Field Notes

FotoFauna First Year Results—The Species in Your Neighborhood

November 24, 2021

When I first moved to Tucson and found a badger footprint outside one summer morning, I was shocked — I had no idea my neighborhood had badgers! Now with the first-year results of Sky Island FotoFauna wildlife monitoring data available, you too can discover which species live in your local area.   Explore our new FotoFauna Dashboard to tour the Sky Island region…
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Sky Island FotoFauna: Introducing Our New Lending Library Kit Program

November 23, 2021

Earlier this year, we sat down as a team to brainstorm how to make Sky Island FotoFauna more accessible to rural communities and schools. Our solution was to launch a “lending library” program for FotoFauna cameras — and we’re excited to share that we’ve kicked off our first lending library location in Arizona* this month!  [What is Sky Island FotoFauna? Click here!]  How does the lending library work?  Starting November…
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Why We Study Springs and How You can Get Involved in Their Stewardship

November 18, 2021

Have you ever wondered why we spend so much time studying springs in the Sky Islands? In the arid parts of North America, and especially in the west, springs are often the only water sources available for wildlife and people. Springs here in the southwest also harbor unique species, such as Bartram’s stonecrop, Chiricahua Leopard frogs, and tiny…
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FotoFauna First Year Results—Species by the Numbers

November 15, 2021

If you regularly check a wildlife camera at home, you probably have an excellent sense of which wildlife species are photographed most often at your camera site. For my home cameras, cottontails and mourning doves are the two species that show up most reliably day after day. This means there are likely many individual cottontails and mourning doves active…
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Field Notes: Porcupines in the Sky Islands? A More Likely Sighting than You Think

November 10, 2021

Photo captions: A North American porcupine hanging out on a log on a Border Wildlife Study camera. ​In September 2021, one of our Border Wildlife Study cameras detected this adorable porcupine as it crossed a log. Based on the timestamps, it hung out there for two hours!​​​ The North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) is a temperate species found in…
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Looking Back at a Fantastic Year of Pulling Vinca Major in Aravaipa Canyon

November 5, 2021

2021 was a great year for pulling Vinca major, an invasive plant, from the creek beds of Aravaipa Canyon Preserve in Arizona. In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), who we’ve worked with on this project since 2015, we held ten trips across six months this year. Each one was critical in helping us build…
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Webinar Recap: Tips for Living Well with Urban Wildlife

November 4, 2021

This morning, Zoë Rossman, urban ecologist and University of New Mexico Ph.D student, opened our eyes to the amazing adaptations of wildlife thriving in our cities and spoke to how we can all live in harmony with urban animals. You can watch her full presentation here: Zoë explained that the species that live near us…
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Summer Intern Stories: Mi Experiencia En Cámaras Trampas / My Experience with a Wildlife Camera

November 1, 2021

Escrito por Gabriela Alejandra Smith Ramírez, participante del Programa Binacional de Pasantías de Sky Island Alliance. / Written by Gabriela Alejandra Smith Ramírez, a 2021 Sky Island Alliance Binational Internship Program participant. En mi carrera como estudiante de biología no había tenido la oportunidad de tener experiencia con cámaras trampa, ni nada que se le pareciera, sucede…
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Summer Intern Stories: Mi Cámara Silvestre / My Wildlife Camera

Escrito por Fátima Sotelo Molinar, participante del Programa Binacional de Pasantías de Sky Island Alliance. Desde el primer mes trabajando con la cámara de FotoFauna he quedado admirada y muy entusiasmada en seguir viendo las capturas que he obtenido con mi cámara. Desde la primera vez que revise la memoria he tenido avistamientos que no me esperaba. Muchas especies que uno no imagina llegar a tener tan cerca. He tenido muchas fotografías algunas sin interés porque la cámara con cualquier movimiento captura una imagen. Pero en otras…
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Meet an SIA Staff Member: Bryon Lichtenhan

October 25, 2021

Bryon Lichtenhan, our Stewardship Specialist, has worked with Sky Island Alliance for over seven years, starting as a volunteer before joining our team in 2015. He’s an integral part of our restoration projects and planning and spends a good portion of his time out in the field checking cameras for our Border Wildlife Study. If…
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