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: Antelope Jackrabbit

December 20, 2019

Surprisingly many species in the southwest are understudied, and the antelope jackrabbit (Lepus alleni) is one of them. Found only in Arizona and Northwestern Mexico. The antelope jackrabbits live in desert shrub and grasslands. They prefer open spaces where they can spot and run away from predators in plenty of time. The antelope jackrabbit is…
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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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Creature Feature: Ringtail

November 22, 2019

The ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) is a small omnivorous mammal that can be found across the West. Ringtails prefer rocky habitats in desert, and in oak and pine woodlands. In the desert, ringtails are often found in riparian areas where water and food are more abundant.  Did you know that the ring-tailed cat is not actually…
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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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New Border wall threatens Desert Oasis at San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge

November 4, 2019

Along the US border with Mexico, sits a unique marsh called the San Bernardino cienaga, where wildlife migrates across the international border between Mexico and the mountains of Arizona. This remarkable desert oasis has the highest diversity of bees in the world. With more than 500 species filling the air with sound as they pollinate…
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Creature Feature: Western Spotted Skunk

November 1, 2019

Did you know that the Sky Island region is home to four skunk species? There are the striped, hooded, and hog-nosed skunks, but the smallest is the western spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis). You can tell the spotted skunk apart from the other species by their distinctive marbled coat and smaller size. The male skunk they…
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