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Friday, February 25 • 7:00am - 4:00pm
Field Learning Experience: Home on the Range - A Tour of Southeastern Arizona’s Grasslands

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Join the Arizona Wildlife Federation (AWF) on a tour of southeastern Arizona’s grasslands -- where the deer and the antelope play! We will visit several sites on the tour including the Las Cienegas Natural Resource Area to see reintroduced black-tailed prairie dogs and Chiricahua leopard frogs. We’ll hear first-hand from Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists about the challenges and successes of these reintroduction efforts. As this site is also an Important Bird Area and we’ll take time to look for some Arizona specialty birds in the adjacent riparian area.

Included in this part of the tour is a visit to the nearby black-tailed prairie dog reintroduction site. Here, we’ll see this previously extirpated species now thriving in the area’s grasslands. We’ll learn about the prairie dog’s life history and the recovery effort as we watch their early spring antics. If the day is warm enough, they are sure to be out and active.

Heading south, we’ll scan the grasslands for pronghorn, a species whose numbers have increased greatly thanks to extensive conservation efforts in the region. As we stop to view the pronghorn, our local wildlife biologist will share the story of this magnificent species’ successful return to the range.

In the middle of pronghorn country, we’ll stop for lunch at Querencia Farm, owned by a board member of the AWF. We’ll enjoy a lovely farm-to-table lunch on-site, including local fare from Querencia and neighboring farms. Querencia Farm is also a recognized Monarch Way Station and we will hear about efforts in the Southwest to help restore this iconic but greatly imperiled species.

We’ll head back to Tucson following lunch. This trip will take approximately 7 hours, departing the conference site at 8 a.m. and returning close to 3 p.m. Participants should wear sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes (including a jacket). Dress in layers. Bring a hat, refillable water bottle, any personal snacks or medications, and binoculars if you have them. We will be walking on uneven, rocky terrain, getting in and out of 15 passenger vans, and be exposed to a nearly full day of Arizona sun and aridity.


Friday February 25, 2022 7:00am - 4:00pm MST
Offsite: Southeastern Arizona’s Grasslands