Field Notes

Friday Flora Feature: Agave

August 21, 2020

It is Friday, so let’s celebrate one of the most conspicuous, ecologically and culturally important plant species of the arid regions of North America—agave. It’s iconic for the Sky Island region and a symbol on our Sky Island Alliance logo. Also called the “century plant” because of their long lifespan, agaves are a genus of…
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Notes from the Field: Florida Canyon, Wilderness Springs Survey

August 18, 2020

Driving back from the field the other day I smiled as I merged onto I-19 heading back towards Tucson. I had traveled just a mere hour from my home and had enjoyed another rewarding day in the field, learning, connecting, and appreciating the natural beauty of our Sky Islands.  The day was spent getting to some harder-to-reach springs in the Mt. Wrightson Wilderness…
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Where to Mount a Backyard Wildlife Camera

August 17, 2020

Choosing a location for a wildlife camera in your backyard is a really fun process but may require some trial and error to get just the right perspective of animals on the move around your home. I’ve experimented with cameras in many locations around my house in the Sonoran Desert and share what I learned about different types of backyard camera locations. Check out our previous…
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World Lizard Day: Lizards of the Border Wildlife Study

August 13, 2020

Today is World Lizard Day! The Southwest is famous for its high diversity of lizards and is a hot bed of herpetological research. If you’ve been outside at all during the summer in the Sky Islands, there is a high chance you will come across at least one lizard.  Our Border Wildlife Study cameras capture photos of lizards but at a much lower rate than mammals or birds. Its not because…
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How to Find the Right Backyard Wildlife Camera for You

August 11, 2020

A well-placed wildlife camera in your backyard can reveal the exciting candid wildlife moments around your home that you may never see with your own two eyes. Many mammals are active at night and I love drifting off to sleep knowing that my cameras will show me what I’m missing!  Finding the Right Camera  There are many quality wildlife cameras available on the market these days….
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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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Thank You, Congressmen John Lewis

July 30, 2020

“Humanity is the most important endangered species under threat from climate change and yet we flood our ecology with poisons and pollution. It is my belief that our country needs better environmental protections and that real protections do not have to come at the expense of jobs or our economy. Whatever we do to the…
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Explore our Springs Map to Understand Conservation Need

July 28, 2020

Our Sky Island region is estimated to have 10,000 springs—places where groundwater comes to the surface and provide vital water for plants, wildlife, and people. That is a huge number of water sources to track and care for across Arizona and Sonora, but we’re up for the challenge! To help us understand which springs need our help most, we developed a Spring Prioritization Tool to compare the relative…
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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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One decade as a Latinx environmentalist

July 21, 2020

I started my career in conservation in 2010, when I was hired as a Biologist Technician in the Youth Intern Program (YIPs) crew by Saguaro National Park’s Biologist Don Swann. The crew I joined that summer was SUPER diverse! We were all shades and came from all over the place! As a young immigrant from…
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