Sonoran Desert Research Center

In cooperation with the University of Arizona School of Natural Resources

U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 2006-1076
version 1.0

Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

By Cecilia A. Schmidt, Brian F. Powell, and William L. Halvorson


photograph of cacti in foreground and hills in the background
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument; outcrops of Childs Latite in the background. Photograph by Brian Powell.

Executive Summary

We summarized inventory and monitoring efforts for plants and vertebrates at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (NM) in Arizona. We used data from previous research to compile complete species lists for the monument and to assess inventory completeness.

There have been 1,031 species of plants and vertebrates observed at the monument. Most of the species on the list are documented by voucher specimens. There are 59 non-native species established in the monument: one mammal, three birds, and 55 non-native plants. Most non-native plant species were first recorded along roads.

In each taxon-specific chapter, we highlight areas that contribute disproportionately to species richness or that have unique species for the monument. Of particular importance are Quitobaquito Springs and Pond, which are responsible for the monument having one of the highest number of bird species in the Sonoran Desert Network of parks. Quitobaquito also contains the only fish in the monument, the endangered Quitobaquito pupfish (Cyprinodon eremus). Other important resources for the plants and vertebrates include the xeroriparian washes (e.g., Alamo Canyon) and the Ajo Mountains.

Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventories of vascular plants and vertebrates are nearly complete and that the monument has one of the most complete inventories of any unit in the Sonoran Desert Network

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For questions about the content of this report, contact Brian Powell

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