Browsing Desert Plants, Volume 30, Number 1 (2014) by Authors
The Arizona Hedgehog ProjectSiegwarth, Mark D. (University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2014)An intergovernmental agreement was signed on August 26, 2008 between the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and Boyce Thompson Arboretum (BTA) for the Arizona Hedgehog Project. The project was to transplant individuals of the Arizona hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus var. arizonicus or AHC) from the US Highway 60 ADOT project area to Boyce Thompson Arboretum and conduct a 5-year research study on the AHC to learn more about how to increase success of future salvage efforts. In addition, the project included the development of interpretive/educational materials including printed materials and signage to explain the project to the more than 75,000 annual visitors who visit the Arboretum. The transplant sites at the Arboretum offer an excellent opportunity for informing the general public, adults and children alike, about the importance of conserving the Arizona hedgehog and other endangered species. As stated above, the Arizona Hedgehog project is comprised of two distinct but overlapping parts: the physical movement of the plants to Boyce Thompson Arboretum and an extended study of transplantation success. In brief, we first evaluated the plants in situ at the US Highway 60 ADOT project location, then removed the plants and transported them to BTA. Although there were to be two different plantings, fall and spring, delays and fewer than the expected number of AHC needing salvage mandated that all plantings be done in the fall. Finally, we evaluated the success of the transplants over a 5-year period. This was essentially an observational study. Germplasm was shared with other researchers, which will provide additional information.