Diario del proyecto Biodiversity of the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park

05 de marzo de 2024

"Wildlife Wonders" events in 2024

This year the Asombro Institute is excited to announce 7 "Wildlife Wonders" events that will be held at the Nature Park throughout 2024. Each event will celebrate a different taxon with local scientists, live animals, and family-friendly activities. Visitors can also collect trading cards to collect and play in a unique, Chihuahuan Desert-themed customizable card game. Our first date is quickly approaching - join us from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 16th for Mammal Madness!

Hands-on booths will be themed around New Mexican mammals in need of conservation and awareness. Special guests include: Conrad Nelson of the US Long Term Ecological Research Network who will be safely trapping wild rodents for visitors to see; Hailey Jacobson from NMSU, an expert on the Organ Mountains Colorado Chipmunk; Meredith Dalton, Wildlife Biologist for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Prehistoric Trackways National Monuments; and David Angerstein of Second Chance Wildlife Rescue in El Paso.

Our other dates for the year:

  • April 20, 9 a.m. to noon, Bird Bonanza (Part 1)
  • May 18, 9 a.m. to noon, Radical Reptiles
  • July 27, 7 to 9 p.m., Going Batty
  • August 24, 9 a.m. to noon, Butterfly Flutterby
  • September 28, 9 a.m. to noon, Bird Bonanza (Part 2)
  • October 19, 9 a.m. to noon, Dive into the Playa

Be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates. If you'd be interested in sharing your expertise with the public for one of these events, please let us know. Otherwise, we hope to see you there!

Publicado el 05 de marzo de 2024 por asombro_institute asombro_institute | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

29 de noviembre de 2023

One Year In

It's time for our annual update!

Last December the project was only a few months old and our total number of observations was 209, with 123 species documented. Today, we sit at 1260 observations of 348 species! That includes 147 species of plant, 111 insect species, 36 birds, 15 reptiles, 14 mammals, 13 arachnids, and 10 species of fungi.

We've welcomed a new Park Manager to the Asombro Institute team, William Lukefahr (@symbioptic). William is a herpetologist by training, and has always been a naturalist at heart. His extensive knowledge of the Chihuahuan Desert stems from research experience in ecology, herpetology, and paleontology. He has a Bachelor’s in Science, majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and a Master’s in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology from the University of Texas at El Paso. He has already significantly increased our documentation of plant species on iNaturalist and will be working on many exciting Park improvement projects.

William has recently installed one of our new trail cameras, generously donated by @pfwells03, so keep an eye on the project page for the observations that will surely follow.

Asombro hosted a very well-attended event for the solar eclipse in October, welcoming many newcomers to the Park, and we will be planning 6 public events for 2024, each celebrating a particular desert animal. Follow us on Facebook for updates on those.

Finally, we would like to invite everyone to our annual Luminarias: Light Up the Desert event coming up on Friday December 8th, from 5:00 - 7:30 p.m. Join us for hot cocoa, cookies, roasted marshmallows, views of Saturn & Jupiter through a telescope, and stroll our paved ADA-accessible trail which will be lined with over 400 luminarias. The event is free and we hope to see you there.

From everyone at Asombro, we wish you all a lovely holiday season!

Publicado el 29 de noviembre de 2023 por asombro_institute asombro_institute | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

02 de agosto de 2023

The Asombro Institute

Hello everyone,

This post will be our single mention of fundraising for 2023. As you may know, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park is owned and managed by a local non-profit in Las Cruces, The Asombro Institute for Science Education. For the past 30 years, Asombro has invested in the nature park, transforming its 935 acres of desert into a well-maintained public space with trails, interpretive signs, shaded picnic tables, an outdoor amphitheater, restrooms, and community events. They ensure that the park is open and free to enter, 6 days a week, all year long.

Asombro uses this space as part of their mission to bring the wonder of science and the desert to local K-12 students. In addition to developing and delivering classroom lessons in public schools across Las Cruces, they also bring the students outside, to the nature park, to teach them about the desert they live in. In total, they serve more than 22,000 K-12 students and 1,500 adults in New Mexico with hands-on, inquiry-based science education programs each year.

If you've ever enjoyed the quiet solitude of a walk in our protected piece of the Chihuahuan Desert, find value in Asombro's work, or appreciate their efforts with this iNaturalist project, please consider donating to their Back To School fundraiser, running from now until August 26th. Even $5 goes a long way towards supporting the maintenance of the park and Asombro's mission of providing high quality science education to local students, both in the park and in the classroom. If you'd like to help, visit https://asombro.org/how-to-help/#donate to make a one-time or recurring donation online or by mail. Thank you all!

Publicado el 02 de agosto de 2023 por asombro_institute asombro_institute | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

09 de junio de 2023

Summer Approaches

Hello CDNP friends, and congratulations on a productive two months! Since our April 1st update, 279 observations of 58 new species have been added to the project, bringing the Park’s grand total to 873 observations of 255 species.

Since we're halfway through the year, I thought I'd share some more numbers, celebrating all of you. For January through May,

the top identifiers were:
@permiandon (59 identifications)
@egordon88 (53)
@bobnieman (47)
@wolfgangb (33)
@martina_andreas_ohr (23)
@matt_becker (22)
@joshuacde (13)
@andrewtree (13)
Thank you for sharing your expertise!

the top observers were:
@bugsicles (136 observations)
@asombro_institute (74)
@permiandon (61)
@marissahlindstrom (43)
@christopherrustay (31)
@miguel1958 (15)
@mjandersen (15)
@matt_becker (14)
Thank you for visiting the Park and sharing what you saw, we love to see your photos come in!

Stay Connected
Speaking of which, did you know that you can get email notifications when new observations are posted within the Park? It’s a great way to stay connected to and inspired by what’s happening out there. Simply visit this url, then scroll down a bit and click “Subscribe to observations for this place”. You can even limit these alerts to the taxon(s) you’re most interested in. I also invite you to like the Park on Facebook, where we’ll be talking about our finds, and yours, over the coming months.

In other news, as mentioned in our last journal entry, Asombro has established a survey route in the Park as part of the New Mexico Butterfly Monitoring Network. To date we have completed 5 butterfly surveys, during which we have observed 44 individuals of 8 different species. Including other visits and @permiandon’s observations along the route, we’ve seen a total of 14 species of butterfly in the Park since March! To learn about the route and browse all of the species we’ve observed, with accompanying photos, check out our Butterfly Survey Journal, which we will continue to update after each Park visit. Thanks to BAMONA and the iNaturalist community for assisting us with identifications. Here are just a few highlights (Desert Marble pair, Sleepy Orange, and Black Swallowtail):

Park Updates
Finally, with the help of the wonderful folks at the Jornada Experimental Range, we've installed new fencing, a new gate, and a cattle guard, so that after many years of hosting "guest" cows, the Park will finally be cow, cow pie, and cow trail free! In addition, once our new signs arrive, the Park will be be transitioning to summer hours (7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tues - Sun) so keep an eye out for that. To support the maintenance of the Park and Asombro's work exposing K-12 students to the wonder of the desert, consider donating to our non-profit.

As always, don't hesitate to reach out to us here, on our website, or through social media with any questions, concerns, comments, or cool finds.

Publicado el 09 de junio de 2023 por asombro_institute asombro_institute | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de abril de 2023

Spring Has Arrived!

Greetings all, and Happy Spring! I hope everyone is enjoying the warmth, color, and buzz of the season as much as the Asombro staff has been.

Much has happened since our December 2022 update:

  • Our number of observations within the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park has doubled, and 46 new species have been recorded. As always, we hope you'll encourage others to join the project by going to the project page on a web browser and clicking "Join".
  • Asombro has begun uploading the archive of photos from its trail cameras, which were present in the Park from 2013 – 2022. There are so many great moments, stories, and even dramas that were captured, and we’ve shared them as stills and as animated gifs (note: it appears that the animated gifs are viewable using a browser - either mobile or desktop - but not using the mobile iNaturalist app) - go check them out, and expect many more to come!
  • Asombro has joined the New Mexico Butterfly Monitoring Network, and a 1-mile monitoring route has been established in the Park. We will be walking that route periodically throughout the warm season, counting and recording all the butterfly species we see. The Network is always looking for new volunteers to monitor new routes, especially in the southern part of the state. Learn more about the program here.
  • There are two more Scientist Saturday events scheduled at the Park for 2023: May 6th, for National Cactus Day which will include a guided hike with a local expert on native plants and ethnobotany; and October 14th, for a viewing of the annular solar eclipse with a local astronomer. Keep an eye on our social media for more info.

And lastly, Spring observations have been rolling in - we love to see them! Happy observing!

Scarlet Hedgehog Cactus in bloom by @marissahlindstrom, and a Pima Desert Orangetip butterfly by @miguel1958:

California Poppy by @pfwells03, and a bee on a White Fishhook Cactus flower by @permiandon:

Publicado el 01 de abril de 2023 por asombro_institute asombro_institute | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

16 de diciembre de 2022

Reflections on 2022

Hello Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park (CDNP) community! For our first journal post, we wanted to reflect on the last few months that have passed since the start of this project.

Global iNaturalist Community
The iNaturalist global Year In Review reported over 32.5 million observations of over 260,000 species by the iNaturalist community in 2022, a wonderful achievement to which all of you contributed. Over 700 journal articles were published using research-grade iNaturalist observations this year.

Our Project
The CDNP currently has 209 observations total, with 83 of those submitted this year. 123 species have been recorded in the park to date. The Biodiversity of the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park project, started in October 2022, currently has 6 members, including 3 added just this month (welcome @sofibofi679, @permiandon, and @jamesdvonloh!). We are so thankful for your participation and look forward to growing our dataset with you next year. Here are just a handful of some of the lovely observations made in the park this year (a Common Cactus Dodger cicada by @permiandon, three Pima Desert Orangetips by @jamesdvonloh, a Scarlet Hedgehog Cactus flower by @matt_becker, a juvenile Roundtail Horned Lizard by @bugsicles, and a Fire-Tailed Scoliid Wasp by @kelly470):

The Asombro Institute for Science Education, the non-profit organization which owns and administrates the CDNP, hosted two public events at the park this year. Desert Discovery Day on December 3rd featured the grand opening of the new Gateway to the Desert trail which includes new benches, interpretive signs, and an entrance kiosk. There are now over 6 miles of connected trails in the park. Our Light Up the Desert luminaria night on December 9th was very popular, with staff providing hot drinks, a holiday gift shop, fire pit, and telescope viewing for visitors. Keep an eye on our facebook page for future events!

See you in 2023!
Asombro staff and project member @bugsicles recently shared a collection of some of her CDNP photos to celebrate the start of the holiday season. We wish you all happy holidays, and look forward to growing the project with you next year!

Publicado el 16 de diciembre de 2022 por asombro_institute asombro_institute | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
Vida Silvestre es una entidad asociada a la Organización Mundial de Conservación