National Park Service

Mojave Desert I&M Network (MOJN)

Inventory & Monitoring at Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) at Joshua Tree NP
Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) at Joshua Tree NP

Joshua Tree National Park (JOTR) was established as a National Park in 1994. Prior to that designation, it had been a National Monument since 1936. Joshua Tree is the southern-most park in the Mojave Desert Network, lying at the transition between Mojave and Sonoran deserts. Providing major habitat for its namesake, JOTR supports extensive stands of Joshua trees, prickly pear cacti, and other unique and diverse plants and animals. Fault lines running through igneous and metamorphic rocks force water to the surface at five locations in JOTR, creating five of North America's 158 desert fan palm oases. Many threatened or vulnerable species call the land of Joshua Tree National Park home, including the desert tortoise, desert bighorn sheep, Mojave fringe-toed lizard, and sensitive bat species.

MOJN provides natural resource inventory and monitoring information to assist JOTR in effective, science-based decision making for resource protection and management purposes. Inventories have been completed for mammals, fish, birds, vascular plants, and reptiles & amphibians (for full species lists select from the dropdown box below). In April of 2015, MOJN established 35 long-term monitoring plots within the Joshua Tree woodland vegetation community in order to collect plant and soils data at 3-year intervals. The Integrated Uplands Protocol describes the data collection procedures carried out at these plots. The Selected Large Springs Protocol describes MOJN's water monitoring efforts at two large persistent springs at JOTR, 49 Palms Oasis and Smith Water Canyon Springs, where we measure water quality and availability four times each year (click here to see the 2014 data report ). Through the procedures outlined in the Desert Springs Protocol, MOJN also monitors water quality and availability at 48 smaller water sources such as seeps and springs. JOTR's Vegetation, Soils, and Geologic Inventories & Maps have all been completed, with the Geologic Report scheduled for publication in 2017.

List Species Found at Joshua Tree National Park

Select a Species Category (optional):

What's the difference?

A Checklist contains only those species that are designated as "present" or "probably present" in the park.

The Full List with Details includes all the Checklist species plus species that are unconfirmed, historically detected, or incorrectly reported in the park. The Full List also contains species that are "in review" because their status in the park hasn't been fully determined. Additional details about the status of each species is included in the Full List.

The Checklist will almost always contain fewer species than the Full List.


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Visit NPSpecies for more comprehensive information and advanced search capability. Have a suggestion or comment on this list? Let us know.

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Monitoring Resource Briefs
Invasive Plant Species Guides and Briefs
Recent Climate Change Exposure Briefs
Biological Inventory Briefs

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Baseline Water Quality
Climate and Weather
Natural Resource Condition Assessments
Plants and Animals
Vegetation Mapping
Other Inventories and Assessments

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Integrated Upland
Selected Large Springs
Desert Springs
Streams and Lakes

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MOJN Planning Documents
Integrated Uplands
Selected Large Springs
Streams and Lakes

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New! MOJN Invasive Plant Guide

External Publications (Journal Articles, Book Chapters, etc.)

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Species Summary from iNaturalist (non-NPS data)

This species list is provided by and is not confirmed or endorsed by NPS

View this list on the iNaturalist site instead

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Last Updated: June 13, 2017 Contact Webmaster