Field Notes

Do you live near the border and want to help protect wildlife?

January 15, 2020

In 2019 Sky Island Alliance collected 9,600 photos of wildlife (2019 Top 10 photos). We want to make 2020 the year of 20,000 wildlife photos, and we need your help to do so! Through our Wildlife at the Wall project Sky Island Alliance is currently working on bringing together Mexican and American sister parks, conservation…
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Top 10 Wildlife Photos of 2019

December 31, 2019

During the course of 2019, Sky Island Alliance has collected 9600 photos of wildlife, 6645 of those came from cameras within 5 miles of the Border. This data was collected and submitted by our volunteers and partner organizations. It was hard to select the best photos, as every image of our Sky Island wildlife is…
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Friday Creature Feature: Black-tailed Jackrabbit

December 27, 2019

Last week we highlighted the antelope jackrabbit (Lepus alleni). This week we will cover the other Lepus species that we get on our cameras, the Black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus). You can find the black-tailed jackrabbit in low-elevation deserts and scrub lands across the west. They range from Missouri in the east, to the California coasts…
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Friday Creature Feature: Badger

December 13, 2019

The badger, also known as the American badger (Taxidea taxus) are a member of the weasel family. They have tan and grey bodies, and a distinctive black and white striped face. In North America, badgers live in open grasslands, deserts, and shrublands of the west. However, their range has been expanding east. Did you know…
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Friday Creature Feature: Greater roadrunner

December 6, 2019

The greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) is a striking and culturally famous bird of the southwest, from classic cartoons to local hockey teams. They are a member of the cuckoo family and is closely related to the lesser roadrunner (Geococcyx velox) that lives in Mexico. You can find greater roadrunners in deserts, grasslands, and arid scrublands…
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Turkey Time in the Sky Islands!

November 28, 2019

On this day when turkeys are at the center of public attention, it is important to learn and remember the history of our own native turkey in the Sky Island region.  There are two sub-species of turkeys native to Arizona: the smaller Merriam’s turkey found in the pine forests of Northern Arizona and the Gould’s…
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Another Tracking Workshop in the books!

November 5, 2019

Two weeks ago Sky Island Alliance hosted our Fall 2019 Tracking Workshop. We had a fabulous time with a group of 16 newly trained trackers. They quickly picked up the art of tracking through hands-on experience and time in the field to practice. During the workshop they learned how to observe the wildlife around them…
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Wildlife Tracking 101: A-what-a-grade?

October 16, 2019

Animals have evolved various form of locomotion to get around. Terrestrial animals have common three types of locomotion: plantigrade, digitigrade, and unguligrade. You can see an animal’s locomotion type in their tracks, and is a tool to help you narrow down what animal made that track.  Please see our previous blog post: Anatomy of a…
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Wildlife Tracking 101: Anatomy of a Track

October 9, 2019

To learn how to track you must first understand some basics of anatomy. If you can understand what part of the foot made that mark, and if you know terminology, you can start to ID the track and communicate to other trackers what you see. The best way to learn the anatomy of the track…
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Where Does Wildlife Go?

October 4, 2019

We recently explored a small section of existing border wall habitat on the US side of the border with Mexico at Coronado Memorial. A sandy wash meanders southward through the park from the Huachuca Mountains and abruptly runs into the steel border wall. As we looked for signs of wildlife on the move, sure enough…
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