Field Notes

Flora Feature: Patagonia Mountain Leatherpetal (Graptopetalum Bartramii)

July 3, 2020

For this Friday Flora Feature, we’re exploring a rare herb-succulent found in the Arizona Sky Islands. Commonly called the Patagonia Mountain leatherpetal, Bartram’s stonecrop, or Graptopetalum bartramii Rose, G. bartramii belongs to the Crassulaceae (stonecrop) family. It is native to Arizona and has not been discovered in any other U.S. states or territories.  G. bartramii is a perennial plant species that naturally grows…
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¡Conoce a Naturalia! Nuestro socio en las Islas del Cielo de México

July 2, 2020

La conservación de las Islas del Cielo es un esfuerzo binacional que requiere de una multitud de dueños y manejadores de la tierra, científicos, voluntarios, y especialistas en conservación en ambos lados de la frontera. Nosotros colaboramos orgullosamente con Naturalia A.C., una organización sin fines de lucro mexicana que ha jugado uno de los papeles más importantes…
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Meet Naturalia! Our partners in the Sky Islands of Mexico

Sky Island conservation is a binational effort that requires a multitude of land managers, scientists, volunteers, and conservation practitioners on both sides of the border. We proudly collaborate with Naturalia. A.C., a Mexican nonprofit that has played one of the most important and longest roles in the conservation of Mexico´s biodiversity.    Naturalia´s story began back in 1990…
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Relax with a Bathing Badger

July 1, 2020

My personal wildlife watching obsession started at my house near Saguaro National Park last summer with a mysterious paw print I found in a garden water bowl. Wildlife cameras soon confirmed our suspicion that it was an American badger track. While extremely rare in Saguaro National Park, badgers are present in the Sonoran Desert just…
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The Next Generation of Sky Island Leaders

June 30, 2020

Sky Island Alliance is building the next generation of leaders who will study, advocate for, and protect our shared region between the United States and Mexico. During this Coffee Break, we share how our Sister Parks Project in collaboration with the National Park Service led to the creation of a binational internship program for undergraduate…
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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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Waiting for Monsoon Rain – Where to Track the Season

June 24, 2020

With triple digit temperatures here in Tucson, it’s officially time to start waiting, watching, yearning, and hoping for monsoon rains! Sky Island Alliance staff are known to run out of the office into the rain as soon as storms break overhead, and I find myself longing for the smell of rain-soaked creosote bushes as I write this…
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Celebrating Pride Month

June 23, 2020

Many of the faces, and facets of conservation and environmentalism in the U.S. are not visible or celebrated. When I look back on my own conservation biology studies, I remember the predominant focus on white men like Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and others who played a prominent role in developing the system of public lands in the U.S. These…
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Pollinators and Interns

June 22, 2020

As we celebrate National Pollinators Week and kick off our Binational Internship Program, we’d like to highlight the amazing work of our 2019 Pollinator Conservation Interns last summer!   In collaboration with the National Park Service through a joint Sister Parks Project, Sky Island Alliance hosted three interns from Mexico for a Pollinator Conservation Internship in summer 2019. Estefania Ramirez, Ines Griego, and Miguel Enriquez Galaz studied pollinator gardens with…
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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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