The Conservation Committee is one of the main focuses of energy for CNMAS. We involve ourselves in conservation, restoration and community projects as well as letter writing and political activism. We are an outlet for the environmentally concerned in Central New Mexico and we invite anyone who is passionate about environmental issue to join us in helping to make our community a better place for nature! Contact Conservation Committee Chair to learn how you can help.

Our Projects

The Conservation Committee has many talented and passionate individuals leading a multitude of different projects. Below you will find short summaries of our projects along with a link to a more detailed project page. Scroll through to see what we are doing to help conserve our wildlife.


Window Collisions The Rosy-Finch Project Cats Indoors Campaign
Cibola NF Collaboratives Belen Marsh Committee Melrose Woods Project


Window Collisions

Please see the Window Collisions page for more information.


Windows Can Be Deadly For Birds.

Ornithologists estimate that up to 100 million birds are killed each year by collisions with windows. These collisions usually involve small songbirds, such as finches, that may fall unnoticed to the ground. Sometimes the birds are merely stunned and recover in a few moments. Often, though, window hits lead to severe internal injuries and death.

Second Annual Window Strike Survey

Click on the following link to read the latest Albuquerque Urban Bird Treaty report and plans for the 2016 Fall Migration Window Strike Survey. – Albuquerque Urban Bird Treaty Report



Check out The Rosy-Finch Project page for more details.



Brown-capped Rosy-Finch banded at the Sandia Crest

The Sandia Crest outside of Albuquerque is HQ for The Rosy-Finch Project. Run by local non-profit Rio Grande Bird Research and headed up by some of our very own CNMAS members, this project is one of a kind. The project was started in 2003 by then teen birders Raymond VanBuskirk and Ryan Beaulieu to study site fidelity of wintering Rosy-Finches in the Sandia Mountains. Nearly 20 years later, the project has grown into a multifaceted ecology study of Rosy-Finches in New Mexico and beyond. Today Rio Grande Bird Research carries on this research in the memory of Ryan who passed away in a tragic car accident in 2005. They do it for the birds and for Ryan, whose memorial plaque hangs over the deck where the Rosy-Finches are banded. CNMAS is proud to support the Rosy-Finch project as one of our flagship conservation projects. We support the Rosy-Finches in any way we can.

The CNMAS Cats Indoors Campaign


For more information Cats Indoors Campaign

Para más información visite La Campana Gatos Adentro!



Albuquerque is nationally recognized as a leader in protecting and restoring urban wildlife habitat, but those efforts are severely undermined by the proliferation of domestic cats across our landscape. Cat predation is especially devastating on fragmented landscapes where birds already have severely limited opportunities to feed, rest, and breed. Cats are an introduced, domesticated species and have been able to establish themselves at densities that dwarf all other similarly sized predators combined. Unlike native predator species domestic cats will continue to hunt regardless of whether they are well fed or not. CNMAS has adopted the guidelines offered by the American Bird Conservancy Cats Indoors Program on conducting a “Cats Indoors” campaign.



Cibola National Forest Collaboratives

The Cibola Shared Stewardship Collaborative (CSSC) provides assistance to the Cibola National Forest leadership team for the use and management of the multiple resources within the Forest, working together to provide diverse perspectives on forest-wide issues. CNMAS is among the non-governmental organizations who meet with representatives from various governmental organizations to come up with recommendations to the Forest Service, which has included recommendations on the proposed Forest Management Plan. In these efforts CNMAS advocates for the needs of birds and the habitats they need to support them. For more information, check out the Collaborative’s website:
In addition, CNMAS has a representative on three of the four collaboratives that work with the District Ranger Offices on issues, e.g. trail planning. Information and links to each district collaborative can be found by clicking on the Collaboratives tab in the top panel of their website.


The Belen Marsh

Please see the Belen Marsh page for more details.



Black-necked Stilt Breeding at the Belen Marsh

The Belen Marsh is a 16.5 acre wetland in the heart of Belen and Valencia County. The Marsh provides critical habitat to breeding and migrating waterbirds, a habitat that is fast disappearing in New Mexico. In fact, this is the only wetland of it’s kind left in Belen and one of a precious few in all of Valencia County! The Belen Marsh Committee was created by concerned citizens in Belen and Central New Mexico to help protect this gem and save the wildlife that inhabits this small but critical bit of land. Central New Mexico is invested in the continuing protection and proper management of this property as a vital stopover for migrating birds as well as a breeding site for many species of concern. Twice a year, we participate in cleaning up trash at the Belen Marsh.


The Melrose Woods Project

Blackpoll Warbler at Melrose Trap

For those of you who have been following the Melrose Woods project, we have exciting updates! As of May 8th, 2020 CNMAS is the lease holder of Melrose Woods. In order to make this challenging conservation project a reality the lease was crafted in such a manner to fulfill the requirements of not only CNMAS but the New Mexico State Land office and the Agricultural Lessee of the area that encompasses Melrose Woods. Through collaboration, compromise, and a shared vision for the successful conservation of this oasis we hope that our agreement may stand as an example for future conservation efforts. The New Mexico State Land Office has selected a contractor to complete the first phase of the conservation project which includes trail building and debris removal. A huge thank you goes out to all that participated in the online town hall event that preceded the selection of the contractor. Here is a selection of how a few of the participants comments were integrated into the plan.
Some unnatural rocky fill areas will not be eliminated during the debris removal in order to support migrating Rock Wrens.
Specific attention will be given during the trail building phase to not disturb the understory as it is essential habitat for birds.
Although some fallen wood will be used for trail marking and bench construction, there will not be any wood removal from the site as it provides vital cover.
Johnson Environmental, based out of Alamogordo, will be charged with completing this first phase of work. Work will commence the 1st of June and wrap-up within 30 days. For everyone’s safety, public access to Melrose Woods will be limited to Saturdays and Sundays during the month of June. Please check back with CNMAS on Facebook for any further updates including specific dates of completion.

Early development of this project is described in the Spring 2020 issue of the Burrowing Owl newsletter. Click the following link for the article: Melrose Woods Progress.

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