Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Riparian system within the rugged desert landscape.

Detailed Description

An example of a riparian system within the rugged desert landscape. Zone-tailed Hawks nested in the trees in the bottom of the canyon. 

  1. Raptors in the Trans Pecos, Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit: State-Threatened, Riparian-Obligate Raptors in the Trans Pecos:  Desert riparian systems are distinct narrow drainages that provide environmental conditions for vegetation dependent on permanent or ephemeral surface and subsurface water. This results in desert riparian zones provide important nesting and foraging habitat in an otherwise highly arid landscape. These riparian systems have been identified as a priority for conservation throughout the southwest. Within these riparian systems in Chihuahuan Ecoregion of Texas are three state-threatened birds of prey, the common black hawk, gray hawk, and zone-tailed hawk. Only the most basic observed presence information has been available for these species in the region; thus, species assessments and management has been hampered by a lack of quantitative data. The Texas Unit has partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Big Bend National Park, and private conservation entities to assess the abundance, habitat characteristics, productivity, and community structure of these species in riparian zones of the Trans Pecos region of Texas. We anticipate our results will provide Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with data to make informed decisions for status assessment updates and identification of priority areas for conservation and restoration of these state-threatened species. Julie C. Wicker, Branch Chief of Administration and Research, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department – Wildlife Division, Austin, Texas.


Public Domain.