The annual Desert Tortoise Council Symposium was full of interesting topics and discussions. This year, Kathy Simon (Ironwood) chaired the final session on desert tortoise connectivity, which included presentations from Ken Nussear (USGS), Roy Averill-Murray (DTRO), Chris Blandford (Ironwood) and Rick Simon (Cordoba Corporation). Roy Averill-Murray and the DTRO recently produced guidance documents with regard to the importance of demographic connectivity in terms of recovery efforts. Conserving functional linkages between tortoise conservation areas strengthens the network of conserved lands and helps mitigate against the adverse of effects of population declines, stochastic events, and population isolation. Roy Averill-Murray presented a new method of modeling population dynamics within a spatial context to better understand how local populations or habitat patches contribute to long-term, regional population viability. Ken Nussear introduced a new technique of identifying contact networks among individual tortoises within linkages under study. His study sites consisted of high-elevation, relatively narrow passes that potentially bridge occupied habitat located in neighboring valleys. The
This year has been defined by some major undertakings and accomplishments. In April, Ironwood began providing biological resources support for two photovoltaic solar projects near Primm, NV. Clearance surveys on approximately 4,000 acres commenced in the spring and were completed in the fall. We performed surveys per state and federal guidelines and translocated desert tortoises out of harm’s way and into approved recipient sites. Health assessments were performed on all monitored tortoises during the spring and fall. Radio tracking of transmittered tortoises continues on a regular schedule.
The team of biologists dedicated to the clearance effort did an outstanding job placing the welfare of each tortoise in high regard. We are all very grateful for the commitment to excellence that each biologist demonstrated and contributed over the span of four busy months. We also want to acknowledge the contributions of the BLM, USFWS, CDFW, and client representatives who were essential to the success of this year’s effort.
In addition to desert tortoise
Ironwood strongly encourages our team members to consider submitting an abstract for the upcoming annual meeting of The Western Section of The WiIdlife Society being held at the end of January, 2014 in Reno, Nevada. The plenary will be focused on “Harnessing Citizen Science Toward Greater Conservation”. Please contact Ironwood President Kathy B Simon about how you to translate your Ironwood experiences into an interesting presentation; she is helping to organize the papers at the Annual Meeting.
There will be a host of scientific sessions on herps (Year of the Snake!), birds, mammals, wildlife technologies, climate change, renewable energy in our deserts, wildlife diseases, road impacts, etc., as well as a symposium on the greater sage grouse and several working group meetings (CA/NV golden eagle, southern Sierra Nevada fisher, greater sage grouse). For schedule and more information, please use this link: http://www.tws-west.org/ac2014_conf.php
We would also like to encourage you all to check out The Wildlife Society’s monthly newsletter. Follow this link
Ironwood and some of its consultants have donated funds to the avian rehabilitation center in Indio.
From the Center’s website: “The Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center is a non-profit corporation that was created for the care and rehabilitation of orphaned, injured or sick native wild birds, with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into their habitats. To provide community education in the ways and needs of wild birds. To promote a deeper respect and understanding to the problems facing wildlife, in an environment, which human activities are altering.”
Check out their website to read more and, if you’re interested, donate or become a member: http://coachellavalleywildbirdcenter.org/
Ironwood has a new, central office!
It is located on Nevada Street in Redlands, just south of Interstate 10 between the Alabama and California Street exits, convenient for those of you heading out to or heading back from field projects.
The front half of the office is traditional office space and the back of the office sports a roll up door to a large storage unit. Contractors and employees alike are welcome to benefit from using the space to transfer and store supplies, and to use the office as a guest work and meeting space.
We’re open to other ideas on how to use the space to benefit all of us – ideas welcome. As we furnish the space we will run a photo contest to get all of your work onto the walls and on the big screen in the lobby!