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  • Writer's pictureMark L. Johnson

TA Tidbits #45-Mr. Big Stuff, Pygmy Owl, Monsoon & More

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

Mr. Big Stuff

Tortolita Preserve (TP)

This huge Sonoran Desert Tortoise paid a visit to a property adjacent to TP near Moore Road and then returned to its TP home.

Photo by Amanda.


Pigmy Owl Now Threatened Species

In March 2023, TA published Pigmy Owl-Update which provided the background and history of the pygmy owl and associated protection efforts and the relationship of pygmy owl habitat to the Tortolita Preserve (TP).

As reported by the Center For Biological Diversity, on July 19, 2023, the US Fish & Wildlife Service returned protection to the pygmy owl as a Threatened Species. Finally, this tiny owl is protected once again.

Pima County and the University of Arizona researchers have an ongoing pygmy owl survey program within Pima County conservation land. The 2021 Pygmy Owl Report indicates sightings of over 30 individuals on County Conservation Land in the Avra and Altar Valleys. TA will be requesting Pima County to extend their survey into TP and surrounding lands.

Coalition For Sonoran Desert Protection (CSDP) Honors TP Bioblitz Volunteers

TA is proud to be a member organization of the Coalition For Sonoran Desert Protection (CSDP). CSDP honored all its volunteers an community partners in its 2022 Annual Gratitude Report (click on link below). This included all the 2022 TP Fall Bioblitz volunteers. Once again thanks to all.

Download PDF • 3.31MB

How Does The 2023 Monsoon Shape Up?

The monsoon season starts on 6/15 and ends on 9/30 (107 days). As of today, we are 66 days (62%) into the season.

Is it a normal rainfall monsoon season? Depends upon where you live. The official monsoon precipitation is recorded by the National Weather Service (NWS) at the Tucson Airport and the Monsoon Rainfall Chart for Tucson shows the total precipitation to-date is 3.66" and normal is 3.16" or 0.5" below normal.

However, if you look at the precipitation data from the Pima County Regional Flood Control District Alert Map for data site 1290 (Tangerine Sky Park-Dove Mountain) it shows only 0.4 inches of rain during this monsoon season.

I have 1.14 inches recorded at my house in Dove Mountain.

So it really depends where you are located but looks like we really need to wait another 40 days to make an official determination on the quality of this year's monsoon.

Tortolita Preserve Improvement Projects-Construction Imminent

The new Moore Road Trailhead and Western Fence are due to start construction by Henry & Company the week of 8/28/23.


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