The report available below and the accompanying Geographic Information Systems (GIS) datasets summarize the results of two stakeholder workshops held in Pinetop, Arizona in 2010 and 2011. The workshops were supported by a partnership between the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Arizona Wildlife Linkages Workgroup. At these workshops, stakeholders identified and mapped the locations of important wildlife linkages across Apache and Navajo Counties. 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 were later refined after the additional opportunity for stakeholder review at the second workshop.
This report provides background information on the importance and benefits of conserving wildlife linkages for both people and wildlife in Apache and Navajo Counties and describes the methods used during stakeholder workshops and in developing the accompanying 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 Apache and Navajo Counties. The maps are followed by tables with descriptive information about the habitat areas each linkage connects, the species each linkage serves, and known threats and potential conservation opportunities associated with each linkage. The information in this report reflects the views and expertise of workshop participants and likely does not represent an exhaustive mapping of all important wildlife linkages across Apache and Navajo Counties. It should instead be considered an initial assessment of wildlife movement patterns to be supplemented in the future 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 AGFD and other wildlife and land management agencies, preferably during the early stages of project planning. While the impetus for this report originated from the community’s interest in promoting environmentally-sensitive transportation projects, this report and associated GIS data provide a framework for professionals across a range of disciplines to identify and incorporate opportunities for maintaining and enhancing wildlife connectivity within project areas in Apache and Navajo Counties. We hope this report stimulates detailed planning and collaborative on-the-ground actions for conserving wildlife linkages.
Additional information on connectivity in Apache and Navajo counties can be obtained by contacting the Department's Region 1 (Pinetop Office) Habitat Program at 928-367-4342. Higher resolution copies of these reports and associated GIS data can be obtained from the Department’s GIS Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.