3 Parks: 1 Partnership Part Four

On October 20, 2017, the Sonoyta mud turtle will be officially listed as an endangered species by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. This listing comes exactly 99 days after the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum had three Sonoyta mud turtles hatch in captivity, marking the first ever successful captive breeding for this subspecies. Multiple factors…

Buffelgrass is Back (How to Help)

This year, like many years, Tucson put on a 4th of July fireworks display over A Mountain. This would not be a problem for a typical Sonoran Desert landscape that has natural open space among its scattered trees, shrubs, and cacti and thus a very low potential to burn. However, this hill that lies nestled…

Tasting History

Do you want to enjoy a taste of history in your own backyard? Try planting the same fruit trees that European missionaries did many centuries ago! At this year’s Plant Sale, some of the coolest plants that will be featured are the heritage food plants. These include plants like fig trees, pomegranate trees, grape vines…

Celebrate Shark Week at Cool Summer Nights!

Shark Week, the annual summer tradition, is here and the Desert Museum is celebrating at our Cool Summer Nights series on July 29th! What makes Shark Week popular? Sharks! They are fascinating, we fear them, but we like watching them in their natural habitat. The show also sheds a light on the difficulties faced by…

The Beauty of a Scorpion

A scorpion, according to most, is a symbol of cruelty; tangible evidence that nature has a mean streak. However, as with all fauna, when we turn an attentive eye to the creature we will see something worth observing. A scorpion is more than pincers and a stinger. It too needs to make its way in…

Rain Bugs

One of the beautiful animals that make an appearance during our summer rainy season is the red velvet mite, Dinothrombium spp. These very large mites spend most of the year under ground. Mites are arachnids in the order Acari, along with the ticks. There are over 30,000 species of mites, and perhaps thousands more to…

The Sound of Summer

A summer day in southern Arizona is anything but silent. Even if we completely eliminated the sound of humans and their machinery, the desert supplies a raucous, riotous auditory performance during the summer. Animals are emerging to metamorphose, feed or mate. In monsoon season, the diversity of the Sonoran Desert is on full audible exhibition….

Facts About Fires (Buffelgrass Style)

Did you know that buffelgrass is one of our most serious environmental problems in the Tucson Basin? More specifically, it’s the invasion of buffelgrass in our city and the wildlands that surround our city. What’s at stake is much larger than the saguaros that stand on A Mountain. A smoldering cigarette tossed from a car…

A Tale of Two Fishes with a Porpoise (and Purpose)

Many people feel a special affinity for marine mammals. If you’re like me, you once dreamed of being a marine biologist and working with dolphins or whales. (This seems to be especially true for girls.)  The interplay of otherness and familiarity between humans and cetaceans engages the heart and the mind. It is therefore especially…

Are you hip to Gila monsters?

Quiz Yourself! Are you hip to Gila monsters? 1. Gila is pronounced: A. HEE-la B. Gill-ah C. Guy-la 2.  In Arizona, Gila monsters are considered:  A. Protected B. Threatened C. Endangered D. The state reptile 3. Gila monsters love to chow down on:  A. Native desert plants B. Eggs and baby rodents C. Avocado toast 4….