Wildlife Refuges
Conserving the Nature of America in the Southwest Region
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Inventory & Monitoring - the Biology of What We Do    

Biologists in the backcountry.  Photo: USFWS
Biologists in the backcountry. Photo: USFWS.

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.

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Project Highlights

Ocelot conservation across US-Mexico border

Biologist setting a live trap. Photo: USFWSSpecies 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.


Feral Swine Eradication

USDA and USFWS staff in a boat and helicoptor during hog control efforts. Photo: B. Zaun/USFWSAt 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: June 15, 2018