Ranchers have big hearts for wildlife. And, they could have told you long ago that Arizona’s wildlife and cattle are quite compatible. For researchers on this topic, their consistent theme is flexibility and tailoring range (land) management practices to fit area-specific needs for the cattle and the wildlife.

Arizona rancher Tina Thompson, seen here with the natives (cattle and wildlife), advocates for healthy environments for cattle and wildlife. A common philosophy with our Arizona ranchers.

Today in Arizona, you’ll find that our ranch families are stewards of habitat on public and private lands. Since the early 1990s, ranchers and conservationists have even studied the benefit of using livestock, such as cattle, as a tool to enhance wildlife habitat.

A bobcat at a rancher's watering source. Photo courtesy Tina Thompson.

And, Arizona Game & Fish manage more than 800 species of wildlife across the state. Wildlife biologists must ensure that a scientific management balance exists for all species, including predators. Ranchers are keen to this balance as so many of Arizona’s ranches are in very remote parts of the state operating on state and federal lands where this amazing array of wildlife exists.

Cattle wait their turn for a drink after the black bear gets its fill. Photo courtesy rancher Jon Stevens

Some of the simplest strategies created and maintained by ranchers, including reintroducing native grasses or improving and creating watering sources, benefit wildlife and livestock.

In the distance, one can see antelope and cattle near a water source happily grazing together.

Ultimately, wildlife benefit from the open space maintained by Arizona ranchers.

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