Statewide Assessments and Strategies
There are numerous information gaps that limit our ability to make informed conservation decisions in New Mexico. Appendices M and N summarize information gaps identified in each ecological framework (terrestrial and aquatic, respectively) and key habitat. Information gaps that, if filled, would enhance our ability to make informed conservation decisions in New Mexico are outlined below.
- The extent to which land use activities (e.g., grazing, human development, road-building, and energy exploration and development, etc...) fragment and alter habitats in relation to size, edge effect, and use by SGCN is unknown.
- Life history of most of the SGCN, including distribution, abundance, status and trends, habitat requirements, and movement information is poorly understood.
- Effects and extent of habitat fragmentation on SGCN are unknown.
- Extent to which invasive and non-native species may alter habitat community structure and preclude populations of SGCN is unknown.
- The role of natural fire and differing intensities of fire within key habitats and the long- term affect of altered fire regimes on SGCN are poorly understood.
- More information is needed on the existing conditions that limit populations of SGCN or otherwise inhibit their resiliency for adapting to human disturbances.
- The affects of altered hydrological patterns on aquatic habitats and their SGCN, including modifications to current hydrological patterns that may benefit native SGCN are unknown.
- Little is known about water quality and its affects upon associated SGCN or sources of pollution and the extent to which pollution alters habitats.
- Our information base on the factors causing pathogen outbreaks and the potential for diseases needs to be expanded.
- We have an inadequate understanding of the overall impact of the synergistic effects of the multiple factors influencing key habitats or SGCN.
- Additional information is needed on the suitability of selected key habitats and SGCN for restoration.
- More information is needed on methods for detecting landscape degradation, especially the identification of attributes for early detection.
- There are no accurate data for creating spatial depictions of suitable habitats for molluscs, crustaceans, and other arthropods in New Mexico, including the locations and quality of ephemeral habitats, marsh, springs, seeps, cienegas, or perennial ponds.
- Comprehensive evaluative information is lacking regarding the status and trends pertaining to the occupation of New Mexico by non-native plant and animal species.
- We lack information needed to evaluate the collective effectiveness of multi-agency conservation actions such as riparian and terrestrial habitat restoration projects on a statewide basis.
- We lack the information necessary to detect changes in key habitats at a landscape level within ecoregions.