Science

Ecology Overview

Cattail Cove State Park is located along the Colorado River, north of Buckskin Mountain State Park and south of Lake Havasu State Park. Like the other state parks in the area, it is characterized by hot, dry, sunny weather with extreme summer temperatures and mild winters.

Plants common in the Cattail Cove State Park riparian areas include Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii), willow tree (Salix gooddingii), seep willow (Baccharis salicifolia), and arrowweed (Pluchea sericea). Farther away from the water, you will find mesquite (Prosopis sp.) and saltbush (Atriplex spp.). The cattails (Typha spp.) the park is named after were used in the past as food (rootstocks were eaten) and the fluff was used for bedding (Epple 19). They also provide excellent habitat for birds.

Avian species found in the park include sandpiper (Actitis macularia), Mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos), Canada geese (Branta canadensis), snowy plover (Charadrius hiaticula), avocet (Recurvirostra americana), belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon), and ssprey (Pandion haliaetus). Several toads and lizards are found in Cattail Cove State Park. A band of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) is sighted occasionally in the park, and desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) and raccoon (Procyon lotor) are commonly found.

Like many areas of Arizona, Cattail Cove State Park is also home to non-native plants and animals. These non-native species arrive in a variety of ways; some species have been accidentally introduced and humans introduced some purposefully. Tamarisk or salt cedar (not a true cedar) is a good example of a plant that was introduced purposefully. It was originally brought to Arizona as erosion control to stabilize stream banks.