Will California Save the Iconic Joshua Tree?

Showdown in the Mojave

As a keystone species, the Joshua tree is vital to a habitat that includes reptiles, insects, birds, and other wildlife. While conservation concerns exist for both the western and eastern species, recent scientific studies are sounding the alarm about the status of California’s western Joshua trees. They have concluded that the species’ range is contracting at lower elevations, recruitment is limited, and mortality is increasing due to the accelerating impacts of climate change.

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Farrah Hassen, J.D., is a writer, policy analyst, and adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at Cal Poly Pomona.

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