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“Restore the habitat and the animals will come” –  Valer Clark

One of CLO’s primary beliefs is that restoring habitat is key to bringing back native wildlife populations. Over the last decade, CLO and its partner organizations have noted significant recovery of bird species (both native and migratory) as a result of resting and reseeding once denuded grasslands. Recovery of larger animal populations can be a slower process and can benefit from a little help. With this in mind, CLO partners with other science based organizations to reintroduce native species  in areas where habitat, and in some cases prey base, have been restored to the point where they can support an increase in population.

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  • In 2007, 21 Coues Deer were released in the heart of CLO’s western conservation area.
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  • Conducted four releases of Gould’s turkeys (totally 120 birds in two years) in the Chiricahua Mountains – the northern end of CLO’s area of focus, the population continues to increase.

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  • 5 acres of Penstemon planted for the benefit of hummingbirds.

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  • Working with partners to create a corridor that provides for wildlife migration and install water catchment systems that provide water in the dry months.


To evaluate the impact watershed restoration has had on large vertebrates, Jan Schipper, Post-doctoral Fellow, Arizona State University and the Phoenix Zoo, used cameras traps to conduct wildlife surveys across Turkey Creek. The Creek has a 30-year history of watershed restoration in some of its reaches, and provides an excellent example of a free flowing perennial creek (Turkey Pen). Jan also put camera traps in Mexico. Click Here to access his paper ‘Wildlife and Habitat Restoration in the Chiricahuas: Bringing Back the Water.

The occasional appearance of rare species such as jaguar and ocelot are signs that some southern species are beginning to move north. As this happens, CLO believes that it becomes increasingly important to create a secure network of protected lands to accommodate movement patterns.


Ocelots previously not observed in the border region picked up on CLO’s cameras

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