators must understand and appreciate the biological ecosystems being impacted. Ecosystems are dynamic, so it is imperative that the most current information is available for making decisions. Because humans now influence all ecosystems in Arizona, we need to plan responsibly to lessen impacts caused by continued development and economic growth.
Arizona's Heritage Data Management System (HDMS), which is managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department (link to HDMS about us), collects, synthesizes, and catalogs information concerning the distribution and occurrence of species and habitats in need of special attention. The HDMS is part of a global network of more than 80 Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers. HDMS information is available so Arizonans can make prudent decisions weighing future development, economic growth, and environmental integrity.