|Patagonia Lake State Park - Sonoita Creek State Natural Area|
Patagonia Lake State Park, one of the state’s premier year round birding spots, is an outstanding example of riparian woodland habitat, dominated by giant Fremont cottonwood, willow, velvet ash, and Arizona walnut trees. Extensive mesquite bosques are found in lowland areas at the upper end of th...
Las Cienegas National Conservation Area
|Description: The Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (NCA) encompasses one of the best grasslands left in southeastern Arizona. This scenic landscape of vast desert grasslands and rolling oak-studded hills connects several "sky island" mountain ranges. Cienega Creek, with its perennial flow and lush riparian corridor, forms the lifeblood of the NCA. This regionally-significant open space safeguards a network extending south of Interstate 10 to protected lands in northern Sonora, Mexico.|
Wildlife to Watch: Wildlife species include 60 mammals, 230 birds, 43 reptiles and amphibians, and 3 native fish. Large mammals include mule and white-tailed deer, javelina, and mountain lion. Small herds of pronghorn are often seen in and south of the NCA along State Road 82. Several unique species can also be found, including Chiricahua leopard frog, Gila chub, Gila topminnow, lesser long-nosed bat, and southwestern willow flycatcher. The NCA is a good spot for sparrows, and three species of quail can be seen in the grasslands. Songbirds and nesting raptors can be found along the riparian corridor.
Special Tips: Heavy rainfall during summer monsoons may result in sinkholes along roads; travel with caution. Several species of rattlesnakes can be found in and around the Las Cienegas NCA. Warm weather visitors should take appropriate precautions when hiking or recreating in the NCA and adjacent areas. Though snake encounters are not uncommon, bites from these animals are rare.
Ownership: Bureau of Land Management
Size: 42,000 acres
Closest Town: Sonoita
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: