By Garry Rogers

(First in series on Sonoran Desert invasive plants.)

Introduction to Invasive Plants in Deserts

Invasive species, like storm troopers leading the surging ruin of global warming, are demolishing Earth's ecosystems.

Photograph: Once diverse landscape of small trees and tall Saguaro cactus was converted to impoverished shrubland after invasion by fire-prone plants.

Once they began crossing the oceans, Humans introduced thousands of…


Is there a new highway planned to bisect the pristine El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve? It appears that it is at least an idea from photos acquired by Wild Sonora. These maps seem to show a 4-lane separated highway cut-off from Route 2 through the sand dunes just west of Pinacate down to the Route 3 coastal highway. The length from maps appears to be about 50 km and cuts right down the east/west center of the reserve.

This is certainly not in the interest of…


(Update: this race has been put on hold, likely due to permit issues with the Mexican government.)

Southern California based off-roaders are organizing a "TRUE off-road" rally race across some of the most intact and undamaged land in North America. The exact route has not been released to the public or participants to prevent scouting. Most likely it will occur to the west or southwest of the El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve and potentially…


This species is possibly the least know of all the box turtles. It is endemic to northwest Mexico. Read more about it in this 2011 paper Terrapene nelsoni Stejneger 1925 – Spotted Box Turtle, Tortuga de Chispitas, Tortuga de Monte.

Terrapene nelsoni seems to only be active in Sonora during the wetest part of the monsoon season, primarily the later part of July through early Sept. See more photo of these species in this Terrapene nelsoni gallery.


Here's an article in Terra Magazine (put out by ConserVentures) literally about Wild Sonora. Read about adventures on the rivers of eastern Sonora and see plenty of photos of the most recent trip.

"Our adventures into the river canyons of eastern Sonora began in the early 2000s after spending several years working throughout the bronco (rough) state of Sonora, México. My best friend was an avian biologist working in Sonora, and I had always been intrigued by birds, natural history…


From the Liberty Cove website:

"The approvals included 60,000 dwelling units including single family homes, ranches, condominiums and multi-unit complexes. In addition, the overall Master Plan includes resort hotels, retail/commercial centers, golf courses, Formula One style race track, marinas and a San Antonio-styled Riverwalk.The Phase I Development Plan commences with 1000 condominiums, an 18 hole golf course, a Beach Club, a pier, a 50,000 square foot medical…


According to Google the number or searches for the terms "Conservation" and "Environment" have been in a steady decline since 2004.

Does this mean people care less about these issue now than in 2004? Sadly this seems like it is probably the case. See this graph from Google below - blue=conservation, red=environment (see graph at Google here)


February 2nd and 3rd 2011 laid a heavy hand on the NJP reserve. An arctic air mass descended on southwestern North America, stretching its influence south of its typical reach. Individual species had their numbers reduced drastically. The makeup and distribution of some plant communities were altered. Rules that had governed species survival for a minimum of several decades were put on hiatus during a more than 48-hour period of early Feb. 2011.

Woody species hit the hardest on the…


The same ocelot that has been photographed on 3 previous occasions in the Huachuca Mountains has been seen again. This ocelot has a somewhat unique looking face and was first photographed in Feb. 2011. Face and spot pattern match all 3 other sets of photographs. The cat appears quite healthy.

Hunters treed the ocelot, reported and gave photos to AZ Game and Fish who put out this press release Nov. 20th, 2012.

See previous Wild Sonora stories about this ocelot here and here.