A Desert Home to Wildlife

The Escalante River Watershed supports a remarkable variety of plants and animals

From the town of Escalante to its confluence with the Colorado River in Lake Powell, the Escalante’s ninety-miles of riparian corridor support more than 200 species of migratory birds, including the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher, threatened yellow-billed cuckoo, federally listed Mexican spotted owl and peregrine falcon. The watershed also supports several rare fish, including remnant populations of Colorado River cutthroat trout in the upper reaches, as well as bluehead sucker, roundtail chub, and flannelmouth sucker in its warmer waters.

The Escalante River was the last river of its size to be discovered in the lower 48 states, and today it’s one of the last free-flowing rivers in the West. With headwaters on the slopes of Boulder Mountain and the Aquarius Plateau, the Escalante flows through dramatic Navajo sandstone canyons, where a vast network of springs and hanging gardens harbor a rich array of aquatic plants, amphibians and reptiles.

To support conservation activities in the Escalante River system, the Escalante River Watershed Partnership has:

  • Developed an assessment to identify areas of conservation concern for native fish species
  • Removed nonnative fish from approximately 17 miles of stream
  • Opened access to 13 miles of stream by removing barriers to fish passage
  • Restored native riparian vegetation which will improve habitat complexity for native fish and avian species
  • Continued to survey and monitor fish and wildlife population to identify additional conservation actions required

The Escalante River Watershed Partnership, a community-based coalition, is helping restore the health of this watershed by improving its wildlife habitat. Learn how you can help. Together we can maintain this watershed’s health and its many benefits for our residents, visitors, and future generations.