Our Border Wildlife Study documents the remarkable wildlife community living along 30 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. We launched an array of 65 cameras on both sides of the border in March 2020, a few months before border construction built new wall in the Huachuca Mountains and bladed new access roads in the Patagonia Mountains. Even after federal construction activities paused and the state of Arizona built a temporary shipping-container wall, 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.

We launched an exciting expansion of the project in June 2022 at the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge. Learn more about this focus area at San Bernardino, and read on to learn more about the full scope of our Border Wildlife Study. If you have questions, contact our Wildlife Projects Manager Eamon Harrity.

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

During the first three years of the study, the cameras collected more than 43,000 wildlife detections, the bustle of construction vehicles, and changes in wildlife activity over seasonal extremes of drought and intense monsoon. 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 many volunteers. In the U.S. all cameras are on public land with permitted research access granted by Coronado National Forest, Coronado National Memorial, and San Rafael State Natural Reserve. 

This study is supported by the Wilburforce Foundation, New York Community Trust, Carroll Petrie Foundation, 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