Sky Island FotoFauna

Join a growing network of wildlife cameras and help observe presence, absence, and seasonal movements of species in the Sky Islands of the U.S. and Mexico.

It’s easy to get started—and you can do it all from the comfort of your home. Just set up a wildlife camera and submit an online monthly FotoFauna checklist of the species you observe. This data will help Sky Island Alliance and its partners study when and where wildlife is present so we can better protect their habitats and pathways.

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Getting StartedSpecies Image GalleryFAQsSpecies ID Resources


Project Contact: Zoe Fullem, Community Science Manager (zoe@skyislandalliance.org)

Submit a FotoFauna Checklist

About Sky Island FotoFauna

Sky Island FotoFauna harnesses the power of volunteer-operated wildlife cameras throughout the Sky Island region. Every month, volunteers submit one checklist per camera and indicate which species were (and weren’t) detected on camera that month. These submissions are helping give us a clearer picture of when and where 43 different wildlife species are present in the region.

By combining the FotoFauna data we receive on species presence and absence, we’ll be able to measure:

  • The seasonal changes in wildlife movement for migratory species, like the elf owl, turkey vulture, and gray hawk.
  • The success of urban-adapted species that live near human development, like coyote, bobcat, greater roadrunner, cottontail species, and striped skunk.
  • The landscape accessible to wide-ranging species that require connected Sky Island habitats, like mountain lions, black bears, pronghorns, mule deer, and white-tailed deer.
  • 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.

If you’d like to learn more about the wildlife of the region, check out these resources for information on how to identify the species you see on your camera / in your backyard. You can also browse through the blogs on our website; many of them have helpful information about the fauna of the Sky Islands.


Ready to Get Involved?

We’d love to have you as part of Sky Island FotoFauna! Check out these options for the scenario that best fits your needs.

I'd like to join and have a wildlife camera.

    I’d like to join and have a wildlife camera.

    Great! Visit our Getting Started page to learn how to set up your wildlife camera and submit a monthly checklist. If you prefer video tutorials, you can also watch this webinar on Sky Island FotoFauna.

    If you don’t have time to check your camera every month, see if a friend, family member, neighbor, or coworker would be willing to help with the data, either by submitting a checklist on your behalf or, if your camera is in a remote location, hiking in to swap out camera cards.

    You can also email zoe@skyislandalliance.org to see if there’s a volunteer who would be willing to help with the data.

    Have questions? We have answers! Visit our FAQ.

    I’d like to join but don’t have a wildlife camera.

    If you’d like to get involved but don’t have a trail camera… There are still a few ways to participate!

    1) If you’re interested in going through camera data and submitting checklists on behalf of another participant, please email zoe@skyislandalliance.org for details.

    2) We invite you to sponsor a wildlife camera! These cameras will be given to students in the U.S. and Mexico who want to participate in FotoFauna. Your generous gift will also help staff and interns from Sky Island Alliance train new FotoFauna participants on how to set up and use their cameras.

    3) We are also looking for donated cameras, gear, batteries, and SD cards that can be used in our library and school camera kit programs. If you have old camera gear you’d like to donate—or if you’d like to help us source donations—please email anna@skyislandalliance.org.

    4) Finally, we need your help in getting the word out about this project! Sign up for our monthly FotoFauna newsletter and follow #SkyIslandFotoFauna on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to receive project updates and help spread the news to other areas of the Sky Island region.

    Have questions? We have answers! Visit our FAQ.

    I’m an organization / group and would like to join FotoFauna.

    We’d love to have you on board as a project partner. Partners of Sky Island FotoFauna receive the project’s e-newsletter, have their logo displayed at the bottom of this page, and are included in scientific project updates, discussions, and findings. Email zoe@skyislandalliance.org for more details.

    Have questions? We have answers! Visit our FAQ.

    I’m from a school or library and would like to participate.

    We are interested in rolling out camera kit programs at local libraries and schools in the Sky Island region. If you’d like to offer your school or library as a venue where kids or families can participate in FotoFauna by “checking out” a camera kit, please email anna@skyislandalliance.org.

    Have questions? We have answers! Visit our FAQ.

     


    Winning Photo: “Best of FotoFauna 2020”

    The “Best of 2020” winning photo. Credit: Catherine Bartlett, mischievous raccoon.


    Collaborating FotoFauna Partners

    FotoFauna would not be possible without the following collaborating partners:

    Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Arizona Trail Association, Borderlands Restoration Network, Caminantes del Desierto, Coronado National Memorial, Educating Children Outdoors, Friends of Agua Caliente, Pollinator Corridors Southwest, Profauna, Rancho El Aribabi, Saguaro National Park, Sky Island Alliance, The Nature Conservancy Arizona, Tucson Audubon Society, Tohono Chul, Universidad de la Sierra, Watershed Management Group, and Wildlands Network.