Sky Island

Sky islands  are mountains in ranges isolated by valleys in which other ecosystems are located. As a result, the mountain ecosystems are isolated from each other, and species can develop in parallel. Distinct and varied biotic communities are typically found across the extreme elevation changes of a mountainous 'islands'. :: The 70,000-square-mile Sky Islands region of southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and northwestern Mexico is globally important because of its rich diversity of species and habitats, These mountain "islands," forested ranges separated by vast expanses of desert and grassland plains, are among the most diverse ecosystems in the world because of their great topographic complexity and unique location at the meeting point of several major desert and forest biological provinces. The region is a blend of tropical and temperate, harboring well over half the bird species of North America 29 bat species, over 3,000 species of plants, and 104 species of mammals--a diversity exceeding anywhere else in the U.S. :: Sky Isalnds (SIC) are mountain ranges that are isolated from each other by intervening valleys of grassland or desert. The valleys of this basin and range country act as barriers to the movement of certain woodland and forest species, somewhat like saltwater seas isolate plants and animals on oceanic islands