By Published On: March 10, 2020

IWJV Scientist Part of Award-Winning Group

At the Intermountain West Joint Venture, we collaborate with partners to develop innovative and actionable science for avian habitat conservation. Our science partnerships provide the multi-disciplinary framework and ability to address the important science needs and regional conservation strategies of our partners.

Recently, the IWJV’s Landscape Ecologist, Patrick Donnelly, was part of a team of authors who won the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s prestigious John R. Morgart Award for Outstanding Contribution to Scientific Publication in 2019. Results from this work are helping to guide wetland and riparian conservation in New Mexico’s Middle Rio Grande Valley, an IWJV priority landscape for waterbirds in the West.

“The work has become a key component of the Middle Rio Grande Valley waterfowl plan,” said Jeff Sanchez, the Refuge Biologist at New Mexico’s Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

The Morgart Award review panel felt the authors’ approach was original and rigorous and addressed a challenging conservation and management issue. 

“The impactful findings of the research disentangled complex interactions between physical and ecological processes and human activities that influence wintering migratory birds and highlight the important function of National Wildlife Refuges and State Management Areas in fragile semi-arid ecosystems characteristic of the Southwest,” the panel said. “The authors contributed valuable information to support the decision-making process for conserving trust species in highly pressured environments. The results are broadly applicable where land-use practices and water-use policy and management are in conflict with species needs.”

The paper, “Land Use, Anthropogenic Disturbance, and Riverine Features Drive Patterns of Habitat Selection by a Wintering Waterbird in a Semi-Arid Environment,” can be viewed at the link below.