• Sunrise at the Cholla Cactus Garden

    Joshua Tree

    National Park California

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Pinto Basin Road Under Construction; Expect travel delays up to 30-minutes

    The ongoing construction project to improve Pinto Basin Road will impact travel between the northern portion of the park and the Cottonwood/I-10 area. Please plan accordingly. The project is expected to be completed in August 2014. More »

  • Deteriorating conditions of Black Rock Canyon Road

    The road leading to Black Rock campground has deep potholes, is deeply rutted, and can be difficult to negotiate, especially in large vehicles. Please drive with caution.

  • Access to some Cottonwood trails remains closed

    Trail access remains closed to Cottonwood Spring Oasis, Lost Palms Oasis, and Mastodon Peak. More »

Park To Host Third Biodiversity Hunt

Release Date: March 14, 2013
Contact: Jennie Kish Albrinck, 760-367-5520

Joshua Tree National Park's third Biodiversity Hunt will take place on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 at both Cottonwood Spring and Lost Palms Oasis. Scientists, students, desert naturalists, community members, and park staff will join forces in a 30-hour race to document every type of living thing in these desert riparian, or wetland, habitats.

From 10 am on Friday until 4 pm on Saturday, BioDiversity Hunt teams will search around the clock at Cottonwood Spring, Lost Palms Oasis, and along the Lost Palms Oasis Trail for insects, birds, reptiles, plants, spiders, mammals, and more. Temporary lighting at Cottonwood Spring and Lost Palms Oasis on Friday night will aid the search for invertebrates. The resulting documentation will increase our understanding of the species richness in these areas and provide a critical component in creating a baseline to understand potential changes in park biodiversity as a result of climate change.

During the hunt, visitors can hike the Lost Palms Oasis trail, interact with park rangers and scientific teams at Cottonwood Spring, learn more about the park's remarkable riparian biodiversity through interpretive displays and exhibits, and observe BioDiversity Hunt teams racing to find and identify desert flora and fauna.

The Cottonwood Spring and Lost Palms Oasis BioDiversity Hunt is the third of four species surveys planned at Joshua Tree National Park. Participants at the 2011 Oasis of Mara BioDiversity Hunt and the 49 Palms Oasis BioDiversity Hunt in 2012 found over 600 species at each location, over 80% of which were insects. The fourth Biodiversity Hunt is scheduled for April 26 and April 27, 2013 at Smithwater Canyon.

For more information and to find out how you can participate, contact Biological Science Technician Amelia Rodelo at (760) 367-5579 or amelia_rodelo@nps.gov.

Did You Know?

Red Spotted Toad

The red-spotted toad is a true denizen of the desert, where it spends most of its life underground. Found from one end of the park to the other, it appears after good, soaking rains. More...