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Afield in the stunning mountains of Northern Mexico: NRM’s Lokey Lecture

Afield in the stunning mountains of Northern Mexico: NRM’s Lokey Lecture

Bonnie Reynolds McKinney, wildlife author and noted naturalist, will talk about the importance of Mexico’s Carmen Mountains flora and fauna species when she delivers Texas Tech’s Department of Natural Resources Management Lokey Lecture at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, in Room 102 of the university’s Agricultural Education (AGED) building. Her presentation is titled, “Afield with a Naturalist in the Northern Mexican Mountains.”

“We’re honored and pleased that she’s coming to campus,” said department chairman Mark Wallace. McKinney is widely known as the author of, “In The Shadow Of The Carmens.” The book chronicles her experiences as the wildlife coordinator at the El Carmen Conservation Project, a 400,000-acre site spanning the Maderas del Carmen and areas south of the Big Bend.

Tech officials note that McKinney began her wildlife career more than two decades ago conducting bird banding studies in Texas’ lower Big Bend Region. In 1984, she began a 10-year stint conducting peregrine falcon research on contract to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Later she served as a wildlife technician and wildlife diversity specialist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. She was the principal investigator in the first black bear project conducted by wildlife service in western Texas.

At the turn of the century McKinney moved to northern Coahuila (Mexico) to work as wildlife coordinator of the El Carmen Project for Cementos Mexicanos (CEMEX), a global producer and marketer of cement founded in 1906. El Carmen is a private trans-boundary conservation area-encompassing deserts, grasslands, forests, and other biodiversity rich ecosystems-located along the border between Mexico and the United States.

Considered by many wildlife experts as one of the five great wilderness ecosystems, El Carmen is home to more than 500 species of plants, 400 species of birds, 70 species of mammals, and 50 types of reptiles and amphibians. The area is considered by some as a global hotspot for biodiversity protection and is recognized as a trans-boundary ecosystem of global importance.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Mark Wallace, Chairman, Department of Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-1983, mark.wallace@ttu.edu

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