Quigley Wildlife Area is owned and managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. It is located along the lower Gila River just north of the town of Tacna. Prominent features include oxbow ponds and associated marshes and riparian areas, irrigated fields planted with wheat for doves in the summer and moist soil waterfowl foods in the winter, and irrigated stands of cottonwoods and willows.

Ornithological Summary

Ornithological Summary:
Quigley Wildlife Area provides some of the highest quality marsh and riparian habitat along the lower Gila River. It is the only property below Gillespie Dam that is managed for wildlife. Any birds that use the Gila River as a migration corridor would likely pass through Quigley. Bird species recorded here which have conservation status include: Federal T/E - Yuma Clapper Rail (presumed to nest); Arizona threatened - Least Bittern (presumed to nest), Great Egret and Snowy Egret (forages here, nests nearby), Osprey (winter), and Belted Kingfisher (winter); Arizona WatchList - Abert's Towhee (abundant; presumed to nest) and White-throated Swift (fall passage). Other species with conservation status suspected to occur here at least occasionally include Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Costa's Hummingbird, Gilded Flicker, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Gray Flycatcher, Swainson's Thrush, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Grace's Warbler, MacGillivray's Warbler, and Brewer's Sparrow.

Conservation Issues

The dominant continuing threat is competition from salt cedar over native riparian vegetation, but revegetation projects for cottonwoods and willows have been implemented. Water levels in the ponds have declined in recent years as adjacent agriculture has been retired; use of canal water has replaced some of this lost water. Other threats are from wildfire and cowbirds. More conversion of salt cedar to native vegetation would further improve habitat, and reduce fire threat and cowbird parasitism impact.

Ownership

Arizona Game and Fish Department Yuma Regional Office.

Habitat

Vegetation community is primarily riparian and is dominated by salt cedar (Tamarix ramosissima). Screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens) is intermixed extensively with the salt cedar as well as lesser amounts of Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii) and Goodding's willow (Salix gooddingii). Approximately 30 acres of cottonwood and willow from natural regeneration or plantings are irrigated. Arrowweed (Pluchea sericea) and quailbush (Atriplex lentiformis) are dominant understory plants. Emergent marsh vegetation is almost entirely southern cattail (Typha domingensis). The Gila River is adjacent to the wildlife area and provides additional wetland and riparian habitat. Other adjacent lands are agricultural and provide some foraging (wheat) and nesting (citrus) habitat.

Land Use

Prominent features include oxbow ponds and associated marshes and riparian areas, irrigated fields planted with wheat for doves in the summer and moist soil waterfowl foods in the winter, and irrigated stands of cottonwoods and willows.). The Gila River is adjacent to the wildlife area and provides additional wetland and riparian habitat. Other adjacent lands are agricultural and provide some foraging (wheat) and nesting (citrus) habitat.

Hunting is a primary land use during certain times of the year.

Protected Areas:
Entry into moist soil fields is prohibited during winter months to prevent disturbance of waterfowl.

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