Field Notes

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…
Read more »

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…
Read more »

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…
Read more »

Ay Mariposa Screening Saturday, October 26

October 24, 2019

This weekend in Tucson, come experience the moving story of butterflies and people affected by the US-Mexico border at the screening of Ay Mariposa at the Loft Cinema. Co-presented this weekend by the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter and The Loft Cinema, Ay Mariposa tells a story of three characters in the Lower Rio Grande…
Read more »

Creature Feature: White-nosed coati

October 18, 2019

The white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) is a medium sized, omnivorous, mammal. You can find the white-nosed coati in the mountain and riparian areas of the Sky Island region. The coati ranges from the Southwest US, through Mexico, to Colombia in South America. There is another species of coati called the South American coati (Nasua nasua),…
Read more »

Borderlands Festival and Tracking Blitz

October 8, 2019

This past Saturday we celebrated the borderland region by attending the Borderlands Festival hosted by Coronado National Memorial. There was great dancing, food, and fun for all. Sky Island Alliance had an interactive table that taught how to identify common wildlife tracks. We also showcased our wildlife monitoring work in the region. Special shout out…
Read more »

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…
Read more »

Meet a Cross-Border Cat—Mountain Lion

September 25, 2019

Puma concolor is known by many names: mountain lion, puma, cougar, catamount, and panther, but all refer to the same species. Mountain lions have the widest geographic range of any mammal in the Western Hemisphere. They roam across North and South America, but due to hunting pressures the mountain lion went extinct in the eastern…
Read more »

Meet a Cross-Border Cat—Ocelot

September 24, 2019

Known in Spanish as el tigrillo or ocelote, Leopardus pardalis is a neotropical cat that roams forests, scrublands, and savannas from South America northwards into the southern US. This spotted wildcat is roughly twice the size of a housecat, weighing up to 35 lbs. The ocelot is much smaller than the other spotted cat of…
Read more »

Meet a Cross-Border Cat—Bobcat

September 21, 2019

Lynx rufus is small wildcat that prowls deserts and forests from Central Mexico to Canada. Slightly larger than a house cat, these adaptable felines love to hunt rabbits throughout the borderlands and you just might see one strolling through your suburban neighborhood. Keep a watchful eye out for these nocturnal cats with short tails and…
Read more »