Photos of Miley Cyrus raise concern about Joshua trees

Social media photos showing Miley Cyrus posing in a Joshua tree have drawn criticism from people concerned about protecting the iconic desert species.

The photos posted this week on Instagram were captioned "Looking down at all the petty drama like...." and "Monkey Bizzzzznassssss" but gave no specific location.

The Desert Sun newspaper says other photos posted in the past two weeks appear to show the singer near electricity-producing windmills in the Palm Springs area of California.

Joshua trees are protected in Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave National Preserve as well as under some city and county ordinances. Mojave Desert Land Trust, Executive Director Geary Hund told the Desert Sun that Joshua trees have a shallow root system and that additional weight can damage tree branches.

"We ask that Miley Cyrus consider her status as a public figure and remove this photo from her social media accounts in order to educate others and to prevent potential damage to Joshua trees," Hund wrote in the statement.

National Park spokesman George Land expressed concern that the singer's many followers might copy her actions.

There was no immediate response to an email seeking comment from her publicist.