Tag Archives: wildlife

Celebrate Wildlife at the Grand Canyon Next Month

Nathaniel Smalley | Grand Canyon

Nathaniel Smalley | Grand Canyon

Do you love wildlife? Do you also love the Grand Canyon? If your answer is “yes” to both questions, start making plans to attend Grand Canyon National Park’s Celebrate Wildlife Day, taking place Saturday, September 13, at the South Rim.

Park rangers and other experts will share information about the Canyon’s wildlife and endangered species, including raptors, condors and elk. The family friendly event will feature several activities for kids, too. And at 1:30 p.m., the park will celebrate Yaki Point’s designation as a Globally Important Bird Area.

For more information on the event, click here.


Filed under Mother Nature, News

Friday Fotos: Creatures Great and Small

Nathaniel Smalley | Grand Canyon

Nathaniel Smalley | Grand Canyon

As usual, there were many fantastic Friday Fotos submissions this week. Clearly, given Arizona’s diverse fauna, the “wildlife” theme gave you a lot to work with. Thanks for submitting your photos, and enjoy the holiday weekend!

By submitting photographs to Arizona Highways via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or other social networking sites, the photographer grants Arizona Highways electronic rights. No financial consideration will be paid to anyone for publication on the Arizona Highways blog or website.

By publishing a photographer’s work to its blog, Arizona Highways does not endorse the photographer’s private business or claim responsibility for any business relationships entered into between the photographer and our readers.


Filed under Friday Fotos, Photography

Fish and Wildlife Service: Regional Wolf Population Is Increasing

A Mexican wolf in the wild | Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A tagged Mexican wolf in the wild | Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The population of Mexican wolves in Arizona and New Mexico increased by 10 percent in 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says.

In 2012, the service counted 75 of the wolves in the two states. Last year, though, an aerial survey counted at least 83 wolves — 37 in Arizona and 46 in New Mexico. Those counts are considered to be minimums, since some wolves may not have been spotted.

The Mexican wolf is the smallest subspecies of the gray wolf in North America. It nearly became extinct in the U.S. in the 1970s due to hunting and conflicts with livestock operations. The Fish and Wildlife Service has been reintroducing wolves in Arizona and New Mexico since 1998, and the current population in the recovery area is entirely wild-born.

Given that all the wolves descended from only a handful of released wolves, the service says future releases will need to address genetic issues within the wild population.

For more information about the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, click here.


Filed under Et Cetera, Mother Nature, News

Presenting … Our 2013-14 Online Photo Contest Finalists

Government Prairie, near Flagstaff | John Tennant

Government Prairie, near Flagstaff | John Tennant

It wasn’t easy to pick only 30 finalists in our 2013-14 Online Photography Contest. We had nearly 5,000 entries, after all — and, to borrow a favorite phrase of Photo Editor Jeff Kida, “you brought it!” As fun as it was to sift through these spectacular images, it also made the task of narrowing them down that much harder.

That said, it’s finally done, and the finalists are up on our Photography page. The photo above is John Tennant’s, and it’s a finalist in the Landscape category. To see the other 29 finalists in the Landscape, Macro and Wildlife categories, click here.

Winners will be published in the September 2014 issue of Arizona Highways.


Filed under Photography

AZ Game & Fish Seeks Volunteers For Black-Footed Ferret Recovery

Photo by Bruce Taubert

Our pals at the Arizona Game and Fish Department are looking for a few good men and women to help out with an upcoming recovery project… Check it out:

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is in need of volunteers interested in assisting in the recovery of an animal once considered the most endangered mammal on the planet. An opportunity exists for people to lend a hand in the recovery of the elusive, nocturnal, and endangered black-footed ferret.

From September 27-October 1, Game and Fish will be conducting its annual fall spotlighting effort and needs volunteers to help document black-footed ferret numbers throughout the Aubrey Valley, just west of Seligman in northwestern Arizona.

“Volunteers play a vital role in this recovery effort,” said Jeff Pebworth, wildlife program manager at the Game and Fish Kingman office. “We don’t have the personnel available to fully staff these events and the program’s continued success depends on people remaining involved.”

Twice thought to be extinct, a small population of black-footed ferrets was discovered in 1981. A mere 18 were left when captive breeding efforts began in 1985. In 1996, Arizona’s Aubrey Valley was selected as a reintroduction site.

In just the last 10 years, black-footed ferrets in Aubrey Valley have reached a population high enough to be considered self-sustaining, meaning no captive-bred ferrets are needed to maintain a population. The ferret reintroduction crew documented 116 individual ferrets in 2011 and 52 during the 2012 spring effort.

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in Arizona,” Pebworth said. “We’re restoring an animal that was absent from the state for about 65 years. It’s gratifying to know we’ve reached a point with this reintroduction where the population has continued to improve.”

Volunteers earn the right to brag about their participation, aiding in the recovery of an animal few have ever seen. They can also witness the processing of the animals, which allow researchers to understand population, longevity, and movement throughout the range.

“This is a unique experience and provides volunteers an opportunity to see the amount of effort involved with this reintroduction,” Pebworth said.

Those wishing to volunteer, or needing more information, should e-mail azferret@azgfd.gov by September 21 with “September Spotlighting” in the subject line. Individuals should indicate which night(s) they are available to help; include a first and last name, a contact number, and if anyone else will be attending with them.

“We’ve made progress,” Pebworth said. “However, it is critical we continue to document ferret numbers and understand how this population is holding up in the wild.”

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Filed under Eco Issues

Watch For Elk!

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I just returned from a quick trip to the Grand Canyon and I thought I’d share some photos of elk taken on this latest adventure because 1) these guys are truly majestic creatures and 2) they serve as a reminder to watch for elk because they are everywhere… including at the Best Western in Tusayan.

Kat, Associate Editor


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Filed under Eco Issues