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Contact: Sue Walter, 520-387-6849 x7301
Ajo, Arizona –Maintenance work on the earthen dam at Quitobaquito pond in Organ Pipe Cactus is necessary to prevent habitat loss.A dying cottonwood tree has been the major factor in water dropping to a critical level for several species that live in the pond. The park coordinated with the State Historic and Tribal Preservation Offices concerning the work and offered the Tohono O'odham Nation to participate in the removal of the tree. Over the last several years, the park has taken numerous cuttings of the tree for future replacements in the area and has offered cuttings to the Tohono O'odham along with the wood and roots of the tree. An archaeologist is overseeing the removal of the root ball to ensure the protection of any cultural materials unearthed in the process.
The low water level caused by leakage from the tree was affecting the habitat of the Quitobaquito pupfish and other sensitive and endangered species was a major concern. "This work is vital to the survival of the rare and endangered species along with other sensitive species that call Quitobaquito home and to restore cultural values of the area" reported Sue Walter, Chief of Interpretation.