Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The New Mexico Breeding Bird Atlas Project
In early 1999, several birders and ornithologists began talking informally about starting a breeding bird atlas project for the state of New Mexico. There was great interest expressed. Such a project would be clearly a valuable undertaking in conservation and education based on the experiences of other state atlas projects. Several big questions, however, remained unanswered, namely questions about leadership and funding. The first tentative steps to answer these questions and to plan a New Mexico breeding bird atlas were taken at a small meeting at the home of Jim Travis in November 1999. Jim Travis edited the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Los Alamos County, New Mexico, published in 1992, and has been a strong advocate for a statewide atlas for years. With Jim's support and encouragement, planning has continued with the establishment of a non-profit corporation with bylaws, articles of incorporation, and a board of directors approved by the State of New Mexico. The 2000 breeding season will be a trial year for atlasing methods. The directors of the atlas project will collectively be acting as the Atlas Manager until a full time manager can be hired for the job.