“I think we need to rethink using the term ‘desert’ to describe an area lacking something. Deserts can be gloriously beautiful, rich, and vibrant ecosystems. How about ‘transit vacuums’ instead?”
Ever since the term “food desert” became popularized, it seems that “desert” is the term du jour for describing anything that’s lacking. Personally, I find this to be a grossly unfair and inaccurate use of the word “desert.” It is also dangerous to the protection and preservation of these beautiful ecosystems.
- 60 species of mammals, including the only jaguar in North America
- 350 species of birds
- 20 species of amphibians
- 100+ species of reptiles
- 30 native fish species
- 1,000+ native bee species
- 2,000+ native plant species, including the only place in the world where you will find the majestic Saguaro cactus
Even the vast Sahara Desert of North Africa contains more than 2,800 species of vascular plants, while the Atacama Desert in South America is much more diverse ecologically than one would expect given its extreme dryness.