Skills Donation

MABA Expedition, July-August 2011

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.  

Click to enlargeThe 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.

Communications for conservation

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.

Skills assistance ~ wildlife tracking

Discussing a deer that had been killed by a jaguar on El Aribabi Conservation Ranch.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

Skills assistance & conservation expedition, Micronesia

Two ConserVentures board members worked with a community in Micronesia to re-invigorate traditional building and canoe-making skills. With a long history in the community (dating to the 1960s as Peace Corps volunteer), Steve Hayden and Diane Boyer traveled to a small, remote Pacific island to work with the natives who wanted to renew constructing and using waharak (traditional ocean-going outrigger sailing canoes), but lacked funds for and access to tools and sail cloth. The pair delivered adze blades and other hand tools, and 90 yards of sailcloth. The team documented the construction of several canoes and the building of a large uut (thatch-roofed boat house). More documentation coming soon, including video, which is being shared with the community this year. [We are waiting until the communication products have been delivered to the community first, before sharing with the world at large.]

Communications for conservation ~ websites

BaboonsRUs.comAmboseliConservation.orgSince 2009, we have donated development of websites for several conservation efforts. At left, a site for Dr. Shirley Strum's Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project, the world's longest-running research project on non-human primates.

We have also creates sites for the Amboseli Conservation Project (right).

Conservation Expedition: First groundtruthing of South Rift Safari Circuit

Six ConserVentures volunteers spent 2 weeks in Kenya, the first "tourists" to drive the South Rift Safari Circuit to test the concept for the South Rift Association of Land Owners, also known as SORALO (working in collaboration with African Conservation Fund). Traveling self-contained in rented Land Cruisers and lead by John Kamanga of SORALO, the team explored regions of the South Rift's Maasailand little visited by outsiders. After the trip, the team prepared an extensive report and recommendations for developing the route as a tourist destination (report available upon request to groups or institutions looking to complete similar projects). A magazine story about the trip was also released in an international travel publication. Photo gallery of the expedition, click here.