MVAS Bird Monitoring and Conservation Project
MVAS is monitoring the bird population on the Rio Grande. The first half of the MVAS Bird Survey is complete, with the collection of data at the eBird “Hotspot”: Rio Grande- Las Cruces: Treatment Water Canal South to I-10. After compiling 47 lists over 12 months, we identified 86 species and counted 2258 birds total. See the references below for details. The plan was to use this data as a “before” template, to be compared with another year long data collection effort after the US International Water Boundary Commission (USIBWC) completes a planned riparian construction at the study site.
The USIBWC is still working on final plans for how extensive their riparian rehabilitation is going to be. Initially plans included acreage between the canal and I-10 overpass (2019); then they demoted the entire project and signaled it would probably be abandoned (2020); and currently the initial project as well as additional acres north of the canal are being considered as high priority projects, with final decisions and contracts awarded in 2023.
Current Activity: No further checklists are being recorded from the worksite at this time. MVAS has contributed to the Comment Section of the current USIBWC Draft Proposal, encouraging it to proceed with its current plan.
As relates to the Audubon Grant, all activity was initially stopped in the setting of COVID-19. Ideas for redirecting the grant funds to other outreach projects are being discussed by the MVAS Board and may support activities at Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park.
2. eBird study site “Hotspot”: Rio Grande- Las Cruces: Treatment Water Canal South to I-10.
3. Audubon’s Western Rivers Bird Count: https://www.audubon.org/western-rivers-bird-count.
4. Data from completed survey 10/18/2020