Butte Wildlife Area
Robbins Butte Wildlife Area (RBWA) is located
approximately seven miles southwest of Buckeye,
Arizona, comprising approximately 1681 acres.
RBWA is in Maricopa County and Region VI
of the Arizona Game and Fish Department (Department)
and the property was purchased with Federal
Aid money for wildlife purposes. In the 1950s,
RBWA was selected as one of two areas along
the Gila River with the greatest potential
for waterfowl habitat enhancement. Most of
RBWA including the Black Butte parcels was
purchased from private entities in a series
of transactions from 1951 to 1973. Six parcels
totaling 1,511 acres are deeded to the Arizona
Game and Fish Commission (Commission). RBWA
also includes 170 acres of lands under the
jurisdiction of Public Land Order Number
1015 (PLO 1015). The PLO 1015 land has been
managed by the Commission since 1954 through
a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service (FWS).
- View a map of this wildlife
and Vegetation Types
Vegetative cover is a diverse mixture including dense salt cedar thickets,
willows and cattail in the river bottom; mature mesquite on the river terrace;
saltbush and shrub-sized mesquite upland areas; upland desert areas dominated
by creosote bush and white bursage; retired agricultural lands that are
being restored to a native vegetative community; and agricultural land
used to produce food and cover crops for wildlife. In addition to the Gila
River, ponds and drinkers provide a well distributed system of water for
wildlife. The combination of desert upland, agricultural, and relict riparian
habitats attract a variety of wildlife species.
To optimize the habitat potential of the property for wildlife and for
present and future generations of the public to enjoy wildlife-oriented
Public Use Opportunities
and Resource Management Emphasis
The primary management emphasis at RBWA is to provide food crops and nesting
habitat for upland game birds. Secondary management emphasis includes enhancing
riparian habitat and the riparian-desert upland ecotone.
A combination of wildlife food crops, natural foods and nesting habitat
attracts many breeding white-winged and mourning doves (Zenaida asiatica
and Z. macroura). An average combined number of 5,000 doves usually are
present at RBWA before the September hunt. Amphibians and reptiles also
are common; a minimum of 19 reptile species reside at RBWA. A common mammal
species found on the RBWA is the Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), also known
as the Ringtail cat or Miner's cat.
RBWA is the center of the annual Gila River Christmas Bird Count, and over
115 species of winter-resident birds have been observed in the vicinity.
In addition, many raptors winter in and near RBWA, including the White-tailed
Kite (Elanus caeruleus). The summer avian community has not been counted,
but species numbers probably exceed those of winter.
Special Status Species occurring on or near the Robbins Butte Wildlife
Area have been identified through the Department's Heritage Data Management
System, and are listed below. This includes the federally endangered Yuma
clapper rail (Rallus longirostris yumanensis), and the Western yellow-billed
cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus occidentalis), a federally listed candidate
species. Those special status species that potentially occur on the RBWA
include Great egret (Ardea alba), Snowy egret (Egretta thula), and Western
yellow bat (Lasiurus xanthinus).
Status Species - Species
Abstracts | Status
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