This report and the accompanying geographic information system (GIS) datasets summarize the results of two stakeholder workshops held in Prescott, Arizona in 2009 and Mayer, Arizona in 2010. At these workshops, stakeholders representing a broad range of organizations and interests identified and mapped the locations of important wildlife linkages across Yavapai County. Participants included biologists, land managers, planners, and other professionals from federal, state, tribal, private, and non-governmental organizations. The workshops were supported by a partnership between the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Arizona Wildlife Linkages Workgroup with the intention of producing the Yavapai County Wildlife Connectivity Assessment. This multi-agency, multi-disciplinary effort encouraged biologists and non-biologists alike to incorporate information about wildlife linkages and strategies for their conservation into transportation corridor and project planning as well as other community projects including land-use decisions. The workshops provided a forum for stakeholders to learn more about wildlife connectivity, outline the general locations of wildlife linkages on large maps, and provide descriptive information about each linkage on datasheets. Participants also identified the locations of barriers such as highways and railroads that may interfere with wildlife movements. The hand-drawn linkages and barriers were then digitized with GIS software, and later refined after an additional opportunity for stakeholder review. The linkages were then further refined to eliminate redundancy for this report.
This report provides background information on the importance and benefits of conserving wildlife linkages for both people and wildlife in Yavapai County, and describes the methods used in our stakeholder workshops and in developing our GIS products. It includes a series of maps generated from the digitized stakeholder data that depict the general locations of wildlife linkages and potential barriers to wildlife movement within Yavapai County. The maps are followed by tables with descriptive information about the habitat areas each linkage connects, the wildlife species each linkage serves, and any identified threats or potential conservation opportunities associated with each linkage and barrier. The information in this report reflects the views and expertise of workshop participants and likely does not represent an exhaustive mapping of all important linkages across Yavapai County. It should instead be considered an initial assessment of wildlife movement patterns to be supplemented by further analysis and refinement that includes additional expert input, GIS-based linkage modeling, and research studies of wildlife movement patterns. The maps and GIS data in this report illustrate approximate locations of wildlife movements on the landscape and should be regarded as the starting point for further consultation with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and other wildlife and land management agencies, preferably in the early stages of project planning. This report and associated GIS data provide a framework for professionals across a range of disciplines to begin to identify opportunities for maintaining and enhancing wildlife connectivity within project areas in Yavapai County. We hope that this report stimulates detailed planning and collaborative on-the-ground actions for conserving wildlife linkages through land acquisition and open space conservation, habitat restoration, creation of highway crossing structures for wildlife, and other approaches.
Additional information on connectivity in Yavapai County can be obtained by contacting the Department's Region 3 (Kingman Office) Habitat Program at 928-692-7700. Associated GIS data can be obtained from the Department’s GIS Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.