El Paso is home to the biggest and most diverse desert in North America, the Chihuahuan Desert. The Chihuahuan Desert covers more than 200,000 square miles and is home to thousands of different species of plants and animals.
The Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition in partnership with the El Paso Zoo and many local and regional community organizations encourages people of all ages to discover and connect with desert and mountain landscapes throughout the Chihuahuan Desert.
“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” –Edward Abbey
We are encouraging those who do go out and explore to send us their pictures on Facebook. This gives you the opportunity to be recognized on our pages.
Membership is free to all ages. Places where you could visit and take a picture include: The El Paso Zoo, Chamizal National Memorial, Tom Mays Park, Franklin Mountains State Park, Tom Mays Park, Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park, Hueco Tanks, Don Haskins Recreation Center, and much more.
Recognized globally as a hotspot for wildlife conservation, the Chihuahuan Desert is one of the most biologically diverse eco-regions in North America. The El Paso Zoo plans to open a major Chihuahuan Desert exhibit in the fall of 2019 that will play a major role in helping the Zoo accomplish its mission of celebrating the value of animals and natural resources and in creating opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature. The $14 million signature project will replace approximately 20 percent of the Zoo’s exhibits.
The Zoo has a webcam with various viewpoints where you can see the actual construction underway.
The Chihuahuan Desert experience will highlight the flora and fauna of the region. The exhibit will include an arroyo helping people to better understand one of the desert’s important naturally occurring environmental features. A new Lobo Vista classroom with viewing windows looking into endangered Mexican wolf and Thick-billed Parrot exhibits will help Education Specialists present engaging programs for school groups. There will also be new exhibits for prairie dogs, desert birds, bolson tortoises, jaguars and endangered peninsular pronghorns. An abandoned old ranch house exhibit will be home to smaller animals of the desert that have moved inside. Just outside the house there will be a family of coatis, also called coatimundis. Coatis are very rare in the northern Chihuahuan Desert and are the only carnivore in the Western Hemisphere that lives in large family groups.