Field Notes

The First Sky Island FotoFauna Insights into Wildlife of the Region

April 1, 2021

It’s here—our first look at how the diversity of mammals and birds is distributed across the Sky Island region! Since launching Sky Island FotoFauna in October 2020, volunteers and organizations in Mexico and the U.S. have contributed nearly 450 monthly checklists from this growing network of cameras. Each checklist adds another piece to the regional wildlife puzzle—helping us see more clearly where wildlife species are present and absent each month across the landscape. We want to understand the distribution of a…
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Community’s Choice: The Best 18 FotoFauna Photos of Winter 2021

March 26, 2021

Our December FotoFauna photo contest was so much fun—with everyone cracking wildlife jokes and enjoying exciting regional photos—that we decided to do it all over again! This time, the Sky Island FotoFauna network helped us whittle over 1,000 submissions down to 54 finalists across 18 categories: some new and some fan favorites returning from last…
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The Border Wildlife Study Rodeo

February 24, 2021

For many youngsters around the West, it is Rodeo Break. I hardly ever went to the actual Rodeo, but I sure miss having those two days off! In our Border Wildlife Study, I’ve seen plenty of animals both cattle and wildlife having their own rodeo days all year long—with no stinkin’ humans around. Enjoy this…
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A Microscopic View of a Palo Verde Root Borer Beetle

February 1, 2021

In this week’s Microscopic Monday post, we are going to continue to explore the amazing diversity of beetle species in our Sky Island region by focusing on the Palo Verde Root Borer Beetle—also known simply as the palo verde beetle (Derobrachus hovorei). Formerly classified as Derobrachus geminatus, our local (and quite common) Palo Verde Root Borer was…
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Community’s Choice: The 19 Best FotoFauna Photos of 2020

December 17, 2020

As 2020 comes to an end, we’re excited to look back at the best FotoFauna submissions of the year. Judges from several partnering organizations first helped us whittle 1,000+ photos down to 57 finalists across 19 categories. Then, earlier today, over 50 coffee break attendees voted live to select the the winners from these finalists. As the community…
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¡Hemos detectado más de 100 especies en las tierras fronteriza entre Estados Unidos y México!

December 11, 2020

En marzo de 2020, Sky Island Alliance se asoció con la organización sin fines de lucro mexicana Naturalia, A.C. para documentar la vida silvestre que vive o migra a través de las zonas fronterizas entre Estados Unidos y México, uno de los últimos tramos restantes del corredor de vida silvestre abierto en la región. ¿Cómo…
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We’ve Detected Over 100 Species in the Borderlands!

In March 2020, Sky Island Alliance partnered with Mexican nonprofit Naturalia, A.C. to document the wildlife that lives in or migrates through the U.S.–Mexico borderlands, one of the last remaining stretches of open wildlife corridor in the region. How does the documentation work? An array of 58 trail cameras operates 24/7 along 34 miles of…
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Sky Island Coffee Break: Border Wildlife Study 6 Month Update

December 10, 2020

Register for the Zoom Link Join us to learn the latest results from our Border Wildlife Study. With 84 species detected since March, you won’t want to miss seeing photographs of the new species we’ve seen including porcupine and the Virginia opossum. We’ll discuss which species appear most often at night and which species prefer…
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You’re Invited! Keeping Wildlife Thriving and Water Flowing in 2021

December 3, 2020

Register for 4:30 PM and Receive the Zoom Link As one of our most dedicated supporters, you’re invited to join Sky Island Alliance Executive Director Louise Misztal,  Program Director Emily Burns, and Conservation Director Paulo Quadri for a conversation to learn how your support benefited wildlife, springs, and students in the Sky Islands. We’ll also…
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Microscopic View of a Hedgehog Cactus Fruit

November 23, 2020

Hedgehog cacti of the Echinocereus genus are relatively small-stature cactus plants with multiple cylindrical stems. In eastern Arizona, Fendler hedgehog (Echinocereus fendleri) may go unnoticed for much of the year until its brilliant pink blooms open in April-May. The large round fruits are bright red and ripe, attractive to many wildlife species that help disperse the hedgehog cactus seeds after…
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