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The Sonoran Desert (Spanish: Desierto de Sonora) is a desert in North America and ecoregion that covers the northwestern Mexican states of Sonora, Baja California, and Baja California Sur, as well as part of the southwestern United States (in Arizona and California). It is the hottest desert in both Mexico and the United States. It has an area of 260,000 square kilometers (100,000 sq mi).
|Biome||Deserts and xeric shrublands|
|Area||222,998 km2 (86,100 sq mi)|
|Conservation status||Relatively Stable/Intact|
In phytogeography, the Sonoran Desert is within the Sonoran Floristic province of the Madrean Region of southwestern North America, part of the Holarctic realm of the northern Western Hemisphere. The desert contains a variety of unique endemic plants and animals, notably, the saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) and organ pipe cactus (Stenocereus thurberi).
The Sonoran Desert is clearly distinct from nearby deserts (e.g., the Great Basin, Mojave, and Chihuahuan deserts) because it provides subtropical warmth in winter and two seasons of rainfall (in contrast, for example, to the Mojave's dry summers and cold winters). This creates an extreme contrast between aridity and moisture.