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.


A hunter's trail camera snapped a photo of a jaguars tail on Sept. 23, 2012. AZ Game and Fish released the photo, but have yet to make a determination on whether it is an ocelot or jaguar. It appears almost certainly to be that of a jaguar. Sky Island Alliance experts are also convinced. See AZ Daily Star article here.


We just returned from Rancho Pan Duro on the spine of the Sierra Madre. It is located south of Los Ojos, 50 miles or so southeast of Agua Prieta/Douglas. Mexico doesn't have fire suppression infrastructure in place as does the US. Also the forests are more heavily used so consequently there is not so much fuel loading. Nevertheless, monsoons bring thunderstorms and lightning; and much fire. Ruben's vaqueros went to the rancho, and with the air heavy with smoke they scraped a fireline to…


The Sonoran state government is building a controversial pipeline (Independencia pipeline) that will connect the state's largest reservoir (Presa Novillo) on the Rio Yaqui with the state's capital city of Hermosillo. Construction is well underway with the first water to be expected around the end of 2012. Projected cost of the project is $323.3 million U.S. dollars, but completion date and cost estimates may not hold.

The heavy steel pipe used for the pipeline appears to be…

Off the Wagon and On the Whiskey Trail in the Sonoran Hinterlands

by Michael Huckaby


Sahuaripa sits nestled against the foothills of the western flank of the Sierra Madre Occidental. It is at the north end of the valley of Tacupeto on the north flowing Rio Sahuaripa just before it enters the Rio Yaqui. This is cattle country. Some agriculture exist where farmers have taken advantage of the rivers leaving the sierras, but mostly it's…


A hunters trail camera has captured another image of an ocelot. Although the location hasn't been revealed to AZ Game and Fish by the hunter, spot comparison by Wild Sonora shows that it is the same individual that has been photographed in the Huachucas twice before in Feb. and May of 2011.

See the AZ Game and Fish Dept. article about this ocelot sighting.


All but 1 of the 5 Mexican Gray Wolves released in Sonora in October of 2011 have been poisoned to death by warfarin, which is commonly used by ranchers and others to kill mammals. The wolves were found dead in Nov. and Dec. of 2011. Although uncertain, there is a good likelyhood that this is a targeted killing of the wolves. It takes high levels of warfarin to kill large mammals.

One of the wolves is alive and doing well. Mexican officials have said they will continue with the…


The newest confirmed jaguar sighting in Arizona comes from a mountain lion hunter who's dogs chased and treed the animal in Cochise County Arizona south of I-10. The hunter called AZ Game and Fish immediately. The jaguar took off and was again chased and surrounded by his dogs, which the hunter was eventually able to call off after a tense confrontation in which some of the dogs were slightly injured. The hunter's business, Chasin' Tail Guide Service, released only 2 photos of the incident…


Canis lupus baileyi, the Mexican gray wolf, is back in the Madrean Sky Islands of Mexico. The last wild Mexican gray wolves were captured from the Sierra Madre in 1980 in an attempt to preserve this southwestern sub-species, which once was common and roamed from Colorado to central Mexico and over much of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

On Oct. 11th, 2011 5 wolves (2 males and three females) were released in the Sierra San Luis in far northeast Sonora. See more photos from…

Reports, Papers, Journal Articles

Oct. 5th, 2011 finding by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl (Glaucidium ridgwayi cactorum) does not warrant protection from the Endangered Species Act.

"We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum) as threatened or endangered and to designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as…


Sept. 12, 2011 - AZ Game and Fish Press Release

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department has been informed that Mexican authorities plan to release five Mexican wolves this month at an undisclosed ranch location in northeastern Sonora, Mexico.

While the department does not know the specific date or other details at this time, it has received indications that the wolves being released will be fitted with satellite tracking collars.

Game and Fish is currently…