Pima County Regional Flood Control, AZ

Commited to environmental excellence

Pima County Regional Flood Control, AZ
pima county regional flood control dist., tucson az

herpetofauna salvage, rescue & Monitoring

Harris Environmental has conducted more than 10 years (2011-2023) of herpetofauna salvage, rescue, and monitoring directed by the Pima County Regional Flood Control District as part of their wildlife salvage and monitoring initiatives to mitigate negative effects from flood protection and conveyance construction activities in the metro Tucson area. Major drainages where herpetofauna salvage, rescue, and monitoring have occurred include numerous sites along the Santa Cruz River, Rillito River, Pantano Wash, Rincon Creek, and Cañada del Oro. Salvage efforts have included pitfall traps, noosing, and capture by hand after overturning debris, while monitoring efforts have included pedestrian transect surveys as well as inventory of salvaged species. Salvage and rescue efforts have included the translocation of all captured herpetofauna to safe locations that contain similar habitat to the project sites within urban Tucson. Primary herpetofauna salvaged have included common lizards, snakes, and anurans, as well targeted species of interest, such as the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis), regal horned lizard (Phrynosoma solare), Sonoran spotted whiptail (Aspidoscelis sonorae), checkered garter snake (Thamnophis marcianus), and Mexican spadefoot toad (Spea multiplicata). Monitoring and salvage efforts were also completed in collaboration with Dr. Phil Rosen, who was a well-respected and prominent herpetologist of southern Arizona, and who provided sound expertise in the methods implemented as well as the biodiversity of herpetofauna at each project area. Based on Dr. Rosen’s previous efforts, translocations are directed to adjacent areas away from disturbance zones, and/or other appropriate habitat conditions but with low predator risks. Harris Environmental continues to proudly serve Pima County with its conscientious and effective wildlife salvage and monitoring that has culminated in a multi-year comprehensive report of all aforementioned herpetofauna salvage and monitoring actions implemented in the metro Tucson area.

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