WHAT’S NEW

09

Nov
Populations of quails in Texas have declined over the past few decades due primarily to habitat loss. However, the role that parasites may play in such declines has been largely dismissed. To help address this, we collected scaled quail (Callipepla squamata), Gambel’s quail (Callipepla gambellii), and Montezuma quail (Cyrtonyx montezumae) from across the Trans-Pecos ecoregion of Texas via hunter-harvest, funnel trapping, and nightlighting.

09

Nov
Trey Johnson has learned how to roll with the punches. Halfway through his bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M, he realized he didn’t want to become a veterinarian anymore. After a visit with a guidance counselor, he pivoted to a Wildlife and Fisheries Science degree and quickly realized he had found his niche. For a year before he graduated, he worked as a wildlife technician for Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension working with bobwhite quail, which ignited an interest in upland ...

06

Nov
It’s fall and it’s bird migration season in West Texas. Many people are itching to get out and find unique birds heading south for the winter. However, sometimes the greatest places to view birds are hard to get to. Which is why the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI), the Dixon Water Foundation, and the Shield-Ayres Foundation launched a new program, Borderlands Birding Bonanza, to connect people with birds. The first Borderlands Birding Bonanza event was held on Oct. 24 and 25. ...

06

Nov
The Respect Big Bend (RBB) coalition wrapped up their fall 2020 seminar series hosted by the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) via webinar. Despite the pivot to online events due to COVID-19, participants remained engaged in the process. “We were able to involve a great lineup of speakers, and that really helped attract participants to the webinars,” said Billy Tarrant, BRI Associate Director of Stewardship Services, who led the effort to organize the seminar series. “Despite the change from in-person seminars to ...

05

Nov
A major research focus for the Borderlands Research Institute is desert quail. There’s a lot of research attention on bobwhite quail, but little available research on scaled quail, Gambel’s quail and Montezuma quail. Listen in on our latest Borderlands Buzz podcast to hear more about BRI’s quail research efforts.

27

Oct
Birding enthusiasts of all skill levels are invited to attend Borderlands Birding Bonanza events in West Texas on Nov. 14 and Nov. 15. The birding field trips will take place at the Dixon Water Foundation’s Mimms Ranch near Marfa. The Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University launched the new series of outreach activities in October to connect people with birds through its Bird Conservation Program. The first event, held Oct. 24-25 at Alamito Creek Preserve in Presidio ...

05

Oct
Residents of West Texas are invited to attend a free webinar on Oct. 22 from 6:30-7:30 pm. “Conservation Values and Strategies for the Last Frontier” will feature a discussion about how the greater Big Bend area is special from both a natural resource and cultural value standpoint and what strategies can be applied to conserve these values. The seminar will feature two experts from the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University, Dr. Louis Harveson and Billy Tarrant.

26

Sep
A new scholarship has been created at the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University by the family of Franklin and Virginia Law to honor their lives and celebrate the family’s long ranching history in Brewster County. Franklin and Virginia Law spent a lifetime together stewarding the West Texas ranch that had been in the family for generations. Virginia’s grandparents, David S. and Eleanora Combs, established the ranch in Brewster County in 1900, where cattle have been raised ...

26

Sep
Six graduate students at the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University have been selected to receive $66,000 in scholarships from four different sources, including a new endowment fund established earlier this year. The newly created Franklin and Virginia Law Scholarship honors the legacy of a West Texas family that has been ranching in Brewster County for more than a century.

26

Sep
The Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University is launching a new series of outreach activities to connect people with birds through its Bird Conservation Program. The “Borderlands Birding Bonanza” will kick off Oct. 24-25 with a birding field trip to Alamito Creek Preserve, a Dixon Water Foundation property in Presidio County, south of Marfa. There are 40 slots available for a series of birding tours that will focus on riparian birds.

23

Sep
The Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University is conserving the last frontier of Texas and the Southwest through research, education and outreach. Our new podcast, “Borderlands Buzz,” features the latest news and views from our faculty, staff, students and partners. Listen in on our first edition, featuring BRI Director Dr. Louis Harveson.

21

Sep
Residents of West Texas are invited to attend a free webinar on Oct. 8 from 6:30-8:00 pm. “Landowners, Energy Development, and Conflict: Finding Common Ground” will explore how landowners and energy companies can work together to find solutions when conflicts occur. The webinar will feature experts in the field, including Dr. Chase Currie with San Pedro Ranch in South Texas, David Yeates with the Texas Wildlife Association, and Chris West with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

18

Sep
She didn’t realize it at the time, but Kelley Wood has been charting her career course since she was a little girl. She grew up on a farm outside of Victoria, Texas and raised livestock through her school’s 4-H program. Her family also participated in a wildlife habitat evaluation project through the 4-H program.

31

Aug
Residents of West Texas are invited to attend a free seminar on Sept. 16 that will explore Development by Design, where energy and conservation meet. Seminar attendees will hear from subject matter experts Joseph Kiesecker with The Nature Conservancy and Melinda Taylor from the University of Texas. The seminar, which was originally scheduled in March, was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. The Sept. 16 event will be presented via webinar.

13

Jul
Thanks to the Dixon Water Foundation, the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) will enhance a songbird conservation program that will connect landowners, birders and the public through community engagement activities. The $25,000 grant will fund field trips focused on birds and implement a citizen science project that will monitor bird populations on private ranches.

06

Jul
The Trans-Pecos region of Texas has four species of quail: the scaled quail, Gambel’s quail, Montezuma (Mearns) quail, and northern bobwhite. Currently, little research regarding parasites has been conducted in the Trans-Pecos; however, it is thought that parasites could be influencing range, health, reproduction, and survival of scaled quail, Gambel’s quail, and Montezuma quail in the region.

06

Jul
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has awarded a third six-figure grant to the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) for a grassland enhancement project in Marfa and Marathon. The funds will be matched dollar for dollar by private sources including funds from landowners and dollars raised by BRI, doubling the impact of the grant. The recently approved $250,000 grant was preceded by two similar grants in 2018 and 2019.

25

Jun
Childhood visits to Texas state parks led Rachel Bittner to choose an education and a career path involving wildlife. “My parents started taking me camping before I could walk,” said Rachel. “We camped and hiked and fished in state parks across Texas. I learned to love nature, wildlife and the outdoors by just being outside with my family.”

23

Jun
The seminar series got underway in January 2020, but three of the seminars were cancelled—one due to weather and the others to the COVID-19 pandemic. The seminar series is being rebooted for the fall with new topics and speakers. The seminar series is designed to engage a broad constituency of Big Bend community members to better inform them on recent energy projections, potential impacts on communities and conservation values, and to develop creative strategies to conserve the unique resources ...

19

May
Texan by Nature, a Texas-led conservation nonprofit, recently announced that the Respect Big Bend Coalition has been named a 2020 Conservation Wrangler. Texan by Nature’s Conservation Wrangler program is recognizing six innovative conservation projects across the state of Texas for their science-based and results-driven approach to conservation along with their ability to positively impact people, prosperity and natural resources.

05

May
In a year of “many firsts,” Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute (CDRI) announced the first time it has broken tradition and awarded four scholarships, vs. the customary two. Three of the four recipients this year are graduate students at the Borderlands Research Institute: Jacob Locke, Rachel Bittner, and Alex Chavez.

27

Apr
When you are a professor who teaches wildlife management courses to undergraduate and graduate students, you get used to things not always going as planned. Wildlife doesn’t always cooperate. A field research day might get rained out. A hypothesis might not pan out as a student expected. So, when the world turned upside down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Borderlands Research Institute’s (BRI) Dr. Ryan Luna took it all in stride.

06

Apr
In the Marfa grasslands of Far West Texas, volunteers contributed over 1,600 hours toward grassland bird captures this winter. We had volunteers from all over Texas, and 15 volunteers from Chihuahua, Mexico!

02

Apr
The Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University was well represented at the annual Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society meeting that was held in February in Corpus Christi. The meeting draws wildlife professionals from across the state who gather to learn from each other through workshops, research presentations, and networking.

18

Mar
Alex Chávez Treviño has been trying to explain to his family what he studies at school since he first went to college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and Genomics from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León Mexico in 2016...

09

Mar
POSTPONED. Please note that the March 18 seminar described in the news release below that was issued on March 9 has been postponed. We will update you when the postponed seminar is re-scheduled.

17

Feb
The panoramic horizon was broken by a red Robinson R44 helicopter. Below it, precious cargo. Two of the Chisum Ranch’s many pronghorn dangled under the chopper like wind chimes. The pronghorn came in for a soft landing, and a group of wildlife professionals quickly huddled around them...

11

Feb
The Meadows Foundation is providing a $100,000 grant to the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) to support the work of the Respect Big Bend Coalition in West Texas...

28

Jan
This Spring at the Sul Ross State University Espino Conference Center in Alpine, Texas, a series of four seminars will be held to address energy development in the greater Big Bend Region...

08

Jan
For many years BRI has partnered with TPWD to study translocated desert bighorn sheep populations throughout the Trans-Pecos. With this project we are looking into the differences among resident, hard-, and soft-released populations...

07

Jan
“I knew a job that had me inside all the time would not be a good choice. I started investigating careers that had to do with animals and being outdoors. ... so when I found out about what wildlife biologists did, I knew that was it.” ...

20

Nov
This Spring at the Sul Ross State University Espino Conference Center in Alpine, Texas, a series of four seminars will be held to address energy development in the greater Big Bend Region...

20

Nov
Over 140 people attended to learn about what landowners can do when loss and fragmentation of private lands are at stake due to mineral rights, eminent domain, estate taxes, and shifting family roles...

04

Nov
With partners from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, and the Dixon Water Foundation, BRI has been studying two grassland-obligate bird species, Baird’s sparrow and grasshopper sparrow...

01

Nov
“One of the things that has really motivated me is the number of accomplished women scientists at the Borderlands Research Institute...I never thought a woman could have a career in this field until I came to Alpine." ...

28

Oct
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has awarded a second six-figure grant to the Borderlands Research Institute for a grassland enhancement project in Marfa and Marathon...

08

Oct
On November 14th at the SRSU Espino Conference Center, Texas Agricultural Land Trust and Borderlands Research Institute are partnering to host Saving Working Lands: Preparing Landowners for Energy Development...

04

Oct
To understand why mule deer numbers struggled, researchers with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Cemex and Borderlands Research Institute conducted a restoration project in the BGWMA and a neighboring ranch...

04

Oct
Currently a Natural Resource Specialist for Texas Parks and Wildlife Deparment, Kiddo Campbell is also a graduate student at Sul Ross State University and is wrapping up his thesis project on mule deer restoration...

20

Sep
Permian Basin Area Foundation is providing a $300K grant to the Borderlands Research Institute to support stakeholder engagement and outreach as part of the Respect Big Bend Coalition...

01

Aug
“I feel incredibly privileged to get to do what we do.... Helping to bring back one of Texas’ most iconic big game species to its native range is a pretty cool feeling.”...

01

Aug
In the Trans-Pecos, carrying capacity estimates are needed to assess how many pronghorn the habitat can sustain. We are also studying how different cattle grazing regimes affect pronghorn forage...

12

Jul
BRI is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Carlos (Lalo) Gonzalez as Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Management and the Nau Endowed Professor in Habitat Research and Management...

03

Jun
While most landowners enjoy seeing mule deer, concerns about crop damage have increased, raising many questions about the relationship between mule deer and agriculture...

03

Jun
Jacob Lampman learned to love wildlife and nature at his grandfather’s knee...

06

May
As Associate Director for Stewardship Services, Tarrant will develop and implement outreach activities including landowner workshops, stakeholder meetings, and research symposia...

15

Apr
Barbara Sugarman grew up in sunny San Diego and spent as much time outdoors as she could on the public land trail system adjacent to her neighborhood...

15

Apr
Prairie dogs are often underappreciated animals; usually considered pests, this species helps uphold a healthy ecosystem...

04

Mar
The $400,000 endowment honors John Poindexter, a founding advisory board member for BRI, who has long been a champion for West Texas...

16

Jan
Michael completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Management at Sul Ross in 2015 and is now working toward his master’s degree...

15

Jan
Thanks to a $1 million gift, the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) has endowed a Conservation Biology chair at Sul Ross State University...

28

Nov
It is almost that time of the year again where we kick off our grassland bird captures...

28

Nov
The Texas State University Board of Regents honored Dr. Louis Harveson with a prestigious Regents’ Professor Award at their board meeting earlier this month...

28

Nov
Since the early 1990s, scientific researchers (and less-scientific Sasquatch hunters) have used infrared-triggered camera traps as a low-cost tool for recording animal activities at all times of the day and night...

20

Nov
BRI graduate student Maribel Glass is thrilled to be studying range and wildlife management at Sul Ross State University. You could say she’s been dreaming about it for most of her young life...

24

Oct
The Texas Agricultural Land Trust, along with the Borderlands Research Institute and other local partners, will host a landowner seminar in Alpine...

19

Sep
The Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) has received a $75,000 donation from Park Cities Quail to support scaled quail research...

18

Sep
Nine Sul Ross State University students from the fourth annual Borderlands Research Institute Undergraduate Mentorship Program presented their research findings on Friday, Sept. 14...

14

Sep
Army veteran Howell Pugh’s path to Borderlands Research Institute has been a circuitous one. After high school he worked with his father at the family’s auto repair shop in Arlington, Texas...

11

Sep
The Houston Safari Club Foundation has awarded $39,000 in scholarships to seven Borderlands Research Institute students. The scholarships are part of the foundation’s Dan L. Duncan Scholarship Program...

28

Aug
The Texas Ornithological Society has awarded a $6,000 grant to the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) to purchase radio transmitters for a grassland bird research project...

20

Aug
The Texas State University System Board of Regents announced the selection of Sul Ross State University’s Dr. Louis Harveson as a winner of the 2018 Regents’ Professor Award, the System’s highest faculty honor...

07

Aug
Where can kit fox be found in Texas? That’s the research objective of a Borderlands Research Institute study currently being conducted in the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas...

26

Jun
Matt was accepted into the program in 2018, and his thesis work is focused on determining distribution of kit fox in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas...

26

Jun
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) for a grassland enhancement project in Marfa and Marathon...

30

Apr
Froylan Hernandez loves his job. As Desert Bighorn Sheep Program Leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Froylan leads one of the most successful wildlife conservation efforts in Texas...

17

Apr
The Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University is pleased to announce the largest philanthropic gift in its 10-year history. The $1.5 million gift will fund a new Nau Endowed Chair in Habitat Research and Management at BRI...

08

Mar
A new scholarship has been created at the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University by the family of Virginia Matthews Law, whose family has operated a ranch in West Texas for more than one hundred years...

07

Mar
Growing up in Chihuahua, Mexico, Denis Josefina Perez-Ordoñez remembers the government campaigning to create awareness about water issues and developing water conservation regulations...

24

Feb
Several Sul Ross State University Range and Wildlife students won awards and scholarships at the 54th annual meeting of the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society, held Feb. 9-11 in Dallas...

21

Feb
Graduate researchers from Sul Ross State University’s Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) are assisting with a five-year, collaborative mule deer study with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and two other state universities...

15

Feb
It’s dawn in late January, near Marfa, and the grasslands on Mimms Ranch are radiant, swaying like a thick, golden mane in the sporadic breeze...

13

Feb
The Borderlands Research Institute will have a booth at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s (HLSR’s) Ranching and Wildlife Expo, Tuesday – Saturday (27 Feb – 3 Mar 2018)...

08

Feb
Nineteenth and early 20th century naturalists found them “fantastic,” “curious,” “bizarre.” The male’s face is marked by swirls of black and white – and with their wild patterning, they were called “harlequin quail,” “fool quail,” “crazy quail.”

15

Nov
Mountain lion research conducted by the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University is featured in a short film produced by Texas filmmaker Ben Masters that is an official selection of National Geographic’s short film showcase...

08

Oct
The Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University is marking ten years of collaborative efforts to conserve one of the most biologically diverse regions of the world: the Chihuahuan Desert in the borderlands of West Texas...

26

Sep
The Wild Texas Film Tour is coming to 13 Texas cities through November! Two of the films feature BRI research projects. The tour features Texas wildlife, adventure, and conservation short films along with characters from the films...

15

Aug
The Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross University in Alpine, Texas has announced that Dr. Ryan Luna has been appointed to the newly created Kelly R. Thompson professorship in quail research...