ARIZONA NEWS

Yuma mural highlights endangered animals unique to the Southwest

Mar 10, 2019, 4:57 PM
This 76-foot by 22-foot mural in Yuma honors the Sonoran pronghorn and the Yuma clapper rail, a mar...
This 76-foot by 22-foot mural in Yuma honors the Sonoran pronghorn and the Yuma clapper rail, a marsh bird, is the twentieth in a series commissioned by the Center for Biological Diversity. Both species live along the Arizona-Mexico border. (Photo by Oskar Agredano/Cronkite News)
(Photo by Oskar Agredano/Cronkite News)

YUMA – The fastest land mammal in North America and a large-footed marsh bird in the Southwest have been listed as endangered for more than half a century.

The Sonoran pronghorn and the Yuma Ridgway’s rail are featured in a vibrant new mural at the Arizona Western College theater that’s meant to show how climate change and human activity are serious threats to these animals.

The Sonoran pronghorn’s range is bounded by Interstates 10 and 19, the Colorado River and the border with Mexico.

The Yuma Ridgway’s rail, formerly known as the Yuma clapper rail, makes its home in the wetlands and flatlands ranging from the Colorado River Delta in Mexico up the Colorado River to southern Nevada.

There are more rail populations along the Gila River into Phoenix, and by the shrinking Salton Sea in California.

“They sort of represent a lot of what the Yuma ecology is really defined by: the meeting of the rivers and the broad, open desert; that’s kind of austere,” said artist Roger Peet, who’s coordinating the Endangered Species Mural Project in association with the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson.

The mural is meant to bring awareness to how change in the environment threatens the survival of these species, which were listed as endangered in 1967. Drought caused by overextraction and misuse of water threaten the rail’s marshy habitat, while the pronghorns are affected by Border Patrol activity along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Studies show that the pronghorn were being disturbed an average of once every four hours by Border Patrol helicopters, by Border Patrol SUVs, and I mean, imagine being one of only 19 animals left,” said Laiken Jordahl, who works on borderlands issues for the Center for Biological Diversity. “You have to repopulate your entire species or face extinction and you’re being disturbed every four hours.”

Since 2002, when there were just 19 Sonoran pronghorn in the U.S., the population has increased to about 200. In 2018, the Yuma Ridgeway’s rail population in the U.S. improved to an estimated 757.

Peet, who lives in Portland, Ore., has painted many murals around the country featuring endangered animals. He usually partners with a local artist in each location.

This time, he partnered with Lucinda Hinojos of Phoenix, who’s widely known as La Morena. She traditionally paints immigration murals, and this was her first environmental piece.

“These type of murals actually unite and bring people together and that’s what I love about murals and that’s one of the reasons why I paint is to educate and bring people together, so they get the information they need,” Hinojos said.

The Endangered Mural Project has 20 murals in multiple cities, including sockeye salmon in Portland, a blue whale in Los Angeles and a jaguar in Tucson.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Blake Masters, candidate for U.S. senator from Arizona, appears with former President Donald Trump ...
Kevin Stone

Trump reportedly delays plan to endorse Masters in Arizona’s US Senate race

Donald Trump is reportedly tapping the brakes on a plan to endorse venture capitalist Blake Masters in Arizona's GOP Senate primary race.
12 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
Jayme West

Phoenix police searching for fire starters from 2020 and armed would-be robber

A Phoenix business was set on fire in July 2020 and police are looking for two suspects caught on camera.
12 hours ago
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and other senators speak to the press about a bipartisan infrastructure package...
Kevin Stone

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona makes Time list of most influential people for 2022

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona was named to Time magazine’s 2022 list of the world's 100 most influential people.
12 hours ago
(Screenshot via ADOT Webcam)...
KTAR.com

Westbound US 60 reopens in Tempe after weekslong repair work

Traffic returned to westbound U.S. 60 in Tempe on Sunday night, after a closure to repair damage caused by a water main break.
12 hours ago
(Screenshot via ADOT Webcam)...
KTAR.com

Fatal crash closes Interstate 17 in north Phoenix for hours

One person was killed and others were injured in a multivehicle crash that closed northbound Interstate 17 in Phoenix early Monday.
12 hours ago
...
Sponsored Content by Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.

Sponsored Articles

...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to in April

April brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Suns and Diamondbacks.
Yuma mural highlights endangered animals unique to the Southwest