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  • Writer's pictureMark L. Johnson

Animals And Plants Of The Tortolita Preserve

The Tortolita Alliance (TA) Strategic Plan (2020) included a strategic goal to collaborate with other groups/agencies/public to conduct a Tortolita Preserve (TP) natural resource survey and develop an inventory of TP's natural resources.

TA is fortunate to have Dave DeGroot and Ethan Fraijo (Dave's grandson) as TA members. They are ardent naturalists and started surveying and cataloguing TP animals and plants as a personal project during the pandemic.

In mid-April 2021, Dave Barker (TA Board member) and I met with Dave and Ethan on my back porch and we began the planning for a TP natural resource survey that would build on the work they already started and bring in other naturalists, scientists, agencies and citizen scientists. We contacted the Marana Parks & Recreation (MPR) regarding the proposed survey and they agreed to take the lead. The survey Partners expanded to include the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, Pima County Master Naturalists, Arizona Game & Fish and Tucson Audubon.

The Partners met several times during 2022 and organized the first TP BioBlitz held on 11/19/22. A BioBlitz (aka natural resource survey) is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. The TP BioBlitz was well attended by 46 professional and citizen scientists. It was a huge success with 683 observations and 136 species of animals and plants identified. Many thanks to Jay Grodman (MPR) for organizing this event.

In the Spring of 2023, the Pima County Master Naturalists conducted another BioBlitz and added more animals and plants to the list.

Dave DeGroot and Ethan Fraijo have assimilated all the observations from their initial surveys, the two BioBlitz's and more into a list entitled, Animals And Plants Of The Tortolita Preserve. The list includes an amazing 310 animals and plants broken down into 7 major categories: (1) Mammals, (2) Birds, (3) Reptiles, (4) Insects, (5) Arachnids, (6) Plants and (7) Fungi-Lichen. Each animal or plant is identified by the Common Name, Binomial Name, Class/Clades, Order, Family, Genus, Species and Observed By. Dave and Ethan have agreed to share that list and is available at the link below.

Animals & Plants Of The Tortolita Preserve-w-Cover-TA Logo-8-20-23
Download PDF • 868KB

Animals And Plants Of The Tortolita Preserve is a dyanamic document and will be updated periodically. So if you observe any animals and plants in the TP that are not on the list, please send it to our attention and we will get it added.

TA's strategic goal has been achieved with the surveys, TP BioBlitz's and now with Animals And Plants Of The Tortolita Preserve. This could not have been accomplished without all the help from the Partners, citizen scientists and especially Dave DeGroot and Ethan Fraijo. Many thanks to all.


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