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The U.S. Fish Wildlife Service "Birding Team" visits South Texas Refuges Complex
Southwest Region, March 28, 2007
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Members of the "Birder's Team", part of the new Birding Initiative for the National Wildlife Refuge System, met at Santa Ana NWR and the new Roma Bluffs World Birding Center (part of Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR) from March 26-28, 2007. This team is comprised of a number of FWS staff and prominent members of the birding community, including nature tourism leaders, birding industry executives, nonprofit organizations (NWRA, National Audubon Society, Bird Conservation Alliance, Important Bird Areas), state fish and game staff, and birding publication executives. The team is tasked with establishing a set of medium-term and achievable ideas to present to the Refuge System that might improve and increase Refuge System use among birders and nurture simultaneous commitment to the Refuge System. Jon Andrew, Region 4 Chief of Refuges (and former Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR manager) is the Team Chair, and Jim Kurth, Deputy Chief for the NWRS and Kevin Kilcullen from the Arlington office attended the meetings. In between meetings the team visited and birded Santa Ana NWR and several tracts of the Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR, in search of south Texas specialty birds. The team presented a number of proposals for internal discussion and review that are meant to assist Refuge staff, welcome birders and provide high quality birding experiences at National Wildlife Refuges.

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



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