Dust off your backyard wildlife cameras—a new volunteer opportunity is here!
Sky Island Alliance is excited to announce the launch of Sky Island FotoFauna, a wildlife monitoring network powered by residents and organizations in the Sky Island region. We’re looking for backyard nature enthusiasts to join us by monitoring and submitting their local wildlife data to us monthly.
Here’s how you can help:
First, you’ll need a wildlife camera. If you haven’t set one up yet, we have a great blog post on how to find a wildlife camera and another one on where to mount it.
Once you’ve set up your camera on property you own, you can start submitting data to us! At the end of every month, we’ll ask you to review your wildlife photos and save one photo for each species that was observed by your camera. These species include hog-nosed skunk, hooded skunk, white-nosed coati, Gould’s turkey, mountain lion, mule deer, and more!
Then, all you have to do is complete our survey and select which checklist species you recorded on camera over the last month. We will ask you to upload one photo of each species detected that matches our survey.
And that’s it! Check your batteries, download your camera memory card, and repeat. At the end of every month, you’ll submit a new survey to let us know which species you saw the month prior.
For full FotoFauna guidelines, visit our Sky Island FotoFauna project page.
You can also learn more in this FotoFauna Coffee Break presentation!
Why your submissions to FotoFauna matter:
Through FotoFauna, we—and our partners, including Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Arizona Trail Association, Borderlands Restoration Network, Profauna, The Nature Conservancy Arizona, Saguaro National Park, Tohono Chul, Universidad de la Sierra, and Wildlands Network—are building a widespread monitoring network to map species presence.
We can’t do this without your camera data. By submitting an online monthly FotoFauna checklist of the species you document on camera, we will be able to study when and where wildlife is present in our Sky Island region so we can better protect their habitats and pathways.
More specifically, with your data, Sky Island Alliance and collaborating partners will be able to track data including seasonal migration, the success of urban-adapted species, the species that require connected Sky Island habitats, and the persistence of endemic species in this region.
Thank you for helping us monitor and protect habitat for the species we love.