Desert Defenders

Invasive species are one of the biggest threats to healthy ecosystems. They often crowd out native species, decrease biodiversity and increase wildfire risk. Join the new Desert Defenders program to help us find and remove these plants!

Desert Defenders is a citizen science program focused on finding, mapping and removing invasive species at local parks and preserves. The plant species that we focus on are known to have a moderate to severe impact on local ecosystems, and a few pose a risk for our community by raising the fire risk and even worsening seasonal allergies. The data collected through the tireless work of our Defenders is crucial for park staff and land managers to protect the desert parks we all love.


Acres Removed




Data Points Collected

Project Updates

Butterfly in on the flowers in garden

Collector ArcGIS Map

A key advantage to this program is its collaborative, regional nature. This program uses Collector for ArcGIS, an Esri cloud-based app that allows our partners to monitor the data and keep track of progress. Explore the regional invasive species map and take a look at the progress we’ve made thus far.
Butterfly in on the flowers in garden


Stinknet (Oncosiphon piluliferum) is causing havoc in central Arizona. It grows like a weed and if left unchecked, could destroy much of the desert landscape it blankets. Battling this deceptively pretty invader calls for an army of conservationists, botanists, ecologists, citizen scientists, firefighters, master gardeners and homeowners.

Project Partners

We are grateful for the support and leadership of our partners in this effort.

maricopa trail
Desert Botanical Garden logo
McDowell Sonoran Conservancy logo
arizona parks and recreation association

CAZCA is an initiative of Desert Botanical Garden. Any donations made to CAZCA must be made through Desert Botanical Garden. You will now be taken to their website to complete this transaction. Thank you!