612-acre property is located within the Gila
River floodplain, approximately 40 miles
east of Yuma. Approximately 552 acres of
the property were acquired by the Arizona
Game and Fish Commission (Commission) in
March 1994 through the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation
and Drainage District (WMIDD) in a land exchange
with the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR).
The remaining 60 acres of active farmland
were purchased by the Commission on September
24, 1997 for $266,000 through a combination
of Heritage and Waterfowl Conservation Funds.
This additional piece provides added protection
and enhancement of QWMA by providing water
delivery and control structures and a buffer
between the QWMA's moist soils zone and adjacent
lands. The land and resource values associated
with this acquisition provide opportunities
to meet objectives of Arizona's Heritage
Fund for Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive
species and habitats, as well as provide
benefits for other wildlife species and the
- View a map of this wildlife
and Vegetation Types
The Quigley Wildlife Management Area (QWMA) contains approximately 622
acres consisting of 1) 2 major open water areas, occupying approximately
18 acres (3%), 2) 60 acres (11%) of idle farmland 3) 85 acres (16%) of
upland habitat characterized by large stands of saltcedar (Tamarix chinensis)
and arrowweed (Tessaria sericea); 4) about 95 acres (18%) of Creosotebush-bursage
habitat; 5) 100 acres (19%) of marshland habitat, associated with the open
water areas and characterized by emergent vegetation such as cattail (Typha
domingensis) and bulrush (Scirpus californicus) 6) and the remainder of
the QWMA is characterized by dense stands of saltcedar and arrowweed, covering
approximately 180 acres (33%).
The goals for management of the Quigley Wildlife Area are to:
1) Restore and manage riparian habitats.
2) Maintain and enhance habitat suitability for waterfowl, shorebirds,
and other riparian associated wildlife.
3) Restore, enhance and manage habitats required by sensitive species.
4) Encourage compatible consumptive and non-consumptive uses and educational
activities, including development of "watchable wildlife" opportunities.
5) Maintain and enhance fisheries and fishing opportunities.
Public Use Opportunities and Resource Management
To restore, enhance, and manage wetland habitat including open water and
marsh, riparian and associated upland wildlife habitats; and to provide
public opportunities for wildlife viewing, education, research, hunting
Management emphasis for QWMA includes managing habitat and its associated
wildlife, and encouraging non-conflicting wildlife-associated recreation
and other agency and public uses.
Wetland and riparian habitats within the QWMA provide critical nesting,
cover and food resources for many avian species. Wetland habitat of open
water and marshlands within the wildlife area is associated with a series
of ponds located in an old oxbow channel of the Gila River. The low water
depths and emergent vegetation such as cattail (Typha domingensis) and
bulrush (Scirpus californicus) make excellent nesting substrate for a large
number of waterfowl species. Other wildlife species supported by the wetlands
at QWMA include shorebirds, game and nongame fishes, game and nongame birds,
and amphibians. The marsh habitat at QWMA has in the past supported at
least 4-6 pairs of the endangered Yuma Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris
yumanensis) and appropriate habitat exists for the endangered Southwestern
Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus), although nesting has not
Idle Farmland Habitat
About 60 acres of unplanted agricultural fields are located in the northeastern
portion of the QWMA. This land was most recently used to grow bermuda grass
(Cynodon dactylon), but has been fallow and weed-covered for several years.
Floods along the lower Gila River in the spring of 1993 impacted this zone
and now stands of cattail interspersed with Goodding willow (Salix gooddingii)
and open areas dominated by bermuda grass as a result of the floods, making
the idle fields more suitable for supporting wildlife.
Active Farmland Habitat
The Marlatt addition (60 acres) is currently in active agricultural production.
Crops grown in the past included bermuda grass, cotton, seed onions, and
various produce. Currently, this area is being farmed for wheat (Triticum
spp.) to support white-winged (Zenaida asiatica) and mourning doves (Zenaida
macroura). Approximately five percent of this portion of the QWMA property
consists of border roads, berms, and water-delivery ditches. Except when
flood-irrigated, habitat quality for wildlife species is low, as crops
currently grown are of low food and cover value. The agricultural land
is relatively productive, however, and shows a high potential value to
wildlife if it were utilized to grow grain or other forage crops.
Upland Habitat Species
Upland habitat on the QWMA is characterized by large stands of saltcedar
(Tamarix chinensis) and arrowweed (Tessaria sericea). This habitat is interspersed
with relatively dense stands of screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens),
covering approximately 85 acres. This habitat currently provides significant
nesting habitat for white-winged (Zenaida asiatica) and mourning doves
Special Status Species occurring on or near the Quigley Wildlife Area have
been identified through the Department's Heritage Data Management System,
and are listed below. Those special status species that potentially occur
on the QMWA include American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), Great egret
(Ardea alba), Loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), Osprey (Pandion
haliaetus), Snowy egret (Egretta thula), Southwestern willow flycatcher
(Empidonax traillii extimus), Western least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis
hesperis), and White-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi).
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