National Park Service

Sonoran Desert I&M Network (SODN)

Parks in this Network

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Network Parks
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Sonoran Desert Network

Tavasci Marsh, Tuzigoot National Monument Montezuma Well, Montezuma Castle National Monument Beaver Creek, Montezuma Castle National Monument Tonto National Monument Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Gila River, Gila Cliff Dwellings NM Hoodoos, Chiricahua National Monument Fort Bowie National Historic Site Cottonwood fluff, Tumacácori National Historical Park Coronado National Memorial Juvenile saguaros, Saguaro National Park

Across the Sonoran Desert and up to the southwestern sky islands, ecologists from the Sonoran Desert Network collect information on native and exotic plants, water, air, birds, and climate in 11 different national parks. Back at the office, they analyze the data and share the results with park managers. Knowing which key resources are found in their parks, and whether those resources are stable or changing, can help park managers to make sound decisions about the future.

The Sonoran Desert Network (SODN) is one of 32 National Park Service (NPS) inventory and monitoring networks nationwide. These networks use vital signs monitoring to assess the condition of park ecosystems. Through our work, we can develop a stronger scientific basis for stewardship and management of natural resources across the National Park System; that is, we can help ensure that our national natural treasures are conserved, unimpaired, for future generations.

The Sonoran Desert Network includes 11 national park units: 10 in central and southern Arizona and 1 unit in southwestern New Mexico. These parks are characteristic of two ecoregions: the upper Sonoran subdivision of the Sonoran Desert Ecoregion and the Apache Highlands Ecoregion. SODN parks range in size from half a square mile to 517 square miles (147 to 133,882 hectares).

Featured Information

The Heliograph: Summer 2015

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The Heliograph is back! Find out about our new wildlife camera monitoring, what science communication has to do with acting, and how we're helping to prepare CCC-era wildlife watering facilities for possible new life. You'll also find updates on projects and personnel and a new feature, "Let me ask you something," featuring both SODN and park staff.

The NPS Inventory & Monitoring Division: What We Do (and Why)

Bird Checklists

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Bird checklists are now available for eight Sonoran Desert Network parks. Get yours here before your next visit!

It's Alive! Biological Soil Crusts in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts


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Last Updated: July 07, 2015 Contact Webmaster