For migrating birds between the Mojave Desert and the Great Basin, Oasis Valley is one of the rare routes that guarantees water. The only alternative is Pahranagat Valley to the east. The Amargosa River winds through Oasis Valley and is classified as ephemeral; however, there are short stretches of permanent water. Elsewhere in the valley, numerous springs, wetlands and farm ponds support an important flyway and a riparian corridor centered with the town of Beatty. These riparian corridors are surrounded by typical upland transitional vegetation of the Mojave and Great Basin desert scrub ecotones. Most of the valley floor is privately owned and the town of Beatty is currently working on restoration of the riparian and spring systems within the Valley. The Nevada Bureau of Land Management manages the remainder of the land. The Bullfrog Hills to the west and the Bare Mountains to the southeast surround Oasis Valley.
In Southern Nevada, the Oasis Valley is one of only two north/south oriented migration corridors - the other being Pahranagat Valley. Theoretically, all land birds migrating into the Great Basin and other locales to the north, must pass through these two corridors. Although there are some areas of extensive tamarisk, the riparian areas throughout the Valley are to a large extent one of the healthiest examples throughout southern Nevada. With the Town of Beatty working hard to protect these areas, this site offers birds a reliable safe-haven to rest and refuel before continuing their migratory journey. Without such a site, major migration patterns would be interrupted and significant population declines could result.
tamarisk, Russian olive, other invasive exotics. Negotiations with the major landowner in the valley, and the holder of the best habitat, recently broke down. The landowner may be posturing, but has expressed a preference to sell the property to a developer. Its proximity to sprawling Las Vegas could make this an economically feasible alternative. off-road vehicle use.
The primary conservation issue in the area is the degradation of the riparian corridor and the adjacent spring resources. Many of these concerns have been addressed through the conservation efforts directed at the Amargosa toad. Although these directives are not specific to birds, all conservation efforts to rehabilitate the riparian corridor and spring system will have a net positive effect for birds and other natural elements. The town of Beatty is interested in these conservation efforts and has been actively pursuing a green-belt initiative.
Habitat restoration and enhancement is needed in some areas, but work is already in progress. Stream and spring restoration including removal of exotic species, reinitiating historic water flow rates and levels, and erosion and stream bank stabilization are priorities. Time to allow the regeneration and maturation of native vegetation including willows and cottonwoods are needed.