As a Steward of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and also a Citizen Scientist, I take part in several surveys being conducted by the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy through their Field Institute. (Flora, Flying and Ground Insects, Mammal and Reptile). I try to attend most of the organized surveys and take photos for the Conservancy but I am always on the lookout for any creatures when I’m hiking in the Preserve and document what I see.This first image was taken during one of my hikes to Browns Mountain (see previous post). Desert Tortoise are such a treat to see! An interesting tidbit about them is they collect water in their bladder and save it for their body to use when no other water is available. If a hiker picks up a wild tortoise, it can get scared and will often loose its saved water. This can cause the tortoise to die of dehydration.
The following images were taken during our most recent reptile survey led by Dave Weber. Be sure to Click his name for a video in which he describes what he does. This particular day, we were looking for the illusive Desert Iguana which was said to have been spotted in our Preserve. We didn’t find any but we did end up finding Eleven Chuckwallas! That’s the most I’ve seen in the entire 20 years I’ve lived here so it was very exciting.