Great Basin Naturalist


Two hundred forty-one species of birds have been identified from northern Black Mesa, Arizona. This region's avifauna was poorly known until the late 1970s when large-scale coal mining began. Vegetation of the region is predominantly Great Basin desert scrub, pinyon-juniper woodland, and mixed-conifer woodland. The latter vegetation supports an assemblage of isolated montane bird species unique to the region. Numerous environmental changes have recently affected the bird life of Black Mesa. These include large-scale type conversions (pinyon-juniper clearing and surface mining), pond construction, and establishment of exotic vegetation.