This past weekend for Earth Day, Sky Island Alliance joined the 2023 Border BioBlitz, a month-long event held each April that seeks to document the diversity of life in our borderlands. Volunteers use the iNaturalist app to log species they see within five kilometers of the U.S.-Mexico border. So far, people have documented an amazing 1,200+ species. Our group contributed observations for 121 species on this particular trip.
As you can see in the photos below, the event was held on both sides of the border — in southeast Arizona at the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge and just on the other side in Sonora at Cuenca Los Ojos conservation ranches. Joining us were many volunteers, including two student-run wildlife clubs from the Universidad de la Sierra in Moctezuma and Universidad de Sonora in Hermosillo.
It was an exciting day. Highlights include seeing a Gila monster and also scratches of a mammal trying to climb the wall. Also, so many flowers and insects. It was instructive, of course, to see all these signs of life and witness how the wall fragments the ecosystem. But it didn’t stop us from celebrating for a moment as both groups joined at the wall.