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Help Restore Wetlands in the Sky Islands

Item # 62559

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Save the Sky Island springs and help wildlife thrive in the Sonoran Desert. Your donation helps restore wetlands in southern Arizona, southeastern New Mexico, and northern Sonora.

Make it a monthly gift by checking the "Make this a Monthly Gift" box and you will help save the Sky Islands each and every month.

The Sky Islands are a hotspot for wildlife diversity. Mountain islands meet a sea of grasslands and deserts, creating a habitat for a mosaic of native plants and animals.

In the Sky Islands, every drop of water is precious‐wildlife of all kinds depend on what little water there is to survive. Healthy riparian areas and wetlands are essential for aquatic species like frogs, and also for bats, birds, and insects. Unfortunately, drought, intense wildfires, and human activities have reduced the quality and amount of wildlife habitat drastically throughout the region, putting extra pressure on several plant and animal species trying to survive an already harsh climate.

Sky Island Alliance helps to bring balance back to wild places by sending scientists and volunteers to threatened and damaged riparian areas. They support native plant species by removing invasive species, and they install native plants that stabilize the soil and provide food and cover resources for wildlife and pollinators. Using natural materials like rocks and downed trees, the staff and corps of field‐hearty volunteers slow water down, helping it soak into the soil to nurture plants and reduce unnatural erosion.

At all of the restoration sites, the goal is to keep water on the landscape and to encourage a healthy balanced ecosystem. After native, pollinator friendly plants are installed, they are left with a 3 month water supply by an irrigation supplement gel, which is broken down by soil bacteria to provide water at the plant's roots. Fences are set around new plants during this time to protect them from being nibbled on by deer or rabbits as they become established. Once healthy plants are established, the fences are removed and the plants become a natural part of the ecosystem. Water quality of the area is then tested from time to time to monitor how human activities may be impacting spring water and determine when a site is ready for reintroduction of sensitive plant and animal species.

You can help. Just $15.00 plants a pollinator friendly native plant and provides water for 3 months.

Update from the Field
December 2016

Earlier this year, Sky Island Alliance worked with a diverse array of partners from the US Forest Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Natural Channel Design, Bat Survey Solutions, Douglas High School, and Borderlands Restoration to build three new ponds at historic Camp Rucker in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona. These ponds are inter-connected and spring-fed and will be an important habitat resource for a wide variety of wildlife, including the federally-threatened Chiricahua leopard frog, about 20 species of bats, and a diverse suite of native pollinators. The ponds were build using heavy equipment and lots of hand labor over the course of a week in June. Native plants were salvaged and replaced, and new container plants were installed as well to boost nectar resources for pollinators. Photos from the project can be accessed here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/SkyIslandAlliance/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10154338069527360

Sky Island Alliance is a bi‐national conservation organization. We protect and restore native species and wildlife habitat in the Sky Island region of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Our work emphasizes citizen science and public education, promoting appreciation of the region's unique biological diversity. We connect people to nature and shape public lands policies. Sky Island Alliance has put this vibrant region on the map of global conservation priorities. We are the Sky Islands' strongest advocate for wildlife and wild places.

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