Grand Canyon National Park IBA ☼

Grand Canyon by Andres Nieto Porras

Grand Canyon by Andres Nieto Porras

Global IBA for California Condor and Mexican Spotted Owl

Size: 778 square miles, 497,894 acres

Identified: 07/2002

Visiting the IBA: To visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon where Lipan and Yaki Points are located, take I-17 North to Flagstaff, Arizona and then take Highway 89 North to just before Cameron and take State road 64 West to the Park. Fall and Spring are the best times to visit.

Ownership: Grand Canyon National Park

Site Description: This IBA includes the entire Grand Canyon National Park and two hawk watch points on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, Lipan and Yaki Points.

Birds: The Grand Canyon cliff promontories function as important air space of a major migratory corridor for raptors. Up to 19 species have been recorded at least once, and 10,000 to 12,000 individuals average per fall migration season. Two to three nest sites for the endangered California Condor are documented within the canyon. Bald Eagles fish the trout rich waters of the Colorado River in the winter.Grand Canyon- bird on map

Breeding: 48 bird species regularly nest along the river and the inner canyons, Peregrine Falcon, Prairie Falcons and Golden Eagle, Mexican Spotted Owl, Bell’s Vireo and Lucy’s Warbler. The forested habitat has nesting Northern goshawk and Cassin’s Finch. Pinyon Jay are in the Pinyon and juniper habitat.

 

California condor by Don Graham

California condor by Don Graham

Migration: Northern Harrier, Broad-winged Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Northern Rough-winged Hawk, Cooper’s hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, American Kestrel, Merlin, Bald Eagle, Osprey, Turkey Vulture.

Global Criteria: Two to three breeding territories for California Condor have been identified within Grand Canyon National Park.  Major survey efforts for Mexican Spotted Owl breeding population in the Grand Canyon National Park were conducted in 2001-2002 and in 2006. Results of the intensive survey effort in 2001 and 2002 yielded a grand total of 56 territories, or approximately 112 owls in the park. All owls were located within mid- and low-elevation steep canyon habitat. To date, surveys have covered about 50% of suitable steep canyon habitat predicted by the GIS models; thus a population of over 200 spotted owls could be present in these habitats in Grand Canyon.

Conservation Concerns: Low-flying site seeing aircraft is a potential threat, but otherwise this site faces no threats.

Site Stewardship: Hawk Watch International for the raptor monitoring. Monitoring dates are August 27 to November 5. Information about the hawk monitoring and how you can help by being a hawk watch volunteer can be found at: http://www.hawkwatch.org/migration

Maps of this Important Bird Area:

Grand Canyon National Park IBA GIS map - zoomed out

Grand Canyon National Park IBA GIS map – zoomed out

Grand Canyon National Park IBA GIS map

Grand Canyon National Park IBA GIS map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State of the IBAs 2014 Baseline – More Technical info about the status of this Important Bird Area

National Audubon Profile Page for Grand Canyon National Park IBA

Complete eBird.org Checklist of birds Reported for Grand Canyon National Park IBA

Grand Canyon NP Hawk Points

 

For an interactive map and habitat and land ownership analysis of this IBA visit the National Audubon IBA Map and select “Arizona” and then the name of this Important Bird Area. To access analysis graphs, click on the map boundary of the IBA.

Location: 36.0330°N:  111.8532°W Lipan Point

County: Coconino36.0586°N:  112.0838°W Yaki Point

Area: 778 square miles, 497,894 acres

Site Status: Identified 07/2002, expanded 10/2011

Ownership: Federal – Grand Canyon National Park

Criteria: A1: Global: Species of Conservation Concern – California Condor, Mexican Spotted Owl, and  Pinyon Jay

D4vi: State: raptors/season

IBA10Site Description:

This Important Bird Area (IBA) originally consisted of Lipan and Yaki Point raptor monitoring sites on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. The IBA now includes the entire Grand Canyon National Park. The site steward for the raptor monitoring is Hawk Watch International. Monitoring dates are August 27 to November 5 at
Yaki Point. Information about the hawk monitoring and how you can help by being a hawk watch volunteer can be found at:http://www.hawkwatch.org/migration/migration.php

Vegetation Description Hectares
GREAT BASIN DESERTSCRUB 257916.4
MONTANE (MOUNTAIN MEADOW) GRASSLAND 1380.317
MONTANE CONIFER FOREST 1431.574
PINE COMMUNITIES 52638.99
PINYON – JUNIPER COMMUNITIES 648326.7
SPRUCE – ALPINE FIR COMMUNITIES 31417.59

Ornithological Summary:

Pinyon Jay by K. Schneider

Pinyon Jay by K. Schneider

Species or group Season Maximum Year
Red-tailed Hawk fall passage 3,229 individuals 1992
Sharp-shinned Hawk fall passage 3,333 individuals 1999
Cooper’s Hawk, fall passage 2,824 individuals 1998
American Kestrel fall passage 2,356 individuals 1997
Turkey Vulture fall passage 434 individuals 1997
Northern Harrier fall passage 186 individuals 1999
Osprey, fall passage fall passage 185 individuals 1997
Northern Goshawk fall passage 42 individuals 1992
Broad-winged Hawk fall passage 54 individuals 1998
Swainson’s Hawk fall passage 72 individuals 1999
Ferruginous Hawk fall passage 18 individuals 1999
Golden Eagle fall passage 62 individuals 1992
Bald Eagle fall passage 49 individuals 1993
Merlin fall passage 38 individuals 1999

The Grand Canyon National Park cliff promontories function as important air space of a major migratory corridor for raptors. Up to 19 species have been recorded at least once, and 10,000 to 12,000 individuals average per fall migration season. Hawk Watch International initiated standardized counts along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at Lipan Point in fall 1991, and began a second full-season count at Yaki Point in 1997. Combined counts at the two sites typically exceed 10,000 migrants of up to 18 species, plus California Condors can often be seen in the local area. Because Grand Canyon National Park attracts millions of visitors each year, these counts represent very important educational opportunities. The IBA was expanded in 10/2011 to include the entire the National Park because of the importance of the cliff habitat for nesting spotted owls, California condors, Peregrine falcons, Golden eagles, Prairie falcons, and White-throated swifts, plus the many bird species that live in the riparian habitats along the river.

California Condor        2011     resident breeding       3 birds

Pinyon Jay                      2011     resident breeding        90+

Spotted Owl                   2006    resident breeding       200+

Peregrine Falcon          1989    resident breeding        150

Conservation Issues:  Low-flying site seeing aircraft, invasive plant species, uranium mining (outside of the park boundaries), wild fire in the forest and pinyon pine habitats, lead poisoning of California condors (lead occurs at sites outside of the Important Bird Area, usually as bullet fragments in gut piles of hunter killed big game).