Nature & Science

A small yellowish green butterfly is camouflaged against the plant it sits on.
Camouflage is one of the many unique adaptations used by both plants and wildlife in the park. The ability to live without always being seen is a strategic way for many organisms to escape being eaten by others. This small butterfly almost appears to be an extension of the leaf that it is resting on.

NPS photo


Life of the Sonoran Desert

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument holds an extraordinary collection of plants, wildlife, and geologic wonders of the Sonoran Desert. The monument offers protection and sanctuary for many rare species that are not found elsewhere. Over thousands of years, the plants and wildlife of this region have adapted themselves to the extreme temperatures, intense sunlight, and the short but intense rainy seasons. The incredible scope of the monument, what and whom its held since time immemorial, and what and who use the area today have led to the United Nations designating this area an International Biosphere Reserve. Conservation, scientific research, and human connection with this natural wonder are invaluable in its protection. Click through the links to learn more about the organisms that call this "Green Desert" home, as well as the natural features and systems that shape and characterize this unique desert.

A black and white bird of prey prepares to take flight from a cactus.

Discover the wildlife at the monument!

The green Sonoran Desert, with cacti, trees, and grass, in front of a mountain.

Learn more about the plants found at Organ Pipe National Monument.

A scientist collects data from a boat at Quitobaquito.
Science & Research

Learn more about the research happening in the Monument.

A starry sky is the backdrop for Sonoran Desert plants.
Natural Features & Ecosystems

Learn more about what makes the Sonoran Desert unique.


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    Last updated: September 21, 2023

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    10 Organ Pipe Drive
    Ajo, AZ 85321



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