The Aldo Leopold Wildlife Corridor embraces a topographic diversity of wildlands of the Mogollon Rim and the Gila.
Its distinctive locale at the intersection of four diverse ecoregions—the temperate Rocky Mountains and sub-tropical Sierra Madre Occidental on the north and south, and the drier Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts on the east and west—sustains a wide array of plants and more than 500 species of vertebrates. These forests, riparian areas and grasslands are home to threatened, endangered and sensitive species including 45 species of birds.
Mexican spotted owls and northern goshawks depend heavily on old-growth forests for nesting habitat and have experienced significant declines in the United States due to logging and habitat fragmentation. Imperiled fishes include the Gila chub, Little Colorado River spinedace, Gila topminnow, loach minnow, and Gila trout. This wild corridor provides habitat for other native wildlife like pronghorn antelope, Gunnison’s prairie dog, mountain lion, elk, deer, the critically endangered Mexican wolf, black bear, bighorn sheep, turkey, javalina, and porcupine. Jaguar once inhabited the region north to Grand Canyon and, if allowed, could return.