(NPS photo by Mike Hardin)
As a small but significant block of protected land at the southern end of the Huachucas, the memorial undoubtedly plays an important role as a refugium for many mammals, including not only grassland species, but also game animals such as deer and predators such as mountain lions. Because of this, the memorial may also play a role in any return of species that are presently extirpated from the area. Black-tailed prairie dogs, which probably occurred in or near the memorial earlier in this century, continue to persist over the border in Mexico just a few miles south of the Huachucas. It is not impossible that this species could naturally recolonize protected grassland areas of the memorial sometime in the future. In addition, the memorial provides a potential refugium for jaguars, ocelots, and gray wolves moving northward, should these species increase in number. For the larger mammals, the memorial does not have sufficient area to contain the entire home range for even a small population, thus they would depend on the surrounding natural areas.
Did You Know?
Coronado Cave, located in Coronado National Memorial, has numerous scalloped and tilted limestone bedding planes. Geologists examining these scallops estimate that at one time as much as 50,000 gallons of water per minute flowed through the cave from east to west.