Statewide Assessment and Strategies
Prioritized Conservation Actions

Approaches for conserving New Mexico's biological diversity at the species or site-specific levels alone are inadequate for long-term conservation of SGCN. Rather, conservation strategies should be ecosystem-based and include broad public input and support (Galeano-Popp 1996). Prioritized conservation actions that we believe will assist in achieving desired future outcomes are aggregated below at a statewide scale. NMDGF will monitor species and habitats to evaluate the effectiveness of these conservation actions and those found to be ineffective will be modified and re-deployed in accordance with the principles of adaptive management.


Terrestrial Habitats
  1. Work with federal and state agencies, tribes, private landowners, research institutions, and universities to design and implement research, survey, or monitoring projects to enhance our understanding of SGCN and key habitats. Research pertaining to SGCN distribution and abundance and the condition and connectivity of habitats is especially desirable as are studies that monitor SGCN status and identify factors limiting SGCN populations.

  2. Work with land management agencies, private land managers, and the agriculture industry to identify and promote rangeland grazing methodologies that ensure long-term plant and animal productivity, ecological sustainability and integrity, and are cost effective for livestock interests.

  3. Collaborate with state and federal agencies, tribes, private organizations, research institutions, universities, and private landowners to identify and protect riparian and other habitat corridors that are important for sustaining SGCN. This should include identifying areas that have historic or potential value as connecting habitat corridors and for which willing private landowners can obtain conservation easements.

  4. Form partnerships with affected communities and federal land management agencies to facilitate and encourage the conservation, protection, maintenance, and restoration of key habitats and unique microhabitats within key habitats. Watershed management practices that reduce soil erosion, and maintain biodiversity are encouraged.

  5. Collaborate with state and federal agencies and private landowners to develop measures to reduce habitat fragmentation within and adjacent to key habitats. Closures of unnecessary roads or minimizing new roads in key habitats are potential approaches.

  6. Create public awareness and understanding of ecosystem function, values, and products and the scope and scale of human impacts important to SGCN. Promote community based support and involvement in decisions related to ecological sustainability and integrity of key habitats and SGCN viability.

  7. Work with federal and state agencies, tribes, private agencies and institutions to maintain tracts of native vegetation and to identify additional sources of funding for long-term conservation of SGCN. Actions that create incentive based or voluntary partnerships with private landowners to conserve and manage properties to sustain SGCN are desirable.

  8. Maintain awareness of the introduction and spread of invasive, non-native, and exotic plants and animals and encourage control or eradication where necessary to maintain or restore biodiversity.

  9. Collaborate with affected interests to pursue enactment of state laws or policies to protect closed basins within key habitats from the impacts of dredge and fill activities and future development.

  10. Work with public and private land managers to reduce woody vegetation encroachment in grassland and meadow habitats that are important to SGCN and to maintain grassland and meadow functionality.

  11. Work with public and private land managers and the energy industry to encourage conducting energy development in a manner that preserves the integrity and functionality of key habitats and to rehabilitate abandoned well pads and access roads.

  12. Collaborate with federal and state agencies and private landowners to ensure the ecological sustainability and integrity of key habitats. Methods may include: establishing conservation agreements, inter-agency memoranda of understanding, or land acquisition projects.

  13. Work with land management agencies and private landowners to develop a fire management regime that promotes restoration of vegetative communities more nearly approximating those that historically supported SGCN.

  14. Work with federal and state agencies to liberalize burn policies in the wilderness areas surrounding meadow habitats to allow future fires to burn up to a meadow's edge rather than being suppressed.

  15. Work with the US Forest Service to promote compliance with the principles of ecological forestry for any land management activities conducted within woodland or forested habitats.

  16. Investigate opportunities to strengthen conditions of approval and reclamation standards for oil and gas development and develop partnership programs and funding mechanisms for implementing improved reclamation.

  17. Work with public and private land managers and the energy industry to adopt adaptive management strategies that minimize disturbance to SGCN caused by industrial infrastructure, grazing, and recreation in key habitats.

  18. Work with private landowners, counties, municipalities, federal land management agencies, and the State Land Office to mitigate and reduce impacts related to urbanization and develop consistent reclamation standards that ensure future key habitat integrity and functionality.


Aquatic Habitats
  1. Work with federal and state agencies, tribes, private landowners, research institutions, and universities to design and implement research, survey, or monitoring projects to enhance our understanding of SGCN and key habitats. Research pertaining to SGCN distribution and abundance and the condition and connectivity of habitats is especially desirable as are studies that monitor SGCN status and identify factors limiting SGCN populations.

  2. Coordinate with state and federal land managers, tribes, and private landowners to protect, restore, conserve, and create aquatic habitats and surrounding natural vegetation.

  3. Collaborate with federal and state agencies and affected publics to create public awareness and understanding of aquatic habitats functions, services, and values. Emphasize educating anglers about the risks posed by undesirable non-native fishes.

  4. Collaborate with federal and state agencies, private landowners, research institutions, and universities to develop strategies to prevent emigration of non-native species or invasive species (including plants) into surrounding areas; seek partnerships that encourage the removal of harmful non-native species and the prevention of further introductions; and monitor habitat communities to assess and eliminate potential adverse effects posed by introduced species.

  5. Collaborate with involved government agencies to implement existing management plans, conservation agreements, and recovery plans.

  6. Collaborate with federal and state agencies, tribes, and affected publics to adopt standardized monitoring and survey methods to track gains and losses of aquatic habitats.

  7. Work with federal and state agencies and affected publics to develop techniques to maintain natural hydrologic flows in aquatic habitats that maintain minimum conservation pools sufficient to support sport fisheries, SGCN, and year-round recreational opportunities; minimize the effect of diversion structures and water withdrawals on native fish SGCN; and design and implement irrigation water withdrawal structures that balance needs of aquatic SGCN communities.

  8. Seek acceptance of "instream flow" water rights for wildlife conservation needs.

  9. Work with land management agencies, private land managers, and the agriculture industry to identify and promote grazing methodologies on rangelands that ensure long-term plant and animal productivity, ecological sustainability and integrity, and are cost effective for livestock interests.

  10. Collaborate with federal and state agencies and affected publics to complete and implement the Draft State Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan.

  11. Collaborate with federal and state agencies, tribes, private landowners, research institutions, and universities to complete an inventory and conduct a regional risk assessment of the distribution of the whirling disease parasite (Myxobolus cerebralis) and suppress yellow grub parasite in affected habitats.

  12. Actively pursue the cooperation of private landowners in the protection and recovery of the SGCN.

  13. Collaborate with agencies and affected publics to adopt and encourage compliance with baitfish regulations that preclude introduction of non-native species.

  14. Work with federal and state agencies, tribes, NGOs, and universities to improve the use of existing data management systems for tracking information pertinent to aquatic habitats.

  15. Work with federal and state agencies and affected publics to identify actions to prevent lowering of groundwater levels and promote water conservation activities.

  16. Collaborate with federal and state agencies to reduce the amount of aquatic habitat altered by logging and road building.

  17. Work with state, federal and private land managers to mitigate and reduce impacts on aquatic habitats from land and water use practices.

  18. Work with the US Forest Service to develop strategies to reduce the effects of wildfire induced ash flows on native fish assemblages and ensure that SGCN in aquatic habitats are not adversely affected by fire management practices.

  19. Establish partnerships with other federal, state, local agencies and potentially affected interests to encourage monitoring local aquifers for water quantity and quality as it relates to specific habitat locations, to identify potential threats to habitats important to SGCN, and to identify and pursue alternatives to the Clean Water Act for restoring protection to aquatic habitats.

  20. Work with law enforcement agencies to increase compliance with regulations regarding transport and release of undesired non-native fishes.