Documenting the Biodiversity of the Madrean Archipelago: An Analysis of a Virtual Flora and Fauna

Date Published or Written


Nicholas Deyo, Alex Smith, Edward Gilbert, Thomas Van Devender


The Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment (MABA) of Sky Island Alliance is an ambitious project to document the distributions of all species of animals and plants in the Madrean Archipelago, focusing particularly on northeastern Sonora and northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico. The information is made available through MABA’s online database ( The sources of these records are museum collections, herbaria, scientific literature, other databases, observations, and field notes. Many observations come from MABA expeditions to isolated mountain ranges in northeastern Sonora involving taxonomic specialists, professors, students, and others from universities in Arizona and Sonora; and personnel from Mexican agencies. This paper provides an analysis of the current status of species records contained within the MABA flora and fauna databases and the significance of these records for future collection, research, and conservation planning.