Wildlife Refuges
Conserving the Nature of America in the Southwest Region
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Matthew Butler, 
Biometrician. Credit: USFWS.
Matthew Butler, Biometrician. Credit: USFWS.
Matthew Butler
Biometrician
505-248-6629
matthew_butler@fws.gov

Current Projects:

  • Monitoring whooping crane abundance at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge with aerial survey techniques.
  • Monitoring of endangered invertebrates (Noel’s amphipod, Koster’s springsnail, Roswell springsnail, and Pecos assiminea) at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Conducting research to determine abundance-habitat relationships (i.e., water quantity and conditions).
  • Monitoring whooping crane movement, home range, and habitat use with cellular technology.
  • Modeling the audible detection of lesser prairie-chickens. Results used to better design surveys for prairie grouse and other gallinaceous birds.
  • Analysis of Ridgway’s Rail survey data from National Wildlife Refuges and other lands in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Results will inform a status assessment and help with recovery planning process.
  • Assist with re-establishment of Masked Bobwhite at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and survey techniques in Mexico. Assessment of call audibility and frequency to inform survey design. Analysis of survivorship and recruitment data for captive reared quail used to establish wild populations.
Grant Harris
Chief, Biological Sciences. Credit: USFWS.
Chief, Biological Sciences. Credit: USFWS.
Grant Harris
Chief, Biological Sciences
505-248-6817
Grant_Harris@fws.gov

Current Projects:

  • Quantifying when (timing and weather conditions) desert mammals use provided water to optimize water presentation for managed species (like desert bighorn sheep) while discouraging predators (like mountain lions).
  • Analyzing the timing of waterfowl migrations spanning the Central Flyway, to optimize waterfowl management on NWRs Using field cameras for estimating abundance of mammal populations, to generate a simple and inexpensive monitoring method.
  Bill Johnson
Zone Biologist
806-499-3254
bill_johnson@fws.gov

Current Projects:

  • Developing reference densities of endangered springsnails and amphipods at Bitter Lake NWR. Information will be used to 1) monitor trends in abundance, 2) develop thresholds for conservation actions, and 3) set targets for gauging success of restoration projects.
  • Monitoring sandhill crane landscape use in Southern Great Plains in cooperation with Texas Tech University and Muleshoe NWR. Information on landscape use by sandhill cranes is being incorporated in a conservation design to help guide conservation efforts in the Southern Great Plains.
Lacrecia Johnson
Zone Biologist. Credit: USFWS.
Lacrecia Johnson Zone Biologist. Credit: USFWS.
Lacrecia Johnson
Zone Biologist
520-449-3501
lacrecia_Johnson@fws.gov

Current Projects:

  • Masked bobwhite status and habitat condition Sonora, Mexico Re-establishment of masked bobwhite at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
  • Estimating prescribed fire effects and compatibility with masked bobwhite quail habitat rehabilitation on Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, AZ
  • Lead for the Masked Bobwhite Recovery Team
  • Use of artificial drinkers by desert mammals: Project evaluates abiotic conditions under which desert mammals drink, and determines when such conditions occur.
  • Development of the FWS Inventory and Monitoring Program for refuges in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts
Sarah Lehnen
Biometrician. Credit: USFWS.
Sarah Lehnen
Biometrician. Credit: USFWS.
Sarah Lehnen
Biometrician
505-248-7957
sarah_lehnen@fws.gov

Current Projects:

  • Golden-cheeked Warbler rangewide survey: development of breeding range map of Golden-cheeked Warbler density (with Drs. Jim Mueller and Steve Sesnie).
  • Monitoring an endangered rodent, the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse, at Bosque del Apache NWR.
  • Mottled Duck Landscape Conservation Design: Integrating sea-level rise and anthropogenic change into a conservation strategy for mottled ducks on the Texas coast (with Drs. Jena Moon and Kris Metzger)
Jena Moon
Zone Biologist. Credit: USFWS.
Jena Moon, Zone Biologist. Credit: USFWS.
Jena Moon
Zone Biologist
409.296.2418 office
409.332.9364 mobile
jena_moon@fws.gov

Current Projects:

  • Coastal Wetland Elevation Monitoring: Measuring subsidence and accretion on coastal National Wildlife Refuges in Texas.
  • Mottled Duck Landscape Conservation Design: Integrating sea-level rise and anthropogenic change into a conservation strategy for mottled ducks on the Texas coast.
  • Whooping Crane Abundance Survey: Monitoring whooping cranes to inform management, identify potentially important future whooping crane habitat, and direct land conservation and development initiatives.
Jim Mueller, Zone Biologist, Central & East Texas. Credit: USFWS.
Jim Mueller, Zone Biologist, Central & East Texas. Credit: USFWS.

Jim Mueller
Zone Biologist, Central & East Texas
512-810-9763
jim_mueller@fws.gov

Current Projects:

  • Breeding range survey of golden-cheeked warblers
Paige M. Schmidt, 
Zone Biologist. Credit: USFWS.
Paige M. Schmidt,
Zone Biologist. Credit: USFWS.
Paige M. Schmidt
Zone Biologist
(918) 691-8570
paige_schmidt@fws.gov

Current Projects:

  • Evaluating the response of forest breeding birds to silvicultural treatments at Little River NWR
  • Implementing Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring at Sequoyah NWR, Tishomingo NWR, and Salt Plains NWR
  • Development of the FWS Inventory and Monitoring Program for refuges in Central and Eastern Oklahoma and North Texas
Steve Sesnie, Spatial Ecologist. Credit: USFWS.
Steve Sesnie, Spatial Ecologist. Credit: USFWS.
Steve Sesnie
Spatial Ecologist
505-248-6631
Steven_Sesnie@fws.gov

Current Projects:

  • Estimating prescribed fire effects and compatibility with masked bobwhite quail habitat rehabilitation on Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, AZ
  • Predicting breeding-range wide golden-cheeked warbler density in south-central Texas.
Mitch Sternberg
Zone Biologist, South Texas Gulf Coast. Credit: USFWS.
Mitch Sternberg
Zone Biologist, South Texas Gulf Coast. Credit: USFWS.
Mitch Sternberg
Zone Biologist, South Texas Gulf Coast
mitch_sternberg@fws.gov

Current Projects:

  • Assist in maintaining the long-term ocelot population monitoring projects in South Texas
  • Maintain long-term mammal monitoring project using cameras in South Texas
  • Maintain long-term monitoring projects for ocelots in Tamaulipas, Mexico, and Queretaro, Mexico
  David Stewart
Statistician
505-248-6642
david_stewart@fws.gov

Current Projects:

  • Design of Experiments and Surveys, e.g., Monitoring abundance of fish (Rio Yaqui (San Bernardino NWR) and Bitter Lake (Bitter Lake NWR) fishes) and mussel (Little River NWR) populations.
  • Estimation of biological process that vary over space and time, e.g., Population structure of smaller-bodied Rio Yaqui fishes and Yaqui Catfish (San Bernardino NWR) and viability of Attwater Prairie Chicken (Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR).
  • Spatio-temporal models, e.g., multi-species bottomland hardwood forest bird analysis (Little River NWR).
  • Development and testing of ecological models and methods, e.g., Methods to estimate abundance of Rio Yaqui fish (San Bernardino NWR) and Desert Bighorn Sheep populations (Kofa and Cabeza Prieta NWR).
Brenda Zaun, Zone Biologist. Credit: USFWS.
Brenda Zaun, Zone Biologist. Credit: USFWS.
Brenda Zaun
Zone Biologist
928-345-4911
Brenda_Zaun@fws.gov

Current Projects:

  • Ridgway’s rail recovery; survey data analyses
  • Feral swine eradication at Havasu NWR
  • Feral burro management on all refuges
  • Assessment of potential release habitat for Masked Bobwhite Quail
  • Habitat restoration
   

 

Last updated: June 15, 2018