Field Notes

Friday Fauna Feature: Pronghorn

July 31, 2020

The pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) is the last living member of the Family Antilocapridae, that roamed North American during the Pleistocene. While the pronghorn might look like antelope, their closest living relatives are the giraffe and the okapi in the African continent. These unique animals have striking orange and white coats with dark noses and eyes….
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90 Days and 71 Species at the Border

July 24, 2020

Sky Island Alliance staff and volunteers deployed trail cameras along 34 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border in early March 2020. Our mission was to document the wildlife community living in one of the last wild and remote borderland corridors before border wall cuts it in two. Following the TEAM Vertebrate Monitoring Protocol (2011), we designed…
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Sky Island Snake Stories

July 16, 2020

ZTZTZTZTZTZTZTZTZTZTCHITCHITCHIT, chit, chit, tet, tet!!! The now familiar sound of a buzzing rattlesnake comes from the ground at my feet and all I can do is freeze in place. I cannot see the snake, as it is now several hours after dark, the sky is overcast, and both my headlamp and cellphone batteries are dead….
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Friday Fauna Feature: Border Wildlife Study Pollinators

June 26, 2020

We designed our Border Wildlife Study to detect vertebrate species such as mammals and birds. Surprisingly, we keep finding invertebrates on our cameras and we love the multitude of insects that flit by our cameras. Often they register as blurs of winged blobs and are often hard to identify. All insects are a vital part…
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Friday Fauna Feature: Animals Immediately Return after Fire at the Border

June 19, 2020

On May 31, 2020, lightning ignited a wildfire in the San Rafael Valley near the U.S.-Mexico border at one of Border Wildlife Study camera sites. After several days, the fire reached our wildlife camera as it burned across about 400 acres before it naturally went out. Fortunately, we were able to recover the memory card from the burned camera and replaced the camera, so our wildlife chronicling continued after with…
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Friday Creature Feature: Hooded skunk

May 22, 2020

  Today’s Friday Creature Feature is the hooded skunk (Mephitis macroura). This little creature has been captured on Sky Island Alliance cameras as part of the Border Wildlife Study and captured on Patagonia Area Resource Alliance cameras on the west side of the Patagonia Mountains. Through this collaboration, we’re excited to observe how hooded skunks…
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Friday Creature Feature: Chiricahua Leopard Frog

May 15, 2020

On this Endangered Species Day, we celebrate the Chiricahua leopard frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis) and efforts to protect this Sky Island endemic species. Being an endemic means that they are only found in this region – the Sky Islands and along the Mogollon Rim!* They live in the mountains and highlands of Arizona, New Mexico, Sonora,…
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Earth Day Tips for Wildlife Watching at Home

April 22, 2020

One of my greatest joys while we shelter in place is to keep a closer look at the wildlife around my home. On this Earth Day 2020, I invite you to help scientists around the world better understand the distribution of species on the move as climate changes by documenting which species live in or travel…
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Best Things About Bats

April 17, 2020

Today is Bat Appreciation Day and these are my favorite Sky Island bat facts:   What Sky Island Bats Eat  Most bats are insectivorous, meaning they only eat insects like moths, flies, and mosquitos. However, there are some species of bats that only eat nectar from flowers. Those bats are called nectivores and their mouth and tongue are so adapted to eating only nectar that their teeth are tiny!  Bats Help Cactus and Agave  Both insectivorous and nectivorous bats play an…
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Lecturas de Criaturas – Halconcito colorado

April 10, 2020

    Después de unas pocas semanas, las cámaras trampa de nuestro Estudio de Fauna Fronteriza detectaron 27 especies diferentes de vida silvestre en estos increíbles paisajes fronterizos. Algunas de esas especies fueron fotografiadas varias veces, como es el caso de los halconcitos colorados. Entonces, pensamos que compartiríamos algunos datos interesantes sobre estas magníficas aves:  Son el…
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