'Sonoran Desert: Fragile Land of Extremes' shows how biologists with the U.S. Geological Survey work with other scientists in an effort to better understand native plants and animals such as desert tortoises, saguaro cacti, and Gila monsters. Much of the program was shot in and around Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona. Genetic detective work, using DNA, focuses on understanding the lives of tortoises. Studies of saguaros over many decades clarify how these amazing plants reproduce and thrive in the desert. Threats from fire, diseases in tortoises, and a growing human population motivate the scientists. Their work to identify how these organisms live and survive is a crucial step for the sound management of biological resources on public lands. This 28-minute program, USGS Open-File Report 03-305, was shot entirely in high definition video and produced by the USGS Western Ecological Research Center and Southwest Biological Science Center; produced and directed by Stephen Wessells, Western Region Office of Communications.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Sonoran Desert: Fragile Land of Extremes
Geological Survey (U.S.)
Southwest Biological Science Center, Western Ecological Research Center
28 Minutes; Available on videocassette (VHS), DVD-ROM, or online (.WMV)