Monitoring Wildlife in New Pima County Conservation Area: CAP Land Bridge

Our new wildlife cameras will help us monitor wildlife movement across the CAP canal!

In partnership with Pima County and some local neighbors, we set three new wildlife cameras to monitor wildlife use of one of the CAP Canal’s important wildlife land bridges. This gap in the CAP canal was built to create connectivity between the wildlife linkage between the Tucson Mountains and the Avra Valley and Ironwood Forest National Monument.

Pima County recently acquired 37-acres of property adjacent to the bridge, protecting each side of the bridge as conservation lands to ensure this wildlife corridor is protected in the future (we are looking at you, I-11). Pima County is also placing their own cameras to add to ours, and all of this data will also be shared with a graduate student at ASU who is studying similar crossings on the CAP Canal in this area.

One of the new wildlife cameras installed near the CAP wildlife crossing canal.
Photo by Jessica Moreno

This is a critical connection for bighorn sheep, deer, mountain lions, badgers, and many other species moving between Saguaro National Park West and lands protected by the Tohono O’odham Nation. This property also includes a high-quality dry riparian habitat that provides important habitat for many animals, including the endangered cactus ferruginous pygmy-owls.

Although the gap in the CAP Canal is only 45 yards across, it effectivity connects hundreds of acres of open space. With these new cameras, we will have the photos and the data to show it. New photos coming soon!

We will also be working with Pima County and Desert Fence Busters to fix some fencing issues in this narrow corridor as well. Stay tuned!

Friends, volunteers, staff and even some of our Board came along for a fun day exploring and setting cameras near the CAP Canal wildlife land bridge in April. Left to Right: Curt, Harold, Christina (CSDP), Carolyn (CSDP), Nichole (Pima County), Jessica (CSDP), and Arlene.

Read Pima County’s Full Conservation Lands Acquisition Report for more information