A Spring Seeking Adventure in Sierra Los Ajos

From June 12-14, Sky Island Alliance’s Mexico team and interns, along with staff from the Bavispe Flora and Fauna Protection Area, carried out a field trip in Sierra Los Ajos, ​​a protected natural area in Sonora east of Cananea. Our goal was to evaluate various springs in the area to collect more data for Sky Island Alliance’s Spring Seeker project.

June 13 was a day full of activity. We woke up very early. After enjoying a coffee and breakfast, we prepared to explore the place. We drove several kilometers to get deeper into the mountains and then continued walking with the guidance of APFF Bavispe staff. The mountains surprised us with their beauty and impressive landscapes.

When visiting the first spring, as a group we learned about the Spring Seeker app, the main tool for surveying springs.

On the morning of June 14, we split into small groups to explore different areas of the sierra, with the goal of finding and surveying several springs. We were fortunate to discover places with abundant water that were very happy and prosperous, as you can see in the photos below. The further we went upstream, the more water we found and the more beautiful the springs were.

The same day, in the afternoon, we came down from the mountains with very good results, as we recorded a total of 34 springs! That was well beyond the number of springs we thought possible or had planned to find. (For context, there are an estimated 8,000 springs in all of the Sky Islands.)

All in all, this field trip was a great success — helping us to further strengthen ties between the SIA team and the APFF Bavispe staff and also to reconnect more with nature.

Ángel Garcia has worked with Sky Island Alliance over the years in various positions related to springs conservation in Sonora. He is currently studying folkloric dance in Mexicali. But between semesters, he is helping SIA once again with its springs conservation work on ranches in Sonora.