An ethnic group or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, history, culture or nation. Ethnicity is an inherited status based on the society in which one lives. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, origin myth, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion and ritual, dressing style, art or physical appearance. Ethnic groups, derived from the same historical founder population continue to speak related languages and share a similar gene pool. By way of language shift, acculturation and religious conversion, it is sometimes possible for individuals or groups to leave one ethnic group and become part of another. Ethnicity is used synonymously with terms such as nation or people. In English, it can have the connotation of something exotic related to cultures of more recent immigrants, who arrived after the dominant population of an area was established; the largest ethnic groups in modern times comprise hundreds of millions of individuals, while the smallest are limited to a few dozen individuals.
Larger ethnic groups may be subdivided into smaller sub-groups known variously as tribes or clans, which over time may become separate ethnic groups themselves due to endogamy or physical isolation from the parent group. Conversely separate ethnicities can merge to form a pan-ethnicity and may merge into one single ethnicity. Whether through division or amalgamation, the formation of a separate ethnic identity is referred to as ethnogenesis; the term ethnic is derived from the Greek word ἔθνος ethnos. The inherited English language term for this concept is folk, used alongside the latinate people since the late Middle English period. In Early Modern English and until the mid-19th century, ethnic was used to mean heathen or pagan, as the Septuagint used ta ethne to translate the Hebrew goyim "the nations, non-Hebrews, non-Jews"; the Greek term in early antiquity could refer to any large group, a host of men, a band of comrades as well as a swarm or flock of animals. In Classical Greek, the term took on a meaning comparable to the concept now expressed by "ethnic group" translated as "nation, people".
In the 19th century, the term came to be used in the sense of "peculiar to a race, people or nation", in a return to the original Greek meaning. The sense of "different cultural groups", in American English "racial, cultural or national minority group" arises in the 1930s to 1940s, serving as a replacement of the term race which had earlier taken this sense but was now becoming deprecated due to its association with ideological racism; the abstract ethnicity had been used for "paganism" in the 18th century, but now came to express the meaning of an "ethnic character". The term ethnic group was first recorded in 1935 and entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 1972. Depending on the context, used, the term nationality may either be used synonymously with ethnicity, or synonymously with citizenship; the process that results in the emergence of an ethnicity is called ethnogenesis, a term in use in ethnological literature since about 1950. Depending on which source of group identity is emphasized to define membership, the following types of groups can be identified: Ethno-linguistic, emphasizing shared language, dialect – example: French Canadians Ethno-national, emphasizing a shared polity or sense of national identity – example: Armenians Ethno-racial, emphasizing shared physical appearance based on genetic origins – example: African Americans Ethno-regional, emphasizing a distinct local sense of belonging stemming from relative geographic isolation – example: South Islanders Ethno-religious, emphasizing shared affiliation with a particular religion, denomination or sect – example: JewsIn many cases – for instance, the sense of Jewish peoplehood – more than one aspect determines membership.
Ethnography begins in classical antiquity. The Greeks at this time did not describe foreign nations but had developed a concept of their own "ethnicity", which they grouped under the name of Hellenes. Herodotus gave a famous account of what defined Greek ethnic identity in his day, enumerating shared descent, shared language shared sanctuaries and sacrifices shared customs. Whether ethnicity qualifies as a cultural universal is to some extent dependent on the exact definition used. According to "Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science and reality", in Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science and Reality: Proceedings of the Joint Canada-United States Conference on the Measurement of Ethni
Ak-Chin Indian Community
The Ak Chin Indian Community of the Maricopa Indian Reservation is a federally recognized tribe and Native American community located in the Santa Cruz Valley in Pinal County, Arizona, 37 miles south of Phoenix and near the City of Maricopa. The Community is composed of Akimel Oʼodham and Tohono Oʼodham, as well as some ethnic Hia-Ced Oʼodham members; the Maricopa Reservation was established by the federal government in 1912, under President William Howard Taft. Gaining federal recognition in 1961, the tribe has established a large agricultural operation, aided by gaining water rights to the Colorado River in a 1984 federal settlement; this settlement enabled it to continue using irrigation to support other needs. The Community opened a gaming casino in 1994, Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino, with related hotel facilities. In 2011 the casino and resort was the major contributor to the economy of Pinal County. In July 2011, the casino underwent a $20 million expansion, with addition of a new 152-room hotel tower that doubled its capacity.
The resort now has 300 rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, completed in 2012. The resort features five restaurants, an entertainment venue and conference space, the only bingo hall in the Caesars organization, it has generated revenues. In 2006, the Ak-Chin Indian Community purchased the Phoenix Regional Airport, renamed Ak-Chin Regional Airport. Located near the Santa Cruz Commerce Center, the 170-acre Ak-Chin Regional Airport consists of an airport building with a 5,000 ft. runway. On July 1, 2010, the Ak-Chin Indian Community purchased the Royal Dunes golf course and renamed it as the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club; the course was designed and built in 2002 by Fred Couples and Schmidt Curley. Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club has been named among the "Best Top Casino Courses, Resort Courses and Courses You Can Play" by Golfweek. In April 2012, the Community opened the new Vekol Market, which includes a deli, a wide selection of groceries, culturally indigenous foods, a café, a patio with outside seating, space for a seasonal farmer's market.
On November 14, 2012, the Community opened UltraStar Multi-Tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle. The center features a state-of-the-art movie theater, arcade games, laser tag and multiple dining options; the Maricopa Reservation was established by the federal government in 1912, under President William Howard Taft, at 47,600 acres in size. Within months the administration gave in to opposition from European-American farmers and other non-Natives and reduced the reservation to 22,000 acres; the reservation is located in Pinal County within the Sonoran Desert, about 40 miles south of Phoenix and next to Maricopa. Averaging an elevation of 1,186 feet, the reservation is located 37 miles south of Phoenix. Much of the land is good for farming, 15,000 acres are under irrigation; the Ak-Chin Indian Community is headquartered in Arizona. In the mid-20th century it reorganized, creating a written constitution, by-laws, elected government, gaining federal recognition in 1961. Prior to 2017, Tribal Council Members served three-year terms, were elected annually on a staggered basis.
The Council elected a vice-chairman. Beginning with 2017, the Chairman and Vice Chairman were elected at-large to serve four-year terms; the three Council Members will serve two-year terms. The November 2016 election was historic because it was the first time that Community members were able to vote directly for Chairman and Vice Chairman. A change to the constitution was adopted in July 2016 allowing for candidates to run for a specific office and for Community members to vote for the Chairman and Vice Chairman in addition to Council Members; as of 2017, the tribal council members and presiding officers are the following: Council Member: Robert Miguel, Chairman Council Member: Gabriel Lopez, Vice Chairman Council Member: Delia M. Carlyle Council Member: Lisa Garcia Council Member: Octavio Machado As of the 2000 census, the population living in the community was 742, with a median age of 24.2, compared to a median age of 37.1 for all of Pinal County. According to the census, 89.4% of the population identified as American Indian, alone or in combination with other races.
Most of the population lives in the western part of the reservation. Part of the city of Maricopa lies within reservation territory; as of January 2019, the current population of the Ak-Chin Indian Community is over 1100 members. The Ak-Chin Indian Community has its own written form of the Oʼodham language, it is in the Piman group of the Uto-Aztecan language family. The name Ak-Chin is an Oʼodham word that means the "mouth of the arroyo." Ak-Chin Farms Enterprises is the Community's agricultural business. It controls 15,000 acres, it has long used irrigation to support this enterprise. In 1984 the tribe gained a federal settlement for water rights, being entitled to 75,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water; the farms raise cotton, barley and milo. The tribe owns and operates Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino, which opened in 1994, related resort facilities: Agave's Southwestern Restaurant, Copper Cactus Grill, Harvest Buffet, the Range restaurant, hotel, all located in Maricopa; the tribe owns the naming rights for the Ak-Chin Pavilion, a venue in Phoenix designed for various entertainment acts.
The casino and resort draw customers from Maricopa and nearby county population, as well a
Sonora Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora, is one of 31 states that, with Mexico City, comprise the 32 federal entities of United Mexican States. It is divided into 72 municipalities. Sonora is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south. To the north, it shares the U. S.–Mexico border with the states of Arizona and New Mexico, on the west has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of California. Sonora's natural geography is divided into three parts: the Sierra Madre Occidental in the east of the state, it is arid or semiarid deserts and grasslands, with only the highest elevations having sufficient rainfall to support other types of vegetation. Sonora is home to eight indigenous peoples, including the Mayo, the O’odham, the Yaqui, Seri, it has been economically important for its agriculture and mining since the colonial period, for its status as a border state since the Mexican–American War. With the Gadsden Purchase, Sonora lost more than a quarter of its territory.
From the 20th century to the present, industry and agribusiness have dominated the economy, attracting migration from other parts of Mexico. Several theories exist as to the origin of the name "Sonora". One theory states that the name was derived from Nuestra Señora, the name given to the territory when Diego de Guzmán crossed the Yaqui River on the day of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, which falls on 7 October with the pronunciation changing because none of the indigenous languages of the area have the ñ sound. Another theory states that Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and his companions, who had wrecked off the Florida coast and made their way across the continent, were forced to cross the arid state from north to south, carrying an image of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias on a cloth, they encountered the Opata, who could not pronounce Señora, instead saying Sonora. A third theory, written by Father Cristóbal de Cañas in 1730, states that the name comes from the word for a natural water well, which the Spaniards modified to "Sonora".
The first record of the name Sonora comes from explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, who passed through the state in 1540 and called part of the area the Valle de la Sonora. Francisco de Ibarra traveled through the area in 1567 and referred to the Valles de Señora; the literal meaning of "sonora" in Spanish is "sonorous" or "loud." Evidence of human existence in the state dates back over 10,000 years, with some of the best-known remains at the San Dieguito Complex in the El Pinacate Desert. The first humans were nomadic hunter gatherers who used tools made from stones and wood. During much of the prehistoric period, the environmental conditions were less severe than they are today, with similar but more dense vegetation spread over a wider area; the oldest Clovis culture site in North America is believed to be El Fin del Mundo in northwestern Sonora. It was discovered during a 2007 survey, it features occupation dating around 13,390 calibrated years BP. In 2011, remains of Gomphothere were found.
Agriculture first appeared around 400 200 CE in the river valleys. Remains of ceramics have been found dating from 750 CE with diversification from 800 and 1300 CE Between 1100 and 1350, the region had complex small villages with well-developed trade networks; the lowland central coast, seems never to have adopted agriculture. Because Sonora and much of the northwest does not share many of the cultural traits of that area, it is not considered part of Mesoamerica. Though evidence exists of trade between the peoples of Sonora and Mesoamerica, Guasave in Sinaloa is the most north-westerly point considered Mesoamerican. Three archaeological cultures developed in the low, flat areas of the state near the coast: the Trincheras tradition, the Huatabampo tradition, the Central Coast tradition; the Trincheras tradition is dated to between 750 and 1450 CE and known from sites in the Altar and Concepción valleys, but its range extended from the Gulf of California into northern Sonora. The tradition is named after trenches found in a number of sites, the best known of, the Cerro de Trincheras.
The Huatabampo tradition is centered south of the Trincheras along the coast, with sites along extinct lagoons and river valleys. This tradition has a distinctive ceramic complex. Huatabampo culture shows similarities with the Chametla to the Hohokam to the north; this ended around 1000 CE. Unlike the other two traditions, the Central Coast remained a hunter-gatherer culture, as the area lacks the resources for agriculture; the higher elevations of the state were dominated by the Casas Grandes and Río Sonora tradition. The Río Sonora culture is located in central Sonora from the border area to modern Sinaloa. A beginning date for this culture has not been determined but it disappeared by the early 14th century; the Casas Grandes tradition in Sonora was an extension of the Río Sonora tradition based in the modern state of Chihuahua, which exterted its influence down to parts of the Sonoran coast. Climatic changes in the middle of the 15th century resulted in the increased desertification of northwest Mexico in general.
This is the probable cause for the drastic decrease in the number and size of settlements starting around this time. The peoples that remained in the area reverted to a less complex social organiz
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is part of the Western and the Mountain states, it is the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah and New Mexico. Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912, coinciding with Valentine's Day. Part of the territory of Alta California in New Spain, it became part of independent Mexico in 1821. After being defeated in the Mexican–American War, Mexico ceded much of this territory to the United States in 1848; the southernmost portion of the state was acquired in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase. Southern Arizona is known for its desert climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Northern Arizona features forests of pine, Douglas fir, spruce trees. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff and Tucson. In addition to the Grand Canyon National Park, there are several national forests, national parks, national monuments.
About one-quarter of the state is made up of Indian reservations that serve as the home of 27 federally recognized Native American tribes, including the Navajo Nation, the largest in the state and the United States, with more than 300,000 citizens. Although federal law gave all Native Americans the right to vote in 1924, Arizona excluded those living on reservations in the state from voting until the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of Native American plaintiffs in Trujillo v. Garley; the state's name appears to originate from an earlier Spanish name, derived from the O'odham name alĭ ṣonak, meaning "small spring", which applied only to an area near the silver mining camp of Planchas de Plata, Sonora. To the European settlers, their pronunciation sounded like "Arissona"; the area is still known as alĭ ṣonak in the O'odham language. Another possible origin is the Basque phrase haritz ona, as there were numerous Basque sheepherders in the area. A native Mexican of Basque heritage established the ranchería of Arizona between 1734 and 1736 in the current Mexican state of Sonora, which became notable after a significant discovery of silver there, c.
1737. There is a misconception. For thousands of years before the modern era, Arizona was home to numerous Native American tribes. Hohokam and Ancestral Puebloan cultures were among the many that flourished throughout the state. Many of their pueblos, cliffside dwellings, rock paintings and other prehistoric treasures have survived, attracting thousands of tourists each year; the first European contact by native peoples was with Marcos de Niza, a Spanish Franciscan, in 1539. He explored parts of the present state and made contact with native inhabitants the Sobaipuri; the expedition of Spanish explorer Coronado entered the area in 1540–1542 during its search for Cíbola. Few Spanish settlers migrated to Arizona. One of the first settlers in Arizona was José Romo de Vivar. Father Kino was the next European in the region. A member of the Society of Jesus, he led the development of a chain of missions in the region, he converted many of the Indians to Christianity in the Pimería Alta in the 1690s and early 18th century.
Spain founded presidios at Tubac in 1752 and Tucson in 1775. When Mexico achieved its independence from the Kingdom of Spain and its Spanish Empire in 1821, what is now Arizona became part of its Territory of Nueva California known as Alta California. Descendants of ethnic Spanish and mestizo settlers from the colonial years still lived in the area at the time of the arrival of European-American migrants from the United States. During the Mexican–American War, the U. S. Army occupied the national capital of Mexico City and pursued its claim to much of northern Mexico, including what became Arizona Territory in 1863 and the State of Arizona in 1912; the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo specified that, in addition to language and cultural rights of the existing inhabitants of former Mexican citizens being considered as inviolable, the sum of US$15 million dollars in compensation be paid to the Republic of Mexico. In 1853, the U. S. acquired the land south below the Gila River from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase along the southern border area as encompassing the best future southern route for a transcontinental railway.
What is now known as the state of Arizona was administered by the United States government as part of the Territory of New Mexico until the southern part of that region seceded from the Union to form the Territory of Arizona. This newly established territory was formally organized by the Confederate States government on Saturday, January 18, 1862, when President Jefferson Davis approved and signed An Act to Organize the Territory of Arizona, marking the first official use of the name "Territory of Arizona"; the Southern territory supplied the Confederate government with men and equipment. Formed in 1862, Arizona scout companies served with the Confederate States Army duri
San Xavier Indian Reservation
The San Xavier Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation of the Tohono O’odham Nation located near Tucson, Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert. The San Xavier Reservation lies in the southwestern part of the Tucson metropolitan area and consists of 111.543 sq mi of land area, about 2.5 percent of the Tohono O’odham Nation. It had a 2000 census resident population of 2,053 persons, or 19 percent of the Tohono O’odham population; the reservation is home to a Spanish mission, Mission San Xavier del Bac, built in between 1783 and 1797. It is a National Historic Landmark, has been in continuous use for over 200 years, it was built by Tohono O’odham laborers. The tribe operates three casinos, two of which are on the San Xavier section of the reservation; the casino facilities, known as the Desert Diamond and Golden Ha:ṣañ, feature slot machines, table games, video blackjack and other forms of gambling. There is a buffet; the facility features a theater for live entertainment. Tohono O'odham Nation 7350 S. Nogales Highway, Tucson 1 mile south of Valencia Rd on Nogales Highway 1-520-294-7777 1100 W. Pima Mine Rd, Sahuarita South of Tucson at I-19 and Exit 80 1-866-332-9467 Highway 86, Why 1½ miles east of Why, AZ on Highway 86 1-520-362-2746This casino is located at the extreme western end of the main reservation.
Northern Ave and Loop 101 Glendale, AZ. Future site of the West Valley Resort at Northern Avenue Census Tract 9409, Pima County, Arizona.
Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the characteristics of different peoples and the relationships between them. Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct contact with the culture, ethnology takes the research that ethnographers have compiled and compares and contrasts different cultures; the term ethnologia is credited to Adam Franz Kollár who used and defined it in his Historiae ivrisqve pvblici Regni Vngariae amoenitates published in Vienna in 1783. as: “the science of nations and peoples, or, that study of learned men in which they inquire into the origins, languages and institutions of various nations, into the fatherland and ancient seats, in order to be able better to judge the nations and peoples in their own times.” Kollár's interest in linguistic and cultural diversity was aroused by the situation in his native multi-ethnic and multilingual Kingdom of Hungary and his roots among its Slovaks, by the shifts that began to emerge after the gradual retreat of the Ottoman Empire in the more distant Balkans.
Among the goals of ethnology have been the reconstruction of human history, the formulation of cultural invariants, such as the incest taboo and culture change, the formulation of generalizations about "human nature", a concept, criticized since the 19th century by various philosophers. In some parts of the world, ethnology has developed along independent paths of investigation and pedagogical doctrine, with cultural anthropology becoming dominant in the United States, social anthropology in Great Britain; the distinction between the three terms is blurry. Ethnology has been considered an academic field since the late 18th century in Europe and is sometimes conceived of as any comparative study of human groups; the 15th-century exploration of America by European explorers had an important role in formulating new notions of the Occident, such as the notion of the "Other". This term was used in conjunction with "savages", either seen as a brutal barbarian, or alternatively, as the "noble savage".
Thus, civilization was opposed in a dualist manner to barbary, a classic opposition constitutive of the more shared ethnocentrism. The progress of ethnology, for example with Claude Lévi-Strauss's structural anthropology, led to the criticism of conceptions of a linear progress, or the pseudo-opposition between "societies with histories" and "societies without histories", judged too dependent on a limited view of history as constituted by accumulative growth. Lévi-Strauss referred to Montaigne's essay on cannibalism as an early example of ethnology. Lévi-Strauss aimed, through a structural method, at discovering universal invariants in human society, chief among which he believed to be the incest taboo. However, the claims of such cultural universalism have been criticized by various 19th- and 20th-century social thinkers, including Marx, Foucault, Derrida and Deleuze; the French school of ethnology was significant for the development of the discipline, since the early 1950s. Important figures in this movement have included Lévi-Strauss, Paul Rivet, Marcel Griaule, Germaine Dieterlen, Jean Rouch.
See: List of scholars of ethnology Forster, Johann Georg Adam. Voyage round the World in His Britannic Majesty’s Sloop, Commanded by Capt. James Cook, during the Years 1772, 3, 4, 5, London. Lévi-Strauss, Claude; the Elementary Structures of Kinship, Structural Anthropology Mauss, Marcel. Published as Essai sur le don. Forme et raison de l'échange dans les sociétés archaïques in 1925, this classic text on gift economy appears in the English edition as The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies. Maybury-Lewis, David. Akwe-Shavante society, The Politics of Ethnicity: Indigenous Peoples in Latin American States. Clastres, Pierre. Society Against the State. Pop and Glauco Sanga. "Problemi generali dell La Ricerca Folklorica, No. 1, La cultura popolare. Questioni teoriche, pp. 89–96. What is European Ethnology? Webpage "History of German Anthropology/Ethnology 1945/49-1990 Languages describes the languages and ethnic groups found worldwide, grouped by host nation-state. Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History - Over 160,000 objects from Pacific, North American, Asian ethnographic collections with images and detailed description, linked to the original catalogue pages, field notebooks, photographs are available online.
National Museum of Ethnology - Osaka, Japan Texts on Wikisource: Rhyn, G. A. F. Van. "Ethnology". The American Cyclopædia. McGee, W. J.. "Ethnology". New International Encyclopedia. "Ethnology". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. 1907. "Ethnology and ethnography". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911. "Ethnology". The New Student's Reference Work. 1914. Butler, Amos W.. "Ethnology". Encyclopedia Americana. "Ethnology". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921
The Sonoran Desert is a North American desert which covers large parts of the Southwestern United States in Arizona and California and of Northwestern Mexico in Sonora, Baja California, Baja California Sur. It is the hottest desert in Mexico, it has an area of 260,000 square kilometers. The western portion of the United States–Mexico border passes through the Sonoran Desert. In phytogeography, the Sonoran Desert is within the Sonoran Floristic Province of the Madrean Region in southwestern North America, part of the Holarctic Kingdom of the northern Western Hemisphere; the desert contains a variety of unique and endemic plants and animals, such as the saguaro and organ pipe cactus. The Sonoran desert wraps around the northern end of the Gulf of California, from Baja California Sur, north through much of Baja California, excluding the central northwest mountains and Pacific west coast, through southeastern California and southwestern and southern Arizona to western and central parts of Sonora.
It is bounded on the west by the Peninsular Ranges, which separate it from the California chaparral and woodlands and Baja California Desert ecoregions of the Pacific slope. To the north in California and northwest Arizona, the Sonoran Desert transitions to the colder-winter, higher-elevation Mojave, Great Basin, Colorado Plateau deserts. To the east and southeast, the deserts transition to the coniferous Arizona Mountains forests and Sierra Madre and Sierra Madre Occidental pine–oak forests at higher elevations. To the south the Sonoran–Sinaloan transition subtropical dry forest is the transition zone from the Sonoran Desert to the tropical dry forests of the Mexican state of Sinaloa; the desert's sub-regions include the Colorado Desert of southeastern California. In the 1957 publication Vegetation of the Sonoran Desert, Forrest Shreve divided the Sonoran Desert into seven regions according to characteristic vegetation: Lower Colorado Valley, Arizona Upland, Plains of Sonora, Foothills of Sonora, Central Gulf Coast, Vizcaíno Region, Magdalena Region.
Many ecologists now consider Shreve's Vizcaíno and Magdalena regions, which lie on the western side of the Baja California Peninsula, to be a separate ecoregion, the Baja California Desert. Within the southern Sonoran Desert in Mexico is found the Gran Desierto de Altar, with the Reserva de la Biosfera el Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar, extending 2,000 square kilometers of desert and mountainous regions; the Pinacate National Park includes the only active erg dune region in North America. The nearest city to the Reserva de la Biosfera el Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar is Puerto Peñasco in the state of Sonora, Mexico. Sub-regionsSonoran Desert sub-regions include: Colorado Desert Gran Desierto de Altar Lechuguilla Desert Tonopah Desert Yuha Desert Yuma Desert The Sonoran Desert includes 60 mammal species, 350 bird species, 20 amphibian species, over 100 reptile species, 30 native fish species, over 1000 native bee species, more than 2,000 native plant species; the Sonoran Desert area southeast of Tucson and near the Mexican border is vital habitat for the only population of jaguars living within the United States.
The Colorado River Delta was once an ecological hotspot within the Sonoran desert, fueled by the flow of fresh water through the Colorado river in this otherwise dry area, but the delta has been reduced in extent due to the damming and use of the river upstream. Many plants not only thrive in the harsh conditions of the Sonoran Desert. Many have evolved to have specialized adaptations to the desert climate; the Sonoran Desert's biseasonal rainfall pattern results in more plant species than any other desert in the world. The Sonoran Desert includes plant genera and species from the agave family, palm family, cactus family, legume family, numerous others; the Sonoran is the only place in the world. Cholla, hedgehog, prickly pear, nightblooming cereus, organ pipe are other taxa of cacti found here. Cactus provides food and homes to many desert mammals and birds, with showy flowers in reds, pinks and whites, blooming most from late March through June, depending on the species and seasonal temperatures.
Creosote bush and bur sage dominate valley floors. Indigo bush and Mormon tea are other shrubs. Wildflowers of the Sonoran Desert include desert sand verbena, desert sunflower, evening primroses. Ascending from the valley up bajadas, various subtrees such as velvet mesquite, palo verde, desert ironwood, desert willow, crucifixion thorn are common, as well as multi-stemmed ocotillo. Shrubs found at higher elevations include whitethorn acacia, fairy duster, jojoba. In the desert subdivisions found on Baja California, cardon cactus, elephant tree, boojum tree occur; the California fan palm is found in the Colorado Desert section of the Sonoran Desert, the only native palm in California, among many other introduced Arecac