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Vanishing Wildlife
Funding Wildlife


 

New Mexico’s Wildlife is
Suffering from Neglect



The Problem

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) is responsible for managing wildlife in our state. However, this agency currently lacks the funding to effectively manage the many wildlife species in New Mexico that need attention. Currently, the NMDGF manages game animals (species with hunting seasons, such as deer, turkey, and cougar), as well as nongame animals such as state-listed endangered species. However, management plans for some of these animals lack the funding needed to make them successful. In addition, there are many "Species of Concern" (i.e., candidates for a threatened or endangered status) that need attention. Unfortunately, the NMDGF lacks funds to employ additional biologists needed to monitor and create management plans for these animals.

In some cases, the NMDGF also lacks the mandate to manage certain wildlife species. An excellent example of this is the western diamondback rattlesnake. The NMDGF does not have the authority to regulate the hunting of this snake. However, because it is often collected for the Alamogordo Rattlesnake Roundup, as well as other commercial purposes, it only makes sense that the hunting of western diamondbacks should be regulated by the NMDGF. Without regulation, there is no reliable way to measure the effects of hunting on New Mexico’s western diamondback population.


A Feasible Solution

It has become clear that the conservation of New Mexico’s wildlife, and the habitats in which they live, will only be successful if adequate funding is available. Animal Protection of New Mexico is leading the charge, and working with the Alliance for New Mexico Wildlife, to increase funding allocations from the state legislature to the Department of Game and Fish. In a statewide poll conducted last year, the majority of New Mexico voters agreed that an increase in funding for the conservation of natural resources such as wildlife and land is important.


Species of Concern

A few examples are listed below. Some of these species are currently being monitored or managed by the NMDGF; most are not. For an entire list of species and their status, download New Mexico Species of Concer PDF Report.

Desert Bighorn Sheep
Eastern Red Bat
Gunnison's Prairie Dog
Jaguar
Mexican Gray Wolf
Sandhill White-tailed Deer
Swift Fox
Southwestern River Otter
Aplomado Falcon
Bald Eagle
Brown Pelican
Burrowing Owl
Gila Woodpecker
Lesser Prairie-Chicken
Mexican Spotted Owl
Violet-crowned Hummingbird
Chihuahua Catfish
Gila Trout
Pecos Pupfish
Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout
Chiricahua Leopard Frog
Colorado River Toad
Jemez Mountains Salamander
Northern Leopard Frog
Desert Kingsnake
Mexican Garter Snake
Mottled Rock Rattlesnake
Texas Horned Lizard Sand Dune Lizard


Alliance for New Mexico Wildlife

The Alliance for New Mexico Wildlife is a coalition of nonprofit environmental, wildlife, and animal protection organizations formed for the purpose of finding additional funding for wildlife and habitat conservation.


Mission Statement

The Alliance for New Mexico Wildlife’s mission is to strengthen and support the laws, institutions and practices necessary for the sound stewardship and management of all the state’s wildlife. To accomplish this, the alliance will work to establish a reliable funding mechanism for wildlife conservation in New Mexico.

Member Groups:

Animal Protection of New Mexico, Inc.
Defenders of Wildlife
National Audubon Society
New Mexico Sportsmen
New Mexico Wildlife Federation
Sierra Club
Southwest Environmental Center
Sandia Mountain BearWatch


Other Articles:

Vanishing Wildlife of New Mexico — A Legacy of Neglect by James A. Bailey, PhD

Examples of Successful Funding Measures in Other States

A GUIDE FOR WILDLIFE STEWARDS (PDF)

Photo credits:
Black Bear: USFWS/Mike Bender
Cougar: USFWS/Larry Moats
Jaguar: USFWS/Gary Stolz
Desert Bighorn Sheep: USFWS/Peter Carboni
Gila Woodpecker: USFWS/Lynn Llewellen
Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout: USFWS/Lloyde Hazzard
Mexican Wolf: USFWS/Jim Clark
Prairie Dog: USFWS/Claire Dobert
Texas Horned Lizard: USFWS/Gary Stolz
Spotted Owl: USFWS/Karen Hollingsworth

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