We do not inherit the
earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from
our children.
- Native American Wisdom

Supporting Scientific Research

To ensure the protection of Saguaro National Park's extraordinary biodiversity, it is essential that scientific research form the foundation for resource conservation decision-making at the park.  Financial support from Friends of Saguaro enables the park to sustain a variety of critically-important resource conservation projects.

  • Water & Wildlife Research.  FOSNP funding enabled the NPS to undertake a project to examine critical water-related issues impacting Saguaro National Park and its surrounding eco-region.  The project monitors seasonal and perennial water in selected springs, streams and spring-fed pools called tinajas;  documents the use of water by medium and large mammals;  inventories and monitors selected aquatic species;  and analyzes data to help develop a comprehensive regional water and wildlife monitoring and assessment strategy.
  • Gila Monster Conservation.  Although Gila monsters -- the largest lizards native to North America -- are protected under state and federal law, dramatic habitat loss throughout the species' natural range is threatening its survival in many areas.  FOSNP has funded long-term Gila monster research, to help park biologists develop conservation strategies for the species, in the face of habitat loss and fragmentation resulting from increased urbanization within the Tucson Basin.
  • Lesser Long-Nosed Bat Protection.  These bats are a federally-listed endangered species in both the U.S. and Mexico, and are particularly important in the pollination of saguaros and other columnar cacti.  A roost site for these bats in the east district of Saguaro National Park is one of only ten known roost sites for the species in southern Arizona.  FOSNP funding has enabled the park to monitor the site with a PIT tag antenna and reader system -- the first Lesser Long-Nosed Bat roost in the U.S. to be monitored with this technology.
  • Lowland Leopard Frog Conservation.  The Lowland leopard frog is a sensitive species, native to southeastern Arizona, that is being impacted by diminution of riparian habitat.  FOSNP has funded a unique partnership between the NPS and private landowners, in which biologists help the landowners sustain backyard aquatic habitats to serve as community-based refugia for these frogs displaced from their native habitat within the park.  The frogs can then be repatriated to their natural environment within the park when their habitat is restored.
  • Mammal Tracking & Inventory.  Funding and volunteers from Friends of Saguaro has enabled the park to utilize 25 motion-triggered Cuddeback digital cameras to develop good baseline data on the presence and distribution of mammals within the park.
  • Big Cat Conservation in the Urban Interface.  Urbanization, and the expansion of human impacts into wildland habitat, is of particular concern for "big cat" species in southern Arizona.  FOSNP sponsored a 5-year study conducted by the University of Arizona that focused on bobcats at Saguaro National Park, and also funded the establishment of some 30 "track transects" to help park biologists learn more about mountain lions in the west district of the park.

You can support scientific research at the park by "adopting" wildlife.  Just click on any of the wildlife adoption links in the left sidebar.