Work is currently underway to renovate the pond at the International Wildlife Museum and Safari Club International World Headquarters in Tucson, AZ. The pond was built in 1988, along with the museum, and is listed by the state of Arizona as an official repository for endangered fish and frog species
Representatives from the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) have visited the museum on several occasions to remove fish, reptiles, and amphibians that reside in the pond, so that it can be drained, cleaned, and repaired. Once the pond renovation project is completed, current inhabitants will be returned to their newly renovated home.
This pond nurtures threatened and endangered Arizona fish and wildlife as a safeguard for declining local wild populations. These native fish, amphibians and reptiles were placed here to live and breed in SCI Foundation’s pond as stock for areas where the species are disappearing.
Over the years, AZGFD has stocked the pond with many threatened and endangered species including Gila topminnow, Sonoran suckers and desert pupfish. AZGFD has introduced male and female Sonoran mud turtles and Tarahumara frogs. In June 2002, the pond also temporarily hosted the last remaining 50 Gila chub.
This desert oasis is home to other wildlife as well. Many different types of insects and aquatic invertebrates, such as giant water bugs, back swimmers and dragonflies come to the pond. Sparrows, mourning doves, finches and quail all use this habitat to nest and forage. During dusk and dawn, desert dwellers like jackrabbits, javelina and mule deer come here to drink. Summer rains bring out spadefoot and Sonoran desert toads to mate and lay their eggs, leaving the pond brimming with tadpoles.
The pond at the International Wildlife Museum is just one more way that SCI Foundation is giving back through conservation. To learn more about the pond and how you can help the renovation, please visit our website at http://safariclubfoundation.org/.
Twice a week, SCI Foundation informs readers about conservation initiatives happening worldwide and updates them on SCI Foundation’s news, projects and events. Tuesdays are dedicated to an Issue of the Week and Thursday’s Weekly Updates will provide an inside look into research and our other science-based conservation efforts. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more SCI Foundation news.