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Photo credit Aimee Roberson

Resources

Strategic Plan

Download the Rio Grande Joint Venture Strategic plan 2023-2027

Projects

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 reverse 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.

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.

RIO GRANDE JOINT VENTURE PLANS & REPORTS

Chihuahuan Desert Grassland Bird Conservation Plan

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.

RGJV Priority Bird List – Chihuahuan Desert
RGJV Priority Bird List – Tamaulipan Brushlands and Gulf Coastal Prairie (Mexico)

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) provides federal funds specifically to “conserve North American wetland ecosystems and waterfowl and the other migratory birds and fish and wildlife that depend on such habitats.” NAWCA and matching funds may only be used for wetlands acquisition, creation, enhancement, and/or restoration. Proposals require at least a 50/50 non-federal match.

The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act

The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (Act) establishes a matching grants program to fund projects in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean that promote the conservation of migratory birds. Funded projects will perpetuate healthy populations of neotropical migratory birds; assist in the conservation of these birds by supporting conservation initiatives in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and provide financial resources and foster international cooperation for those initiatives. For every $1 received in grant funds, the applicant must commit $3 in partner funds.

CONSERVATION PLANS AND ASSESSMENTS

International, National, and Regional Bird Conservation Plans

Bird conservation initiatives and plans have been developed for many bird groups at multiple scales. The Rio Grande Joint Venture is working on delivering habitat objectives consistent with these international, continental and regional plans. International and continental plans are followed by any regional step-down plans and working groups in the Rio Grande Joint Venture area. More coming soon!

Reddish Egret Conservation Action Plan
A Full Annual-Cycle Conservation Strategy for Sprague’s Pipit, Chestnut-collared and McCown’s Longspurs, and Baird’s Sparrow

To create the Reddish Egret Conservation Action Plan, the Working Group used the “Open Standards Approach for Conservation Measures” framework, which involved creating a range-wide conceptual conservation model for this species that highlights and ranks the greatest threats to maintaining population stability and expanding the population, explores the underlying causes of those threats, and identifies strategies to address them.

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.

DATABASE RESOURCES

Birds of North America Online

The Birds of North America is only the fourth comprehensive reference covering the life histories of North American birds. This site lets you access accounts for 716 species found in North America.

Migratory Bird Data Center

The Migratory Bird Data Center Web site provides access to bird population and habitat information relevant to population management, conservation planning, and evaluation.

Partners In Flight Databases

These databases were developed from the voluntary collaboration of more than one hundred ornithological experts to provide a standardized and transparent system that allows the comparison of conservation status and population estimates at multiple geographic scales for North American landbirds.

USFWS Birds of Conservation Concern

This report identifies the migratory and nonmigratory bird species that represent our highest conservation priorities and draw attention to species in need of conservation action. The geographic scope of this endeavor is the United States in its entirety, including island “territories” in the Pacific and Caribbean.

WORKING GROUPS AND INITIATIVES

National Migratory Bird Joint Ventures Website

Migratory Bird Joint Ventures are cooperative, regional partnerships that work to conserve habitat for the benefit of birds, other wildlife, and people. There are twenty-two habitat-based Joint Ventures, each addressing the bird habitat conservation issues found within their geographic area. In addition, three species-based Joint Ventures, all with an international scope, work to further the scientific understanding needed to effectively manage populations of specific bird species

North American Bird Conservation Initiative

The North American Bird Conservation Initiative is a coalition of government agencies, private organizations, academic institutions, and private industry leaders in Canada, the United States, and Mexico working to achieve integrated bird conservation that will benefit all birds in all habitats.

American Oystercatcher Working Group

The American Oystercatcher Working Group seeks to develop, support, and implement rangewide research and management efforts that promote the conservation of American Oystercatchers and their habitats through individual and partnership-based initiatives.

Reddish Egret Working Group

The Reddish Egret Working Group seeks to develop, support, and implement rangewide research and management efforts that promote the conservation of Reddish Egret and their habitats through individual and partnership-based initiatives guided by recommendations of the Working Group’s membership.

SCIENCE & MONITORING

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.

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 to 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 which will reflect present and potential future conditions to conserve bird species.

Using Satellite Collars for Monitoring Goat Movements – El Tokio GPCA

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

Knowledge is crucial in decision making, in order to manage and restore ecology. The southeast region of the Chihuahuan Desert nationally represents a strong axis for the caprine industry; however, there is not enough information about the techniques of grazing, which have been taking 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, herds of young goats pasturing in grasslands can be observed. 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.