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Sonoran Desert (WWF ecoregion NA1310) View National Geographic WildWorld profile,(WildWorld home), View  WWF Wildfinder animal species list (WildFinder home)

Giant saguaros at Gate's Pass, Tucson Mt. Park, Tucson, Arizona
Giant saguaros (Carnegia gigantea
) at Gate's Pass, Tucson Mt. Park, Tucson, Arizona (c) 2001 Maurice J. Kaurmann


Source of bioregions data: Olson, D. M. and E. Dinerstein. The Global 200: Priority ecoregions for global conservation. (PDF file) Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 89:125-126.

Distinctiveness (1=highest,4=lowest): 1 (globally outstanding)
41% of U.S. terrestrial bird species can be found here.  58 species of reptiles are found in the U.S. portion of this desert as well as diverse species of cacti.*

Conservation Status (1=most endangered, 5=most intact): 4 (relatively stable)
40% of habitat is unaltered.  Riparian habitats are severely degraded.  Development and overgrazing are threats.*

Characteristic species*
Larrea tridentata (creosote bush)
Ambrosia deltoidea (bursage)
Parkinsonia florida (blue paloverde)
Parkinsonia microphylla (yellow paloverde)
Olneya tesota (desert ironwood)
Carnegia gigantea (saguaro)
Opuntia fulgida (jumping or chain fruit cholla)
Stenocereus thurberi (organ pipe cactus)
Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba)
Fouquieria splendens (ocotillo)

some Arizona plants

 

Some views from the ecoregion


Agave sp. south of Superior, AZ (c) 2004 Maurice J. Kaurmann  hires

 

Saguaro National Park and vicinity of Tucscon, AZ


Carnegia gigantea (saguaro) and Fouquieria splendens (ocotillo) near Tucson  (c) 2004 Maurice J. Kaurmann  hires


Carnegia gigantea (saguaros) on slope, Saguaro National Park  (c) 2004 Maurice J. Kaurmann  hires and in the vicinity of Tucson hires


Ferocactus wislizeni (fishhook or Arizona barrel cactus), Opuntia bigelovii (teddy bear cholla), Encelia farinosa (brittlebush, yellow), Jatropha cuneata (limber bush, green on rt.)  (c) 2004 Maurice J. Kaurmann  hires


Wasson Pk. Trail. Encelia farinosa (brittlebush, yellow), Fouquieria splendens (ocotillo), Parkinsonia microphylla (yellow paloverde)  (c) 2004 Maurice J. Kaurmann  hires


cacti, Saguaro Ntl. Park hires


a wash, Saguaro Ntl. Park hires

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, southwestern AZ


cholla cacti and spring wildflowers (c) 2001 Maurice J. Kaurmann  hires


Carnegia gigantea (saguaro), Stenocereus thurberi (organ pipe cactus), Penstemon sp. (pink), Encelia farinosa (brittlebush, yellow), Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba, dense dark green), Larrea tridentata (creosote bush, olive)  (c) 2001 Maurice J. Kaurmann  hires


Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta (owl clover, pink), Lupinus sp. (lupine, blue) (c) 2004 Maurice J. Kaurmann  hires


(l-r) Opuntia fulgida (jumping or chain fruit cholla), Fouquieria splendens (ocotillo), Parkinsonia sp. (paloverde), and young Carnegia gigantea (saguaro) (c) 2004 Maurice J. Kaurmann  hires


Stenocereus thurberi (organ pipe cactus), Larrea tridentata (creosote bush, olive), Encelia farinosa (brittlebush, yellow)  (c) 2004 Maurice J. Kaurmann  hires


Eschscholzia californica (California poppies) in spring, southwestern Arizona  (c) 2001 Maurice J. Kaurmann  hires

* Ricketts, T.H., E. Dinerstein, D.M. Olson, C.J. Loucks, et al.  (1999) Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America: A Conservation Assessment.  World Wildlife Fund - United States and Canada.  Island Press, Washington, D.C. pp. 337-340.

Except as noted, images copyright 2002-2004 Steve Baskauf - Terms of use