Biophilia Foundation releases new report on collaboration in the Sky Islands

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Gooden.


October 10, 2022

Sky Islands

Building on past efforts for new collaborations

The Nature For over 10 years, the Biophilia Foundation has funded conservation and restoration in the Sky Islands, a biodiversity hotspot in northeastern Sonora and southeastern Arizona. With over 60 isolated mountain ranges at the confluence of the Sierra Madre Occidental, the Rocky Mountains, the Sonoran Desert, and the Chihuahuan Desert, the biogeography of the region harbors some of the greatest plant and animal diversity in temperate North America.

Regional conservation efforts require collaboration across organizations, particularly in regions that cross international borders, such as the Sky Islands. Increasingly, funders are encouraging the development of new collaborations to enable landscape-scale conservation. However, in the Sky Islands, many collaborative processes have already taken place. Rather than begin anew, the Biophilia Foundation commissioned a report to identify and catalogue what has already been accomplished.

The report includes information about the organizations and agencies that are active in the Sky Islands, an inventory of recent and current multi-organization collaborative efforts, and a list of spatial planning processes that prioritize locations for their ecological value and/or threats they face.

This report is available on the Biophilia Foundation website at The Biophilia Foundation will use this information in our own planning and grantmaking, and we anticipate it will also be useful to other organizations for strategic planning and collaboration initiatives. For example, The Nature Conservancy in Arizona has used the report to inform preparations for strategic planning. “This report highlights the substantial efforts and good information we have from both sides of the border,” said Gita Bodner, a conservation ecologist at TNC. “This report helps us keep focus on a vision of the whole ecoregion.”

This builds on past projects funded by the Biophilia Foundation, including capacity building, start-up assistance, and grants to the Borderlands Restoration Network, Borderlands Restoration L3C, Wildlife Corridors LLC, Cuenca Los Ojos, and USGS and a new pilot granting program, Sustainability on Ejidos in Northern Mexico.