In mid-November, Bryon Lichtenhan and I tracked wildlife in the Patagonia Mountains to see which species are walking across the U.S.-Mexico border at this time of year. Bryon steadily and expertly scanned the sandy border road and washes intersecting the political divide, locating more than 30 observations of animal track and sign directly at the border. We saw black bear and white-nosed coati paw prints under the border fence traveling both north and south—clear indications that these open wildlife pathways are critical for animal migration. If constructed, new border wall will stop amazing animals like bear, mountain lion, bobcats, ocelots, and the elusive jaguar from ranging freely between their large territories that span both countries.
For the past four years at Sky Island Alliance, Bryon’s excellent wildlife tracking skills have helped us better understand how vital it is to keep Sky Island habitats open for animals by collecting evidence of where wildlife is moving and teaching many volunteers to do the same. Bryon has left his position with us as Conservation Coordinator to more fully experience nature through Sky Island immersion which no doubt will even more sharply hone his naturalist skills. We look forward to learning much more from Bryon in the months ahead after his wilderness experience and hope you’ll join us in thanking him for all his contributions to the science and restoration of our region.
Our new primary staff contact for volunteers and wildlife program coordinator is Meagan Bethel. You can read more about Meagan’s background here.