Arizona Wildlife Action Plan 2012-2022
Congress charged each state and territory with developing a Wildlife Action Plan in order to receive funds through the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program and the State Wildlife Grants Program. These proactive plans, known also as “Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategies,” assess the health of each state’s wildlife and habitats, identify the problems they face, and outline the actions that are needed to conserve them over the long term.
Arizona was one of eight states that not only acknowledged climate change as a primary challenge to conserving the state's wildlife populations within their plan, but also incorporated conservation actions to address the climate related "stressors" on priority species.
In 2012, a revision of Arizona’s SWAP, developed by the Arizona Fish and Game Department, was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The revised version guides wildlife conservation for 2012-2022 and considers many of the changes that Arizona and its wildlife have experienced since the original plan was created.
Some of the more significant changes that impact wildlife conservation and were addressed in the revision include the state’s above-average human population growth; increasing demand for renewable energy sources; emergence of new wildlife diseases; and, the growing number of new invasive species.
One of the most notable actions to come from revising the plan is the department’s "HabiMap Arizona," a web-based planning tool that allows individuals from partnering agencies or the public to fully view and analyze the relationships among different data layers such as individual stressors or species. Providing full access to the data behind the SWAP, everyone can use this tool to inform decisions that could impact Arizona’s wildlife and habitats.
The new plan offers a revised list of the Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), updated species distribution models, wildlife stressors and related state actions. The new plan further acknowledges the impacts of climate change on Arizona's wildlife and habitats, and lays out a framework of ongoing climate change initiatives in the state.
Among the SGCN in Arizona (listed in Appendix E:), the conservation actions for species and/or other taxa were developed and identified in Department annual work plans and operational plans, developed in coordination with USFWS species leads.
The SWAP's proposed actions to address climate change are:
- Develop plans to conserve species of greatest conservation need that are not sufficiently addressed under existing plans.
- Encourage research into mechanisms by which species are likely to respond to climate change.
- Establish long-term species and native habitat monitoring.
- Establish new wild and/or captive populations of SGCN wildlife.
- Identify and protect key wildlife corridors for landscape connectivity.
- Increase public awareness of the importance of energy conservation and efficiency.
- Promote the use of rooftop solar or other alternative energy generation technologies that utilize previously disturbed and developed lands.
- Support alternative energy and recycling efforts to reduce toxic by-products and wastes from traditional fuels and mineral extraction.
- Support efforts to reduce emission of greenhouse gases.
- Work with city and county planners to promote in-fill development and limit urban/rural sprawl.
Publication Date: May 16, 2012
- Arizona Game and Fish Department
- Biodiversity and ecosystems
- Plans (other)