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Photo credit Aimee Roberson

Projects

2012

Chihuahuan Desert Grassland Bird Conservation Plan, Version 1.0

Pool, D. B., A. Macias-Duarte, A. O. Panjabi, G. Levandoski, and E. Youngberg, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies

This plan uses data collected by Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (formerly known as Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory) during their winter grassland bird surveys and shows the patterns of distribution, habitat preference, and abundance for five priority grassland birds in the Chihuahuan Desert.  

2013

Grasslands Conservation in Central Valleys: Management Plan, Rancho el Coyamito 1 & 2, Municipality of Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico

Bezanilla E., G. A.

The present essay describes, in an orderly manner, the process of analysis and planning that took place in the livestock premises of El Coyamito 1 and El Coyamito 2 in order to find sustainability in that process. The essay is divided in three main sections: (1) Diagnosis, (2) Planning, and (3) Recommendations.

Janos Community Grass Bank

Paulson, L., The Nature Conservancy – Mexico

The Nature Conservancy established and implemented a pilot community grass bank as a key strategy to advance grassland habitat and wildlife conservation in the Janos Valley of Chihuahua, Mexico. Conservation actions helped improve the condition of 8,000 acres of grassland at the El Uno Reserve, and enrolled a total of 12,902 acres in El Uno Ranch Ecological Reserve in the grass bank initiative.

2014

Habitat use by Birds in Mature and Revegetated Habitats of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and Predicted Responses to Climate Change

Brush, T. and T. P. Feria, University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley

As part of the wildlife corridor restoration effort, conservation partners in the Rio Grande Valley have conducted native plant reforestation activities in the area for over 40 years. The goals of this project were: (1) to contrast existing mature riparian corridor forest habitats with habitats in areas subject to past and ongoing re-vegetation/restoration treatments, and (2) to evaluate responses of select bird species to the differences between habitats now and in the future as the revegetated forests develop. The purpose of the project is to develop recommendations to improve future re-vegetation/restoration methodology to increase carrying capacity and mobility for borderlands populations of Gray Hawk, Red-crowned Parrot, Red-billed Pigeon, Rose-throated Becard, Neotropical migrant birds, and other high priority riparian taxa.

2015

A Collaborate Website to Facilitate Habitat Improvements

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (formerly known as Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory)

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, working with Douglas A. Miller and Associates LLC (DAM), deployed a stack of technologies on an RMBO server that allows for the collaborative and interactive use of a web-based Geographic Information System between partners working together to realize strategic and targeted habitat improvements. This tool may be used to map out partner project properties, pasture boundaries, restoration projects, infrastructure improvements and other georeferenced data to facilitate the sharing of data for such collaborative ventures.

Grassland Improvements on Rancho San Luis, Valles Centrales

IMC Vida Silvestre A.C., Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (formerly known as Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory), American Bird Conservancy

The invasion of mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) has negatively impacted on the habitat structure for priority species, limiting the conditions for grassland birds and generating a fragmentation in habitat for pronghorns, which hinders their free transition between open grassland areas and reduces their probability of survival.  The goal of this project is to revert the invasion of bushes and to generate the conditions of a medium open grassland for grassland species. The management actions focused in “connecting” areas of open grassland inside San Luis Ranch and creating a corridor to the North, towards its neighbor ranch, El Gallego.

Prescribed Fires as a Tebuthiuron Post Treatment for Grassland Restoration Projects Warnock, B., Sul Ross State University

Tebuthiuron (Spike) has been used very successfully throughout the Trans-Pecos region of Texas to convert creosote flats to grasslands.  Perennial grasses typically increase over a 2-4 year period post treatment.  These restored grasslands have high levels of perennial grass canopy and basal cover, which increases the overall health of these ecosystems.  Recent research by the Borderlands Research Institute has revealed that these grasslands lack a perennial forb component and horizontal and vertical structural diversity.  It is suspected that this lack of forbs and structural diversity can have a negative impact on grassland bird species including Sprague’s Pipit. Converting creosote flats to functioning grassland communities in the Trans-Pecos is a priority for many different species and has long term impacts on grassland sustainability.     Data collected during this project will give land managers much needed information on potential steps to restore degraded grasslands within the Chihuahuan Desert and increase the capacity for not only restoring perennial grasses, but also a dynamic functioning grassland.

Priority areas for conservation of birds in the Tamaulipan Brushlands (Texas-Mexico) and the Laguna Madre

Oyervides, M., J. Dale, H. Garza Torrez, T. P. Feria, University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley

Climate change affects the distribution of species worldwide imposing new challenges for biodiversity conservation. Thus, sound conservation strategies must anticipate the impacts of climate change. Increasing efforts are being dedicated to predicting future shifts on species distributions due the high probability that global warming will accelerate over the next century. The overall goal of this study was to develop a map of priority areas for conservation in the Tamaulipan Brushlands and Laguna Madre that will reflect present and potential future conditions to conserve bird species.

2016

Using Satellite Collars for Monitoring Goat Movements – El Tokio GPCA

Sepúlveda Hernández, L. A. and D. A. Borré González, Pronatura Noreste

The necessity of knowledge is crucial in the decision making, in order to manage and restore ecology. Chihuahuan Desert, in its southeast region, nationally represents a strong axis for the caprine industry; however, there is no enough information about the techniques of grazing, which have been taken place for many years.

Specifically, in the GPCA El Tokio, caprine breeding is one of the main activities of economic sustainability; in practically all levels of this region, it can be observed herds of young goats pasturing in grasslands. Due to the importance that this area has for birds, both resident and migratory, it is necessary to determine the best way of using the existing types of vegetation, in order to obtain the best practices for caprine livestock and get a balance between productive activities and conservation.

Habitat use by Birds in Mature and Revegetated Habitats of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and Predicted Responses to Climate Change

Brush, T. and T. P. Feria, University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley

As part of the wildlife corridor restoration effort, conservation partners in the Rio Grande Valley have conducted native plant reforestation activities in the area for over 40 years. The goals of this project were: (1) to contrast existing mature riparian corridor forest habitats with habitats in areas subject to past and ongoing re-vegetation/restoration treatments, and (2) to evaluate responses of select bird species to the differences between habitats now and in the future as the revegetated forests develop. The purpose of the project is to develop recommendations to improve future re-vegetation/restoration methodology to increase carrying capacity and mobility for borderlands populations of Gray Hawk, Red-crowned Parrot, Red-billed Pigeon, Rose-throated Becard, Neotropical migrant birds, and other high priority riparian taxa.