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Int1 Task 2

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Joshua Tree National Park
Park INT1 Task 2

By Kelly Jones

Joshua Tree National Park is located in southern
California. It is positioned just east of Palm Springs and west of the Colorado River.
You will find both the Mojave
Desert and the Colorado
Desert located here.

(National Park Service, n.d., a)

Biotic Components
Bighorn Sheep
Kit Fox
Red-spotted Toad
Elf Owl
(National Park Service, n.d., B)

Joshua Tree
Silver cholla
Hedgehog Cactus
Grizzlybear PricklyPear

(National Park Service, n.d., C)

Abiotic Components
At Joshua Tree National Park the land has been characterized by extreme climatic changes. There are torrential rains, cool nights and dry days. Rainfall is seldom and unpredictable.
Streambeds are usually dry and there are only a few waterholes. The area has two distinct seasons, summer and

winter. Temperatures can get as high as 130 degrees fahrenheit in the summer, and below 0 degrees fahrenheit in the winter time. The low desert called the Colorado goes up to
3,000 feet. The higher desert called the Mojave goes up to nearly 6,000 feet.

(National Park Service, n.d., D)

Current Human Impact

The spread of non-native plants that have been made possible by visitors to the park have caused habitat destruction. This not only displaces native plants, but also increases the risk of fire.
Recreational use of off-road vehicles like motorcycles and dune buggies compacts the soil, and reduces its ability to absorb water. This makes the landscape more susceptible to wind and water erosion, destroys vegetation and reduces lizard populations.
Trenching connected to the underground pipelines for gas, oil and water destabilizes soil crusts and rock surfaces. This concentrates water runoff and erosion.

Future Human Impacts
Joshua Tree National Park’s future is threatened by a combination of human exploitation and climate change that within decades could wipe out many of its unique habitats and rare species. Surrounding areas are expected to see significant growth in the coming decades. Expanding communities create more need for infrastructure like roads, power lines, and water supply. Resulting threats to wildlife include direct destruction of habitat, pollution, fragmentation of habitats, blockage of migratory corridors, and introduction of non-native and potentially invasive species.

(Fiker, 2015)


Set up strict rules for park visitors ensuring no outside plant/animal species are brought into the park. Make Sure visitors stay on established trails, and keep vehicles on the approved roads located in the park
Prohibit the use of dune buggy’s and other recreational motor vehicles.
Diligently monitor soil crusts and rock surfaces as well as the effects of water runoff and erosion. References
Hammons, K. (Photographer). (2010). Joshua Tree Sunset [Photograph]. Retrieved from
National Park Service, (n.d.). Southern California Regional Map [Photograph]. Retrieved from
National Park Service, n.d. Desert Bighorn Sheep at Joshua Tree National Park [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.nps. gov/common/uploads/photogallery/nri/park/articles/AAD59F51-BE29-C551-D079870A15DE2E70/AAD59F51-BE29-C551-D079870A15DE2E70-large. jpg
National Park Service, n.d. Nature. Retrieved from
National Park Service, n.d. Cryptobiotic Crusts.
National Park Service, n.d. Cacti / Desert Succulents [Photograph]. Retrieved from
National Park Service, n.d. Operating Hours & Seasons [Photograph]. Retrieved from
Fiker, V. (Photographer). (2015). Dreamstime [Photograph[. Retrieved from

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