Drylands Institute - Research - Stavros Niarchos Foundation

Drylands Institute


For research on the Sand Tank Mountains area, one of the best-preserved mountain ranges in the world. The Sonoran Desert National Park project presented an opportunity to create one of the nation´s largest areas of protected territory under uniform management. Millions of acres of pristine land of nearly unrivaled scenic, natural and biologic resources were protected through the project.

The Sand Tank Mountains are a relatively under-studied area of the region and are in particular need of better documentation. The research included an inventory of the flora in the area; an inventory of all vertebrate and invertebrate species; an ecosystem analysis of the biological and economic values of the proposed park; a summary of the region´s archeology, history, geology, hydrology and climate; and a management history of the region and the problems that multiple land managers have presented for this ecosystem.