Wildlife Refuges
Conserving the Nature of America in the Southwest Region
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Biologists in the backcountry.  Photo: USFWS
Biologists in the backcountry. Photo: USFWS.

The Biology of What We Do - Inventory & Monitoring

Refuge Inventory and Monitoring provides technical support to refuge field offices to solve applied biological problems, focusing on management priorities.  We assist refuges with designing sound biological surveys, statistical and spatial analysis, interpretation of results, and data management. Our efforts in partnership with refuge managers and biologists enable USFWS to apply best practices for the continued conservation of species and habitat.

Meet our staff


Project Highlights


Watch the video about the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse by clicking on the video image and navigate through the interactive map series by clicking on the map image.

Camera Based Monitoring of the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Watch the video "Conserving Jumping Mice at Bosque del Apache." Is anything cuter than little mice with big floppy feet? Biologists at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge don’t think so. Here they work hard to manage and conserve the last population of New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mice on the Rio Grande. This is a tough task, given the habitat requirements of other endangered species, and migratory waterfowl living on the Refuge. Wonder how they balance such work? Well watch the video to find out!

Learn more about the Jumping Mouse by visiting the Map Series.
( https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=246a61aca5d94ba3951efced97e33e98

Mapping gthe Pecos Sunflower at Bitter Lake NWR
Mapping the Pecos Sunflower at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Love sunflowers? Well then check out the Biologists at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge sharing how they manage and conserve the endangered Pecos Sunflower! New technology enables them to use simple mapping to show how these sunflower populations are more sustainable than previously thought. Their work is speeding up recovery of the Pecos Sunflower! This helps bees and other wild pollinators living throughout the Pecos River. Robust populations of these plants makes visiting Bitter Lake NWR an even more beautiful experience!

Watch the video, Mapping the Pecos Sunflower at Bitter Lake NWR.

Biologist setting a live trap. Photo: USFWS
Ocelot Conservation Across US-Mexico Border

Species conservation can be an effort that crosses international borders. This is true for ocelot conservation in South Texas. Ocelots are a small feline species that live on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Scientists from the United States and Mexico are working together to assess ocelot distribution and population stability in Northeast Mexico and Texas. They are doing this as part of a long-term goal to move ocelots from Mexico to Texas. Moving ocelots across the border into the United States will help stabilize the smaller population in Texas. Over the past year, scientists have been learning proper ocelot trapping and handling techniques at workshops at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge and in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Other trainings include how to sedate animals and take blood samples for genetics and disease research.

USDA and USFWS staff in a boat and helicoptor during hog control efforts. Photo: B. Zaun/USFWS
Feral Swine Eradication

At Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, and elsewhere in Arizona, scientists are working to eradicate feral swine populations. This effort helps protect native species and improve the safety of refuge visitors. Some of the techniques scientists are using to monitor and control feral swine are infrared vision tools to locate swine at night, fitting some pigs with radio collars to help locate other pigs, using dogs to sniff out hogs, aerial culling  efforts using helicopters, trapping, and outreach and education in local communities to inform the public about the negative impacts of this species.

Last updated: February 22, 2019