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 problem confronting MVAS was the decision by USIBWC to reconsider their construction project. They are still reviewing their options and will hold public meetings sometime before the end of 2020. They might not do any construction! A second problem was a result of COVID-19, with MVAS being unable to complete outreach at the survey site after receiving a $3000 grant from Audubon.
Current Activity: No further checklists are being recorded from the worksite at this time. Efforts are underway to convince the US International Water and Boundary Commission to return to their prior plans and construct a riparian environment as previously planned. The Survey would resume after their work is complete.
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.
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