Sonoran Pronghorn and Yuma Clapper Rail both to be featured
Yuma, AZ (January 31, 2019) – Through a local donor and a project sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity, AWC will become a mural host site for a 76-foot by 22-foot mural featuring two endangered Sonoran Desert species, the Sonoran pronghorn and the Yuma clapper rail. This is the 20th installment in the Center’s national Endangered Species Mural Project.
Funded locally by art supporters Maria and Michael McKivergan, the mural also received approval throughout the process from AWC Fine Arts faculty. There will be a public ceremony to celebrate the mural on Monday, February 11, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
The fastest land animal on the continent, the Sonoran pronghorn once roamed freely in vast herds. Due to severe drought, habitat degradation and other disturbances, the U.S. population dwindled to a mere 25 individuals in 2002. Thanks to protection under the Endangered Species Act and collaboration between the Center, other conservation groups and federal agencies, there are more than 160 Sonoran pronghorn and the population appears to be increasing.
The Yuma clapper rail, a small cattail-dwelling marsh bird, is a bellwether for the health of desert waterways. Protected in 1967 by the Endangered Species Act, this shy water bird nests in freshwater marshes along the Colorado and Gila rivers in Arizona and the Salton Sea in California. Threats to the Yuma clapper rail include drought and water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, and habitat loss from development.
Mural Project Background
The Endangered Species Mural Project has installed 19 murals in public spaces around the country. The project collaborates with artists, scientists, and organizers to celebrate local endangered species and encourage the public to make connections between conservation and community strength. Other murals already in place include borderland species such as the Mexican wolf and ocelot in El Paso, Texas; a blue whale in Los Angeles; a monarch butterfly in Minneapolis; a jaguar in Tucson, Ariz.; and grizzly bears in Oakland, Calif.