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NATURAL HERITAGE NEW MEXICO is a division of the Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico.
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Black-footed Ferret
Federally listed
Chiricahua Leopard Frog

NHNM Data Management Group Organizes ESA Section 10 Reports for USFWS New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office

Since 2011, Natural Heritage New Mexico (NHNM) has worked with the New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to develop a searchable website for New Mexico Section 10 reports. Per Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, all permitted researchers and contractors submit annual reports of research conducted on federally listed species to USFWS to inform the Service on the current status of the species. These reports have some of the most current information on federally listed species in New Mexico. NHNM has been creating electronic copies of permit reports and entering them into the website that is available to USFWS and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish personnel. In addition, NHNM has been mining relevant data from Section 10 reports for entry into NM Biotics, NHNM's biodiversity database. Data entry into NM Biotics will make species specific geospatial data available for use in agency and public resource and management planning.

NHNM Updates New Mexico Bat Conservation Status Ranks

In October 2012, Natural Heritage New Mexico (NHNM) partnered with local bat biologists to review recent information for New Mexico's bat species and update their state conservation status ranks. Biologists from New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, and the University of Nebraska-Kearney provided expertise to accurately assess each species. This effort was done to assist the New Mexico Bat Working Group and the Western Bat Working Group update their bat matrix. As a member of the Natural Heritage Network, NHNM manages and updates species conservation status ranks at the state level. State conservation ranks indicate the conservation status of individual species within New Mexico relative to its rarity and/or threats to its survival. Heritage ranks are independent of and differ from federal and state legal protection statuses.

Rio Costilla in Northern New Mexico
Dunes Sagebrush Lizard
NHNM Dunes Sagebrush Lizard Habitat Map

NHNM has contracted with the Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management to provide a habitat map for the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus). This project will also produce a comprehensive and reliable database of known dunes sagebrush lizard localities in New Mexico. Primary goals of the project include a habitat map covering the species' range in southeastern New Mexico. Suitable habitat will be modeled at the blowout scale within the shinnery dune ecosystem that the lizard occupies. NHNM will produce a web map application for use by biologists, resource planners, contractors, and industries operating within the lizard's range in NM. The goal of the project is to provide the best scientific information to help reduce the conflict between land use pressures and conservation of habitat necessary to ensure survival of the dunes sagebrush lizard.

Gunnison's Prairie-Dog
Gunnison's Prairie-Dog

Mapping Prairie-Dog Towns using Aerial Photos
Mapping Prairie-Dog Towns using Aerial Photos

Natural Heritage Surveys for Prairie Dogs Using Remote Sensing

Across their ranges, populations of black-tailed and Gunnison’s prairie dogs have declined dramatically over the last 100 years. The black-tailed prairie dog is being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act, and the Gunnison’s is a candidate for listing over part of its range, including north-central New Mexico. Prairie dogs dig burrows and disturb vegetation, creating bare areas visible on aerial photographs. Since 2001, NHNM zoologist Kristine Johnson, GIS analyst Teri Neville, and their students have been surveying for prairie dog towns using digital aerial photography. This method is a rapid and economical method of surveying and monitoring these species of conservation concern across large landscapes and in areas with few roads.

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