Border Wildlife Study

Documenting Wildlife in the Path of the Border Wall

Our Border Wildlife Study documents the remarkable wildlife community living along 30 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. An array of 58 cameras began rolling on both sides of the border in March 2020, a few months before border construction raised new wall in the Huachuca Mountains and bladed new access roads in the Patagonia Mountains. Even after construction activities paused, our cameras kept watch to understand how wildlife respond to the remaining gap in the wall across the San Rafael Valley, where species like mountain lions, black bears, porcupines, and pronghorns can still move between Sonora and Arizona.

Sky Island Alliance Stewardship Specialist Bryon Lichtenhan checking a wildlife camera for the Border Wildlife Study.

During the first two years of the study, the cameras collected more than 40,000 wildlife photos, the bustle of construction vehicles, and changes in wildlife activity over the seasons during a period of exceptional drought. Today our cameras continue to document wildlife that depend on this fragile landscape for survival.   

The Border Wildlife Study is led by Sky Island Alliance, with support from Naturalia, A.C. at Rancho Los Fresnos and many volunteers. In the U.S. all cameras are on public land with permitted research access provided by Coronado National Forest, Coronado National Memorial, and San Rafael State Natural Reserve.  

Learn more about our Border Wildlife Study below. If you have questions, contact our Wildlife Projects Manager Eamon Harrity

This study is supported by the Wilburforce Foundation, New York Community Trust, the National Park Service Southwest Border Resources Protection Program, and generous individual gifts that keep our cameras running 24/7.

Support Border Research & Recovery


See Detected Species  

The wildlife cameras used in this study are designed to photograph mammals, but birds, reptiles, and even insects have also been documented.  


Our Favorite Photos From the Study