Wildlife Monitoring

East Foundation lands are the cornerstone to our research program. Land is constantly changing, with some change happening rapidly (e.g., in response to prescribed burns) and some change happening more slowly (e.g., with brush encroachment). The application of a durable system to detect change (or trends) in wildlife and vegetation over time is essential for making informed management decisions not only today, but in the future.

East Foundation’s wildlife monitoring approach involves tested systems that are proven reliable. Each year from January to November we deploy a team of technicians, crew leaders, interns, and graduate students across our lands to count critters and vegetation. Graduate students often complete a related study towards their thesis or dissertation research.

Examples of graduate student study topics and research questions includes:

  • Least Grebes – How do they protect their young?
  • Bats – Which species are present and when are they most active?
  • Texas Pocket Gophers – What species of reptiles and amphibians use burrow systems?
  • Songbirds – Why are some nests successful and some nests fail?
  • Cactus Wrens – Where do they nest and why?
  • Greater Roadrunners – Which wildlife prey on nests and how are nests defended?
  • Raptors – Can artificial calls be used to detect different birds of prey?
  • Reticulate Collared Lizards – How large of an area do they use and when are they active?
  • Golden-fronted and Ladder Backed Woodpeckers – Are their cavities used by other birds?

East Foundation’s wildlife monitoring system 1) helps determine the impacts of drought, disease, invasive plants, and non-native animals on its lands, and 2) engages emerging scientists in land stewardship principles and practices.

For more information or questions about this project contact Andrea Montalvo at amontalvo@eastfoundation.net.

Related Publications

Ten-year Population Trends of Land Birds on Three East Foundation Ranches in South Texas

Full Text June 2023

Delanie E. Slifka, April A. T. Conkey, Leonard A. Brennan, Humberto L. Perotto-Baldivieso, Fidel Hernández, Janel L. Ortiz, Maia L. Lipschutz, Andrea Montalvo, and Tom Langschied

From The Wildlife Society - Importance of “Bull” Mesquite for Rangeland Birds

Full Text October 2022

Faith O. Hardin, Samantha Leivers, Jacquelyn K. Grace, Zachary Hancock, Tyler A. Campbell, Brian Pierce, and Michael L. Morrison

Baseline Biodiversity Assessment of South Texas Small Mammals and Host-associated Hard Ticks with No Detection

Full Text June 2022

Aleyda P. Galán, Sarah A. Hamer, Hunter A. Folmar, Tyler A. Campbell, and Jessica E. Light