By Published On: April 26, 2017

“Quiet Leader” Receives Award for Impactful Partnerships

The Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) is pleased to share that Dan Collins is the latest recipient of the prestigious Conservation Partner Award. As Migratory Bird Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Region, Dan was recognized for his work to protect migratory birds of both the Central and Pacific Flyways, and for his outstanding contributions to advancing strategic, landscape-scale habitat conservation.

Dan’s involvement with the IWJV Greater Sandhill Crane Habitat Initiative project, as well as several other crane projects, which include both the Rocky Mountain and Lower Colorado River Valley populations, have been critical to raising awareness for improved crane management in the Pacific Flyway and the IWJV. These projects will contribute much needed information on sandhill crane resource selection, movements, and survival. Furthermore, the results of this work will help identify areas where resource professionals can work with private landowners to strategically implement conservation practices that will benefit cranes and a variety of other wetland-dependent species. Additionally, Dan has spent countless hours in the field trapping cranes from New Mexico to Idaho, in an effort to improve the sample size from which analyses can be completed.

The award nominators said the following about Dan: “In a field all too often judged by the newest tool, current initiative, or flashy catch phrase, it is comforting that there are professionals out there that still understand that conservation begins on the ground. These are the quiet leaders that spend hours behind a computer or on the phone making the connections, finding the funding, and putting in the time to make sure the questions we are asking and the research we are doing are sound and relevant. Dan is one of those rare individuals.”

The IWJV Conservation Partner Award is presented to an agency, organization, corporation or a collaborative effort that has made outstanding contributions to an IWJV-sponsored project or initiative, and has played an instrumental role in advancing strategic, landscape-scale habitat conservation. It recognizes exemplary achievements in building and strengthening conservation partnerships.

Dan earned his B.S. in Biology at a small college in Greensboro, North Carolina, his Master’s degree at Sul Ross State University, and his Ph.D. at Stephen F. Austin State University. Dan joined the Migratory Bird Team in 2008 and has been with the USFWS for nine years. Dan lives in Albuquerque with his wife, three children, and two yellow labs.

IWJV Coordinator Dave Smith and Management Board Chair Jeff McCreary presented Dan with this recognition at IWJV’s April 2017 Management Board meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.