Together, We Protected 32,000 Acres Of Sky Island

Western tanagers migrate from southern Mexico to as far north as Canada.
Western tanagers fly each year in an incredible migration from Mexico to coniferous forests as far north as Canada.

Imagine flying thousands of miles, from Mexico to perhaps as far north as Canada, from your winter feeding grounds to the perfect nesting site.  You’d need places along the way to fuel and rest, places rich with delicious insects and fresh water.

Imagine roaming the wilds in search of prey, your territory many miles long and wide.  You’d need cover to hunt from and rest in, good watering holes, and prey species large and plentiful enough to support you and perhaps, someday, your family.

Imagine living your entire life in a single body of water.  Your pond or lake is home to aquatic insects and small creatures that you thrive on, and fragile water plants shelter and sustain your quietly satisfactory life.

These are all realities for creatures inhabiting the Sky Islands of the Sonoran desert.  These isolated mountain havens stretch from Mexico into Arizona, surrounded by dry desert, providing unparalleled habitat for species as diverse as the migrating western tanager, the elusive jaguar, the sedentary mud turtle – and many, many others.

Mud turtles, known for their "rotten pumpkin" smell, were measured and cataloged by scientists during the expedition.
Mud turtles, known for their “rotten pumpkin” smell, were measured and cataloged by scientists during the expedition.

Thanks to your support, one very special effort to protect 32,000 acres in the Sierra Huérfana, a Sky Island east of the Mexican city of Hermosillo, has succeeded.  You helped fund an expedition organized and planned by the Sky Island Alliance to catalog and record the rich biodiversity that thrives there.  This record is a vital part of an extraordinary collaboration between local land owners, scientists, and the Mexican government to preserve this vital habitat for generations to come.

Because of you and others like you, the Sierra Huérfana will be protected forever, along with the elusive jaguar, cycads that once thrived alongside the dinosaurs, and – perhaps – the migrating bird perched outside your window.

Congratulations on being part of a great and lasting effort!

Scientists, Mexican forestry workers, & volunteers at the end of the expedition.  Photo © Michael McNulty
Scientists, CONANP workers, & volunteers celebrate success at the end of the expedition. We did it! Photo © Michael McNulty
Protect the Planet

Help preserve vital habitat at The Rainforest Site for free!