Mt. lion at Rincón de Guadalupe; click to enlargeCow . . . cow . . . cow . . . two cows . . . cow nose . . . cow tail . . . mountain lion . . . cow . . .
What? Go back.
Six of us were crowded around our little Canon G10, using its LCD screen to review the images from the trail camera fixed securely to a nearby oak tree. Out of several hundred photos, the majority showed either cows, the single squirrel that—unbeknownst to us when we placed the camera—lived in the tree on the left side of the frame and indulged itself in repeated self-portraits, or just apparently empty creekside landscape, the result of wind, an overenthusiastic camera sensor, or invisible extraterrestrials—one is never sure.
But between the cows and aliens the Bushnell Trophy Cam had recorded a fascinating cross-section of the life in this remote canyon in Mexico’s Sierra Madre.
La Sierra Madre: The Mother Range. It’s fitting that Mexico would give all three of its major mountain ranges the same name, differentiated only by their location—Sierra Madre Occidental, Sierra Madre Oriental, Sierra Madre del Sur. After all, this is a land where devotion to the ideal of the maternal is endemic, where shrines to the Virgin are rarely a stone’s throw apart, and where madres, abuelas, and tias have traditionally ground the corn, dried the carne, and pounded the chile that comprises the life-sustaining triumvirate of Mexican cuisine.
The sierras give life to the country too. Peaks ten thousand feet tall scrape rain from clouds spawned in two oceans and two seas, sending it cascading through pine and fir forests where thick-billed parrots screech at stooping goshawks, down through oak woodlands where moonlight fires the eyes of jaguars and ocelots, and out to water the valleys and plains where corn grows, cows graze, and chiles ripen in the sun.
What better goal for a scientific expedition, then, than to explore and celebrate the life in its myriad forms that springs from the Mother Range? That’s the idea behind MABA—the Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment.
Click here to download the story in our Terra magazine format, with 16 pages of images, interactive links, and multimedia, or follow the link below to read a simpler version on the website. You can also order a print copy from MagCloud, our HP print partner, here.
Carlos and Martha Robles of El Aribabi Conservation Ranch needed color brochures for a large event in Tucson, Arizona. ConserVentures donated design and printing for 200 brochures for the event (left), and will be working on a more permanent marketing materials package, including logo, brochure, and ad campaign. Click here to download the complete brochure. Defenders of Wildlife needed assistance marketing a unique trip in central Arizona, a collaboration of the Apache Nation, the non-profit, and a tour company to promote eco-tourism. ConserVentures created materials and marketed the June 2011 trips through its mailing lists. Click here to view the email with live links about the trip.
ConserVentures founders Roseann & Jonathan Hanson helped start the Sky Island Alliance Wildlife Tracking program in early 2001. Since then it has become one of the most respected citizen-science program in the world, with several hundred volunteers over ten years monitoring important habitats in the Sky Island region. Their data has helped create land use plans for Pima and Santa Cruz counties, and Arizona Department of Transportation's first approved over- and under-highway wildlife crossings. Over the ten years of this ongoing program, Roseann & Jonathan continued to volunteer their time as instructors in the program. In April 2011, they joined Cynthia Wolf, Jessica Lamberton, and Sergio Avila at El Aribabi Conservation Ranch in northern Mexico to teach the next nine volunteers. Photo gallery, click here. For more on the program, visit SkyIslandAlliance.org.