Help build a larger network of wildlife cameras by observing the seasonal movements of Sky Island species in the U.S. and Mexico.
Set up a wildlife camera, submit an online monthly FotoFauna checklist of the species you observe, and help Sky Island Alliance and its partners study when and where wildlife is present seasonally so we can better protect their habitats and pathways.
Collaborating FotoFauna partners include: Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Arizona Trail Association, Borderlands Restoration Network, Caminantes del Desierto, Coronado National Memorial, Friends of Agua Caliente, Pollinator Corridors Southwest, Profauna, Rancho El Aribabi, Saguaro National Park, Sky Island Alliance, The Nature Conservancy Arizona, Tohono Chul, Universidad de la Sierra, Watershed Management Group, and Wildlands Network.
Sky Island FotoFauna harnesses the sampling power of volunteer-operated wildlife cameras that keep watch for wildlife on the move throughout the Sky Island region. Every monthly FotoFauna checklist and photo submission gives us a clearer picture of when and where wildlife is moving across the Sky Islands. By combining the FotoFauna checklist data we receive on species presence, we will be able to measure:
- The seasonal changes in wildlife movement by checking for migratory species like the lesser long-nosed bat, elf owl, turkey vulture, and gray hawk.
- The success of urban-adapted species–like coyote, bobcat, greater roadrunner, desert cottontail, and striped skunk–, that live near human development.
- The landscape accessible to wide-ranging species–like mountain lions, black bears, pronghorns, mule deer, and white-tailed deer– that require connected Sky Island habitats.
- The persistence of species unique to the Sky Island region including the antelope jackrabbit, Gould’s turkey, and Gila monster.
- The northern range limit of subtropical species including the white-nosed coati, North Mexican Virginia opossum, javelina, hooded skunk, and hog-nosed skunk.
- The presence of species that need undeveloped open space to thrive including the ringtail, American badger, and Western spotted skunk.
Interested in joining FotoFauna? See our guide below on how to set up a wildlife camera, recognize and identify Sky Island indicator species, and submit your monthly checklist. The top FotoFauna photographs submitted by December 11, 2020 will be eligible for our Best of FotoFauna yearend photo competition. Winners will be selected live on December 17, 2020 at 9:30am MST during a virtual Coffee Break presentation of the best 2020 wildlife photos from FotoFauna.
Even if you cannot manage your own camera, we invite you to sponsor a wildlife camera that students in the U.S. and Mexico can borrow to participate in FotoFauna. Your generous gift will also help staff and students build a strong wildlife monitoring network in the U.S. and Mexico, train new participants in the field and support our continued efforts to protect and preserve the habitat for all our beloved species in the Sky Island regions.
FotoFauna Field Notes:
- Set up a wildlife camera in your corner of the Sky Island region and note the location (you will be able to determine the latitude and longitude on a map built into the checklist form).
- Continuously maintain your wildlife camera by making sure the batteries are replaced when voltage is low and swapping out camera memory cards before they fill up.
- Review your wildlife photos at the end of each month and save one photograph for each species on the checklist that was observed by your camera:
- The FotoFauna checklist will relabel your photo once uploaded, so you can label the photos in any that is helpful to you. Just to stay organized each month, we recommend using a file name that includes a unique camera identification, month/year, and species. For example, we use photo file names like this: Wash1_Oct_2020_Bobcat.jpg.
- If your camera observed the same species more than once, you will only need to submit one of the photos to confirm that species was present during the checklist month.
- If you’d like to contribute other notable species you observe or additional interesting wildlife photos from your camera each month, there is room to add this to your checklist prior to submitting it.
- To help keep track of the checklist species detected during the month of observation, use this OPTIONAL notes forms to record the photo file name and date for easier reference when submitting later in the month. These note files are for your own records only and we will not collect them. Download the Printable PDF Spreadsheet: FotoFauna Data Input Table
- Every month, please submit one checklist per camera:
- Fill out your name and contact information.
- Fill out information about the camera location and site description.
- Indicate whether each species on the checklist was detected on your camera for the month or not.
- Submit at least one photo per species that was detected so we can confirm your identification.
- If you detect other notable species that you would like to share that are not on the checklist, upload these images with an informational caption.
- If you have any extra fun wildlife photographs that you would like to share, upload these images with an informational caption.
- Allow Sky Island Alliance to use your submitted photographs in communications to be eligible for FotoFauna photo competitions.
- See the FAQs below from additional tips and information.
Project Contact: Zoe Fullem, Community Science Manager (email@example.com)
Species Image Gallery:
Expand the button below to see images of the hog-nosed skunk, hooded skunk, javelina, Virginia opossum – Mexican subspecies, and the white-nosed coati. Hover over each image to view a short description of that species.
Endemic to the Region
Expand the button below to see images of the Antelope jackrabbit, Gila monster, and Gould’s turkey. Hover over each image to view a short description of that species.
Expand the button below to see images of the black bear, mountain lion, mule deer, pronghorn, and white-tailed deer. Hover over each image to view a short description of that species.
Expand the button below to see images of the elf owl, gray hawk, lesser long-nosed bat, and turkey vulture. Hover over each image to view a short description of that species.
Species Sensitive to Development
Expand the button below to see images of the American badger, ringtail, and western spotted skunk. Hover over each image to view a short description of that species.
Expand the button below to see images of the bobcat, Cooper’s hawk, coyote, desert cottontail, Gambel’s quail, greater roadrunner, gray fox, striped skunk. Hover over each image to view a short description of that species.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Camera Set-UpWhat type of camera should I use for FotoFauna?
Camera Maintenance & TroubleshootingSomething is wrong with my camera! How do I fix it?
My camera’s batteries died, and the camera didn’t record for the full month. Can I still submit the data I have?
Wildlife Photo ReviewI personally saw an animal and took a photo of it. Should I submit it this observation to FotoFauna?
I think I have a photo of one of the checklist species on my camera, but I’m not sure that I’ve identified it correctly. Should I submit it anyway?
FotoFauna Checklist SubmissionMy camera recorded multiple visits by the species on the checklist during the month. Which observation do I submit?
I want to join FotoFauna, but don’t want to share the location of my camera. How will FotoFauna protect my information?