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All New Mexico Conservation Science downloads

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Sky Island Grassland Assessment (September 2012)

Sky Island grasslands of central and southern Arizona, southern New Mexico and northern Mexico form the “grassland seas” that surround small forested mountain ranges in the borderlands. Their unique biogeographical setting and the ecological gradients associated with “Sky Island mountains” add tremendous floral and faunal diversity to these grasslands and the region as a whole. Sky Island grasslands have undergone dramatic vegetation changes over the last 130 years including encroachment by shrubs, loss of perennial grass cover and spread of non-native species. Changes in grassland composition and structure have not occurred uniformly across the region and they are dynamic and ongoing. In 2009, The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) launched its Sky Island Grassland Initiative, a 10-year plan to protect and restore grasslands and embedded wetland and riparian habitats in the Sky Island region. The objective of this assessment is to identify a network of priority grassland landscapes where investment by the Foundation and others will yield the greatest returns in terms of restoring grassland health and recovering target wildlife species across the region. Download file (7 MB)

Climate Change Adaptation for People and Nature (March 2012)

In the U.S. Southwest, global climate change, acting in concert with extant stressors such as urbanization and over-allocation of water resources, is changing ecosystems in measureable and sometimes dramatic ways. Twentyfirst century projections indicate accelerating climate change and cascading ecological consequences. Our experience suggests that adaptation efforts can be effective if they are focused at the local scale; employ learning networks; and engage in ecosystem-based adaptation: the sustainable management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems so that they continue to provide the services that allow people to thrive in changing environments.

Download file (2mb)

Flagstaff Climate Change Adaptation Workshop: Draft Report (April 2010)

Report on the Southwest Climate Change Initiative’s Flagstaff Climate Change Adaptation Workshop of April 2010 in Flagstaff, Arizona. 77 pp., including executive summary and appendices.

Download file (3.4 MB)

The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Action Plan for the Gila Headwaters (October 2010)

The Nature Conservancy recently updated its Conservation Action Plan for the Gila Headwaters. This paper describes TNC's planning process. The process involves defining the project area, identifying conservation targets, assessing conservation target viability, identifying critical threats to these targets, developing and implementing strategies to abate these threats and improve target viability, and measuring strategy effectiveness.

Download file (3 MB)

Managing Changing Landscapes in the Southwestern United States (January 2011)

This regional assessment examines the impacts of temperature change from 1951-2006 on natural resources in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. It documents that warming has already affected habitats, watersheds, and species in the Southwest, by influencing the timing of seasonal events or amplifying the impacts of natural disturbances such as wildfire and drought. The report concludes that to begin adapting to climate change, natural resource managers should reevaluate the effectiveness of current restoration tools, modify resource objectives, learn from climate-smart adaptive management and monitoring, and share information across boundaries.

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