Arizona’s State Wildlife Action Plan
Arizona’s State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP), previously known as the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, provides a comprehensive vision for managing Arizona’s fish, wildlife and wildlife habitats for a 10-year period, beginning when in was originally developed in 2005. The original plan included input from resource professionals, federal and state agencies, sportsmen groups, conservation organizations, Native American tribes, recreational groups, local governments and private citizens. The plan is renewed every five years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
For over a decade, a coalition of more than 3,000 conservation organizations known as “Teaming with Wildlife” worked to keep species from becoming endangered by increasing state and federal funding for wildlife conservation. This effort culminated in 2001 when federal legislation established a State Wildlife Grant (SWG) program. SWG funds are used to support the needs of wildlife, their habitats, and related recreational and educational activities.
To be eligible for these annual SWG funds, each of the 56 U.S. states and territories must have an approved SWAP that includes eight required elements that were established by state fish and wildlife agencies working with the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Teaming With Wildlife Committee.
Arizona’s SWAP is unlike existing recovery plans and other regulatory documents in that it builds on and complements existing plans and wildlife conservation projects that are already underway. The plan outlines strategies and conservation actions aimed at promoting partnerships and coordinating efforts among all who hold a stake in conserving Arizona’s wildlife. While the plan addresses the full array of wildlife and habitats, it focuses on identifying and managing the wildlife and habitats that are in the greatest need of conservation.
In 2012, a revision of Arizona’s SWAP was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The plan’s revision guides wildlife conservation for 2012-2022 and considers many of the changes that Arizona and its wildlife have experienced since the original plan was created.
Some of the more significant changes that impact wildlife conservation and were addressed in the revision include the state’s above-average human population growth; increasing demand for renewable energy sources; emergence of new wildlife diseases; and, the growing number of new invasive species.
One of the most notable actions to come from revising the plan is the department’s HabiMap™ Arizona, an innovative new tool that utilizes the latest mapping technology to provide wildlife data to help conservation partners make informed planning decisions that consider wildlife’s needs.
Additonal SWAP Information