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LOWER RIO GRANDE/RIO BRAVO BINATIONAL ECOSYSTEM GROUP MEETING
Southwest Region, May 20, 2005
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Corpus Christi Ecological Services Field Office (CCESFO)-Alamo Suboffice biologist, Ernesto Reyes, attended the Lower Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Binational Ecosystem Group meeting in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The State agency (La Agencia de Proteccion al Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales) hosted the Binational meeting. Ernesto gave a presentation on the Binational working group focus areas and progress, and the Service's efforts to work with the State of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon to establish and reconnect wildlife corridors along the Lower Rio Grande River between Falcon Dam and the Laguna Madre, both north and south of the international border. Smiley Nava with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) also presented his work with Mexico on wildlife related issues, and on the training and technical assistance that TPWD is providing to the State agencies in Mexico. Several priority projects were identified by the Binational group. The group identified a wildlife corridor connection between Falcon Dam in Texas and Sierra Picachos in the State of Nuevo Leon as the top priority for conservation and restoration efforts. The Sierra Picachos is a Natural Protected Area that supports 23 species of bats and over 140 species of birds. The group will collaborate and exchange information on the natural resources and species diversity in the Sierra Picachos area in order to establish baseline data on both sides of the border. The group will identify the best place for establishment of a wildlife corridor (buffer) along two main rivers from Sierra Picachos to the Rio Grande River near Falcon Dam. . The participants in the group will apply for grants to facilitate completion of biodiversity studies that will provide baseline information that is needed for the planning process, and the establishment of the wildlife corridor. Mexico will also work with the landowners to establish conservation agreements and restoration efforts to establish the corridor. The proposed international wildlife corridor will benefit migratory birds, bats, butterflies, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals that could include the endangered ocelot and jaguarundi. Other groups present at the meeting were the University of NL from Monterrey and Pronatura Noreste (NGO) a group that is similar to The Nature Conservancy. The goals of the Binational Ecosystem Group are explained in the Binational Ecosystem Management Plan. For a copy of the management plan contact Ernesto Reyes.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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