sky island alliance

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our mission

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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Welcome Sami Hammer, Conservation Coordinator

Sami Hammer
Conservation Coordinator
520-624-7080 ext 16

We are very excited to introduce Samantha Hammer, our new Conservation Coordinator! Sami will be assisting with our Adopt-A-Spring monitoring project, restoration weekend trips, and spatial analysis and mapping. Come meet her on Friday the 13th, and out in the field!

About Sami
I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Trinity University and a Master’s degree in Natural Resources from The University of Arizona. My Master’s thesis explored how the vegetative, hydrological, and geomorphological characteristics of ephemeral and intermittent streams influence their use by wildlife species of concern. Before coming south, I worked in Wyoming and Idaho as a wildlife technician surveying for species of concern, such as Wyoming pocket gophers and pygmy rabbits, as a range technician inventorying range improvements on BLM allotments, and even as a recreation/wildlife intern mapping two-track dirt roads. While living in Tucson as a student, I spent many weekends exploring the Sky Islands. I am excited to continue to work in and learn about this region as a part of SIA. I love exploring new landscapes, starry nights, ridge tops, and the quiet of remote places.

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

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

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.