Springs support a wide array of flora and fauna. They are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world. Though small in size compared with lakes or even oceans, springs support at least 10 percent of the endangered species in the United States. Thousands more rare, highly restricted, and endemic species also call springs their home.
Isolation and Corridors
Springs act as oases in arid regions, supporting not only the endemic species, but also migratory species. Thus, these areas create corridors - highways from spring to spring - that provide water for thousands of vertebrate and invertebrate species.
Yet, in spite of the critical nature of water in arid climates, many springs remain unmapped. Land managers and conservation organizations cannot protect these ecosystems or their reliant species without this most basic information - their geographic location.
Springs Online, SSI's online database, is connected with SSI's invertebrate database which houses thousands of records of springs dependent species. An ongoing project by the Springs Stewardship Institute and Dr. Gary Alpert, the Global Ant Coordinator, Associate Researcher for the Museum of Northern Arizona, and Professor of Entomology at Harvard University is to photograph and showcase portraits of the invertebrates housed in the MNA Easton Collection Center. We will announce updates of this project in our newsroom as we make advancements on the project.
Banner image by Molly Joyce