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Species Conservation Presentation at NM Governor’s Drought Summit Conference, October 6, 2005
Southwest Region, October 6, 2005
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A biologist from the New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office (NMESFO) presented the topic “The Interagency Inter-State Species of Concern List and Efforts to Help Conserve Species During Drought” at the third annual Governor's Drought Summit in Albuquerque, NM.  The conference was attended by approximately 220 individuals.  The conference was organized by the New Mexico Governor’s Drought Task Force and the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, and sponsored by numerous Federal, State and County agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Southwest Strategy.  The requested presentation concerned prolonged drought and declines of candidate and at-risk species, and could possibly create the need for some species to receive Federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. 

In 2001, an Interagency Inter-State Sensitive Species Coordination Group was formed to assess the population status of plant and animal species in New Mexico and Arizona.  Species experts from universities, research facilities, Tribes, and State and Federal agencies developed lists, according to taxa, of species of greatest conservation concern not listed under the Endangered Species Act.  Of particular concern during drought are those species dependent on riparian and grassland ecosystems.  Funding has recently been obtained to produce outreach material containing management recommendations for species in these ecosystems with the goal of contributing toward their conservation. 

Following the Drought Summit, the NMESFO received a letter of appreciation from the New Mexico State Engineer for our contribution, stating, “This kind of research and knowledge helps coordination among local, state and federal agencies in meeting our water challenges.”

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



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