Support Us

Support the Work of the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch of the National Audubon Society!

Every dollar counts.

As a supporter of the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch of the National Audubon Society, you know that conserving habitat is key to protecting birds and other wildlife today, and sound science is key to protecting birds and other wildlife tomorrow.

Sadly, there are few places like the Research Ranch left, and we need your help to sustain it into the future.

The Research Ranch is both a biological sanctuary and living laboratory. Here, we work to protect vast grasslands and oak savannahs for birds like the Montezuma Quail, ensuring priority species have a place to call home. We also make possible research, such as this year’s investigations into factors affecting the health of Arizona’s Emory Oaks (a main food source for the Montezuma Quail), ensuring we have the knowledge necessary to protect habitat into the future.

Grasslands once covered over 18 million acres in Arizona, roughly one quarter of the state, but as a result of drought, climate change, development, invasive species, and irresponsible land use, only one third of this once vast sea of grass remains in healthy condition. And while examples of healthy grasslands are rare, even rarer are healthy grasslands where extractive human uses have been left behind and the land is instead put to work safeguarding and better understanding birds, other wildlife, and the habitats on which they depend.

2023 was an exciting year on the Research Ranch in many ways. This year, we…

  • protected and enhanced a 350-acre nearly invasive-free patch of native grasses, ensuring we have a seed bank for future restoration.
  • saw unassisted colonization of Chiricahua Leopard Frogs, a federally threatened species, at several sits across the ranch, underlining the success of our Safe Harbor program.
  • brought back our monthly potluck presentation series, Living Gently on the Land – a program not seen since the beginnings of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • expanded Audubon Southwest’s Conservation Workday program to the Research Ranch, making room for new volunteers to engage with our work.
  • joined several regional partnerships including the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area bio-planning team, the Upper San Pedro Partnership, and the Fort Huachuca Sentinel Landscape Restoration Partnership, an effort to expand our impact beyond the boundaries of the Ranch.
  • observed the first detection made by our on-site Motus station – a federally threatened Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo!
  • made possible over 20 conservation-focused scientific studies with topics of investigation ranging from American bullfrogs to Azure Bluebirds, soil eDNA, Slevin’s bunchgrass lizards, kissing bugs, groundwater, and more.

You can learn about all of this work and more in our 2023 Annual Report.

We at the Research Ranch are committed to giving all we can to ensure a healthy future for Southeastern Arizona’s birds and other wildlife. Can we count on you to do the same?

Your gift of…

  • $5,000 will support the growth of our Student Research Fellowship program, our effort to recruit and support the young, diverse conservation scientists that will carry our work into the future.
  • $1,000 will maintain 7 acres of our native control plot for 1 year, giving native grasses a fighting chance.
  • $500 will fund one Potluck Presentation, creating meaningful ways for our local community to connect around conservation.
  • $100 will purchase a new fire extinguisher for a Research Ranch facility or vehicle, keeping our staff and visitors safe.
  • $50 will buy a new pack of work gloves for Conservation Workday volunteers, creating opportunities for the public to engage with science and conservation on the Research Ranch.
  • Any amount helps! Even the smallest donations add up to a big impacts for birds and conservation on the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch.

To support this work in 2024…

With 8,000 acres of some of the Southwest’s rarest and most deeply imperiled habitats in our care, and with the need for conservation solutions having never been more urgent, our work is more critical than ever. Science and stewardship at this scale would not be possible without a community of conservationists behind us, and we thank you for your support.

Please, give now to support the science and conservation efforts of the Research Ranch. Southeastern Arizona’s birds and other wildlife are counting on you!


A Migrating Cuckoo Named Hummus Makes a Tasty Case for Land Conservation

A Migrating Cuckoo Named Hummus Makes a Tasty Case for Land Conservation

On its international journey south, one federally threatened bird has passed through at least six protected areas.

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Supporting Conservation Tomorrow Through Research Today

2023’s AWRR Student Research Fellows

Supporting Conservation Tomorrow Through Research Today

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How you can help, right now