The Migration of Saguaro

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Saguaro after floods
Photo by AzCentral

This is a force migration of Saguaro cactus: the queen of the Sonoran desert. The wind and flood took the Saguaros to the “uncanny” world – they killed them. This autumn I saw dead Saguaros in Tempe: the next day of heavy winds and flood. And those are not the only enemies of this “crispy” giants. Saguaros are attacked by buffelgrass, a desert “piranha” that fills in Saguaro’s living territory, takes the major resources and starts to “melt” them. Buffelgrass feels more comfortable in a high temperature. Because of the global climate change the temperature will rise by 7°F on average. This is great news for buffelgrass and a funeral marching for Saguaro. It is under attack by several types of forces: high temperature, floods, buffelgrass, wind and more.

Under Attack
Infographics by Armen Sargsyan

For a lot of other desert inhabitants Saguaro serves as a five star hotel in Sonoran desert: with luxury apartments, penthouse and breakfast. The Gila Woodpecker finds room in the lower floors of Saguaro and the Western Screech Owl prefers the penthouse. When they leave their rooms, the snakes and mice move in and coyotes visit this hotels to eat breakfast – the mice. This wonderful life chain in Sonoran desert is best shown in this video by National Park Service.

So imagine when hotel Saguaro will be demolished by the “wind corporation”, by “heat department” or by “buffelgrass community”… All of them belong to one authority which is called “Global Climate Change”. Understanding and accepting the presence of this authority, estimating its power and its weakness, to my mind, can save Saguaro hotels for the future.

By Armen Sargsyan

Edited by Emily Nichols

About Armen Sargsyan

Armen Sargsyan from Armenia is a television and film producer at the Media Initiatives Center, an organization promoting the dissemination of free and independent information in Armenia. Previously, Sargsyan hosted and produced TV shows and investigations on socioeconomic issues, as well as a weekly special series about Armenian elections that aired from 1996-2014. He managed international media projects about conflicts in South Caucasus, Armenia-Turkey rapprochement, cross-border dialogue films on war, social conflicts and cohesion. Sargsyan holds a State Diploma of Linguistics and Pedagogy and an Excellency Certificate of International Broadcast Journalism. During his Humphrey year, he wants to learn more about digital journalism, data visualization, media literacy and communication technologies.

View all posts by Armen Sargsyan →

One Comment on “The Migration of Saguaro”

  1. Hi Armen, I appreciate your post. It’s very useful to bring such large topics into our everyday lives, and the fate of the majestic Saguaro cactuses is a good illustration of this.

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