Ecology of Irrigation System Drainage Canals and Ephemeral Wetlands along the Rio Grande of New Mexico

Principal Investigator: David E. Cowley, Associate Professor, Fisheries and Aquatic Ecology

Department: Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology

Co- Principal: Rossana Sallenave, WQ, Ecology and environment

Project Description: This project addresses the ecology of irrigation systems in the Rio Grande Valley aimed at using irrigation return water to support conservation of native fishes. Included in this project is a study of aquatic organisms that occur in flood retention ponds that feed surface runoff water into drainage canals of the Mesilla Valley. Using baseline studies for fish development, physiology and evolution, the pilot studies will yield information for fish conservation and provide importantdata for the future proposals to the National Science Foundation and the USDA National Research Initiative.

Project Presentations

Project Publications

Shirey, P. D., Cowley, D. E., & Sallenave, R. (2008). Diatoms from gut contents of museum specimens of an endangered minnow suggest long-term ecological changes in the Rio Grande. Journal of Paleolimnology, 40, 263–272.