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Grassland data

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)

Lesser Prairie-Chicken Spatial Planning Tool (2010)

The model described here is a GIS-based spatial model designed to assess the impact of future development on lesser prairie-chicken (LEPC) conservation in eastern New Mexico emulates the Oklahoma Lesser Prairie-Chicken Spatial Planning Tool, a product of a collaboration including the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Playa Lakes Joint Venture, the Oklahoma Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the University of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University. This tool is intended for use in planning for future development, minimizing negative impacts of future development on current LEPC habitat, and in planning conservation and restoration efforts for LEPC in eastern New Mexico. The model aims to provide industry and wildlife professionals a tool that can help: 1) site development projects with LEPC conservation in mind, 2) identify areas of critical habitat for LEPC conservation, and 3) identify areas for potential habitat restoration and/or species reintroduction, including offsets for the impact of future development activities. It is important to note that this study does not address any potential concerns other than the LEPC.

Download file (2 MB)

Jemez Mountains Climate Change Adaptation Workshop: Final Report (April 2009)

Report on the Southwest Climate Change Initiative’s Jemez Mountains Climate Change Adaptation Workshop of April 2009 in Los Alamos, New Mexico. 41 pp., including executive summary and appendices.

Download file (<1 MB)

Jemez Mountains Climate Adaptation Workshop: Presentations (April 2009)

Presentations by speakers at the Jemez Mountains Climate Adaptation Workshop of April 2009, including Todd Ringler (Los Alamos National Lab), Bob Parmenter (Valles Caldera National Preserve), Molly Cross (Wildlife Conservation Society) and Carolyn Enquist (The Nature Conservancy)

Apache Highlands Grasslands Assessment (October 2008)

This paper describes a simple, yet broadly applicable rapid assessment expert system approach that can be used to assess grassland status for improved conservation planning and management.

Download file (1.5 MB)

Lesser Prairie Chicken and Range Management Presentation (January 2009)

PowerPoint presentation of Prairie-Chickens, Bugs, and Cows: Lessons from the TNC Milnesand Prairie Preserve.

Download file (6MB)

Lesser Prairie Chicken Monitoring Abstract (January 2009)

Prairie-Chickens, Bugs, and Cows: Lessons from the TNC Milnesand Prairie Preserve.

Download file (<1 MB)

Report 2 (of 3) Evidence of Climate Change in NM (December 2008)

The second of three reports assesses the conservation implications of recent climate change on New Mexico’s watersheds and hydrology. Analyzing recent trends (1970-2006) in a water balance variable—climate water deficit—that indicates biological moisture stress or drying, this study identifies watersheds of high conservation importance in New Mexico that are most and least vulnerable to ongoing climate change.

Download file (9 MB)

Slideshow overview of REA results (March 2008)

A slideshow overview of REA results. It summarizes REA methods and results for condition and restoration opportunity. It also shows how the REA can be focused on particular ecosystems, like Pinon-Juniper invasion of former grasslands and savannas, and on project areas. Some slides are animated (change with mouse click or arrow keys) - so view in full screen. Each slide includes notes.

Download file (32 MB)

Lesser Prairie Chicken Report 2008 (January 2009)

A summary report on the habitat for lesser prairie-chickens and other wildlife in sand-shinnery oak – grass communities on the Milnesand Prairie Preserve.

Download file (<1 MB)

Ecological Site Description and Biophysical Setting Comparison (June 2007)

Staff of The Nature Conservancy completed a review and comparison of ecological models produced by the LANDFIRE multi-agency project and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Download file (<1MB)

Rangeland Ecological Assessment Appendix 2 (March 2008)

A GIS dataset of the mapped REA states and Data Exploration Tool packaged as a personal ArcGIS 9.x geodatabase. The Data Exploration Tool is a beta application produced by Elliott Software (http://ellsoft.us/) for the REA.

Download file (25MB)

Rangeland Ecological Assessment Appendix 1 (March 2008)

This appendix describes the mapped REA states, based on ecological site descriptions, and results of several analyses summarized in the REA final report. See that report for further explanation

Download file (1 MB)

New Mexico Rangeland Ecological Assessment Final Report (March 2008)

The REA is a regional assessment of ecological condition and restoration opportunity on over 14 million acres in central and southern New Mexico. It is the first assessment of its kind to span this area in nearly 30 years. The focus of the report is grassland, shrubland, and savanna ecosystems.

Download file (45 MB)

Report 1 (of 3) Evidence of Climate Change in NM (April 2008)

There is now strong scientific evidence that human-induced climate change is affecting the earth's species and ecological systems. The Nature Conservancy's state-wide assessment of recent climate change enables practitioners and managers to make better informed decisions and to take action in the near-term by identifying the potential vulnerability of habitat types, priority conservation sites and species to climate change.

Download file (8.3 MB)

Historical Range of Variation for Potential Natural Vegetation Types of the Southwest (June 2007)

Descriptions of the Historical Range of Variation or Variability (HRV) characterize the change over time and space in the condition of the Southwest’s major vegetation types and the ecological processes that shape those types. HRVs enable land managers and the public to understand the drivers of change in our region’s major vegetation types.

Grasslands Assessment GIS Data (December 2004)

A GIS data set depicting the results of a two-year study to delineate grasslands and evaluate their ecological condition in Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and northern Mexico. This study was completed with the assistance of resource professionals from U.S. and Mexico universities and public agencies.

Download file (1 MB)

An Assessment of the Spatial Extent and Condition of Grasslands in AZ, NM, and Northern Mexico (January 2003)

This report is the first of two studies completed by TNC and partners to delineate the spatial extent and ecological condition of grasslands in central and southern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and northern Mexico. This report covers the 30-million acre Apache Highlands Ecoregion.

Download file (1 MB)

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