• August 7, 2020

GOOD NEWS: Foundation awards grant to BRI for bird conservation - Odessa American: Good News

e-Edition Subscribe

GOOD NEWS: Foundation awards grant to BRI for bird conservation

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2020 3:00 am

ALPINE Thanks to the Dixon Water Foundation, the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) will enhance a songbird conservation program that will connect landowners, birders and the public through community engagement activities. The $25,000 grant will fund field trips focused on birds and implement a citizen science project that will monitor bird populations on private ranches.

“The Dixon Water Foundation is supporting this new effort because birds provide a great indicator of ecological health of the land and waterways of the Chihuahuan Desert,” Dixon Water Foundation President & CEO Robert J. Potts said. “Birds are also an excellent way to engage and educate the public on the importance of well managed watersheds. Birds provide a visible nexus between land, water and people.”

In 2016, BRI launched a comprehensive study evaluating wintering grassland birds on private lands in West Texas. During the first two field seasons, BRI’s Bird Conservation Specialist, Mieke Titulaer, was successful in involving the birding community across Texas in bird capture activities. Volunteers from all over Texas traveled to Marfa to participate in bird captures.

“More than 230 volunteers helped us gather data over the course of two years, and that enthusiasm confirmed the potential for enhancing our Songbird Conservation Program at BRI,” Louis Harveson, who is the Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., BRI Endowed Director and Regents’ Professor of Wildlife Management at Sul Ross State University, said. “We are immensely grateful to the Dixon Water Foundation for being the wind beneath our wings for this program.”

The goal of the Songbird Conservation Program is to advance the awareness, appreciation, and conservation of birds in West Texas. The grant will allow BRI to implement a number of new initiatives to engage citizens in songbird conservation. Those activities could include bird watching excursions on private ranches, bird photography workshops and educational seminars. In addition, a citizen science project will be developed that will document bird populations on private ranches through long-term monitoring efforts.

“We’re really excited about ramping up this program,” Titulaer said. “It has been gratifying to interact with so many volunteers who are so enthusiastic about our work. They helped us gather the data we needed for our research, and sparked the idea for a bird outreach program and citizen science project that led to us successfully applying for this grant. We’re looking forward to getting it off the ground.”

With more than 500 birds in the borderlands region of Texas, it is no wonder that West Texas is a favorite destination among birders. Birding is one of the main outdoor recreational activities from which landowners can derive substantial income. A national survey has documented that wildlife watching contributed $1.3 billion to the state’s economy in 2001.

For more than a decade, the Borderlands Research Institute has encouraged effective land stewardship of the Chihuahuan Desert. Housed at Sul Ross State University, the Borderlands Research Institute builds on a long-lasting partnership with private landowners, the university’s Range and Wildlife Program, and cooperating state, federal, and non-governmental organizations. Through research, education, and outreach, the Borderlands Research Institute is helping to conserve the last frontier of Texas and the Southwest.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Sunny
89°
Humidity: 39%
Winds: S at 19mph
Feels Like: 91°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 100°/Low 74°
Mostly sunny. Highs 98 to 102F and lows in the mid 70s.

saturday

weather
High 99°/Low 73°
Mainly sunny. Highs in the upper 90s and lows in the low 70s.

sunday

weather
High 98°/Low 73°
Sunny. Highs in the upper 90s and lows in the low 70s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.