Agave Arizonica Plant
By Anna Yeakey
Background and Endangerment
The Agave Arizonica Plant is endemic to Arizona, US. It is also an endangered species. Threats to the Agave plant are: illegal collection of the plant (especially given its growth rate and extremely low population) and cattle and deer grazing on the sugar rich inflorescences of Agave Arizonica. There is a very limited distribution and low numbers of the plant due to the fact that it is an endemic specis. It was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1984. There are only 13 populations with one to seven individuals in each group. That is less that 100 total plants.
Habitat and Current Management
The Agave Arizonica is endemic to a very small area on steep, rocky granite slopes, or on level hilltops in Arizona. They are sometimes close to drainages at about 3000 ft. elevation in the upper Sonoran Desert habitat. Current Management actions regarding the plant are currently taking place. The road into the main habitat where Agave Arizonica occurs has been closed to limit access to this endangered species. The Allotment Management Plan was signed in 1989 for the New River Allotment. This plan requires water developments for cattle to be placed greater than 1/2 a mile from Agave Arizonica, and that fences be erected 1/4 a mile from the known Agave locations.