Habitat use by small vertebrates at two water developments in Southwestern Arizona Academic Article uri icon


  • Water developments on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona, have not been adequately monitored for use by wildlife. We used pitfall trapping for herpetofauna, live-trapping for rodents, and transect surveys for birds to determine the small vertebrate species present and their use of three vegetation types at two water developments in 1994 and 1995. We observed 187 Species of vertebrates, the majority (80%) of which were bird species. Although one water development was dry throughout the study, there was no difference in the species richness or abundance of reptiles or rodents between sites. Bird species richness and abundance was greater at the site with free-standing water. Although small mammal and reptile species used all vegetation types at each site, bird species primarily used the mesquite (Prosopis velutina) trees at the center of each site. We believe that birds and amphibians benefit from the construction of such sites to a greater extent than reptiles or rodents.

published proceedings

  • Southwestern Naturalist

author list (cited authors)

  • Cutler, T. L., & Morrison, M. L.

complete list of authors

  • Cutler, TL||Morrison, ML

publication date

  • June 1998