sky island alliance

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Sky Island Alliance is a bi-national conservation organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the rich natural heritage of native species and habitats in the Sky Island region of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.

We work with volunteers, scientists, land owners, public officials, and government agencies to establish protected areas, restore healthy landscapes, and promote public appreciation of the region's unique biological diversity.

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Sky Island Restoration Cooperative (SIRC)

The Sky Island Restoration Cooperative (SIRC) just released their 2014 annual report, presenting short abstracts of some of the SIRC's successful 2014 cooperative projects:

SIRC 2014 Annual Report (43MB)

Sky Island Alliance is an active part of SIRC, a bi-national community based collaboration of government and non-governmental organizations, private landowners, ranchers, students, volunteers, scientists, and restoration practitioners. Our hope is that by combining our energy and knowledge we can improve restoration activities, outcomes, and awareness across the Madrean Archipelago and nurture an understanding of the importance of biodiversity for human well-being. The SIRC is an experiment in bringing landscape restoration to scale through community-based projects.

Read the Report by Chapter:

SIRC 2014 Annual Report Introduction
Aravaipa Creek | Babocomari River | Chiricahua Leopard Frogs
Climate Sensitive Monitoring | Community Restoration | Harshaw Creek | MAPP Center
Monarch Waystations
| Rare Plants Assessment | Rio San Bernardino | Seed Collection
Silver Creek | Sonoita Creek Corridor | Springs Inventory | Springs Restoration
Turkey Creek

New Job Opening! Field Technician

Sky Island Alliance seeks a full-time Field Technician to join our dynamic staff. This is an opportunity to work in an exciting forward-thinking organization that marries science and advocacy. The Field Technician is a critical member of the SIA team who brings strong field skills and natural history knowledge to working with and managing volunteers and projects, principally in the field.

UPDATE: The deadline to apply is closed.
We will announce our new team member soon!

Sky Island Alliance receives prestigious award,
hits an environmental grand slam with
Redford and The Eagles

The Walden Woods Project, founded by music legend Don Henley, presented Sky Island Alliance with the prestigious 2014 Environmental Challenge Award, which recognizes individuals or organizations that have created solutions to specific environmental challenges at a local, regional or national level. Robert Redford received the 2014 Global Environmental Leadership Award, given for the first time to President Bill Clinton in 2012. Henley hosted the event at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre in Boston, Mass., and it concluded with a live concert performance by The Eagles. Jan Holder, Sergio Avila and Jessica Moreno attended the event to meet with Redford and Henley and receive the award on behalf of Sky Island Alliance. < Read More!

We are honored to receive this award on behalf of Sky Island Alliance staff, members and volunteers. We could not do this work without your support! Join us here.

In the Press:

Lincoln Journal | Boston Globe | Press Release 9/15/2014 | Press Release 9/19/2014

Welcome Jan Holder!
Sky Island Alliance Executive Director


Read a personal letter from Jan here.

Our Board and Staff are excited to be bringing on Jan Holder as our new Executive Director. Before joining Sky Island Alliance, Jan Holder held the position of Executive Director for the Gila Watershed Partnership in Eastern Arizona. Over a span of twelve years, she led a collaborative effort that engaged widely diverse stakeholders to work across political, social, economic, cultural, and geographic boundaries to identify and address environmental issues throughout the Upper Gila Watershed of Arizona. Jan worked with the partnership’s broad constituency to restore the riparian areas as well as upland and forest vegetation, and improve wildlife habitat, water quality, and river function. Jan engaged critical stakeholders throughout Graham and Greenlee Counties to identify the watershed’s declining water resources, and develop a plan for bridging the increasing gap between supply and demand.

Previously, Jan worked for the Southeast Arizona Land Trust, where she developed conservation strategies, and developed, wrote, and negotiated conservation easement to protect land in strategically important areas in Southeast Arizona. Jan co-managed a cattle ranch with her husband in the Upper Eagle Creek area of Greenlee County, Arizona, and was founder of Ervin’s Grassfed Beef, a predator-friendly beef company that distributed products in 11 western states and in Alain Ducasse in the Essex House in New York City, the most expensive restaurant in the country. Prior to that, Jan spent over ten years in the marketing industry, working for various national companies such as America West Airlines and Chase Bank.

Jan served on the Defenders of Wildlife’s Wolf Compensation Advisory Board from 2001 to 2004, on the Bureau of Land Management’s Resource Advisory Council from 2004 to 2010, and she chaired the University of Arizona’s Udall Center’s Common Ground Roundtable Sustainable Ranching Committee. Jan was awarded the Public Lands Foundation Landscape Stewardship Award for 2008, and in 2011 she received the Department of the Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award from the Secretary of the Interior in Washington D.C. She currently serves on the core team for The Cross Watershed Network, an organization dedicated to facilitate and enhance collaboration between watershed practitioners throughout the arid West.

Protect, Connect, Restore:
Bringing it Together for the Jaguar and Ocelot

Above: Jaguar in the Sierra Azul, Sonora, (c) 2010 Sky Island Alliance/ El Aribabi. Below: Map of the biological influences of the Sky Island region (c) Sky Island Alliance; created by Louise Misztal and Nick Deyo.

March 4, 2014 News:
Jaguars get new layer of U.S. protection with Critical Habitat designation.

See the map and final rule here.

Ocelots and jaguars are once again calling the Sky Islands their home... or have they been here all along? 

Throughout the majority of the last 17 years at least one jaguar has been present in the Arizona/Sonora borderlands, and as many as 8 different individuals have been photographed during this time. SIA documented the first living record of an ocelot in Arizona in 2009 - and a short time later recorded the first evidence of ocelots breeding in the Sky Islands, with a kitten and mother filmed on camera in Sonora, Mexico.

To help these elusive and secretive wild cats stay and thrive, Sky Island Alliance is advocating for jaguar and ocelot conservation in the region: by promoting greater public understanding of the importance of carnivores; informing critical habitat designation; identifying and mapping their best habitat and movement corridors; analyzing motion-activated camera data to determine wild cat activity patterns and behavior; and supporting non-invasive wildlife monitoring.

Do you want to learn more about jaguars and ocelots in the region? Read Sky Island Alliance's peer-reviewed paper, "Wildlife Survey and Monitoring in the Sky Island Region with an Emphasis on Neotropical Felids," published in the proceedings of the 2012 Madrean Conference.

Protecting these spotted cats also helps us explore and protect other critters too! See photos and videos of more wildlife from our motion-activated cameras.

Knowing that jaguars and ocelots are present in our Sky Island region is one of the reasons we are passionate about what we do. Please help us continue this important work.  

Become a member and help us keep the Sky Islands wild for jaguars, ocelots, and other wildlife.