Award recognizes member’s bird conservation project

Pantex wildlife biologist Jim Ray, with the help of students and professors from Texas Tech University, tags, measures, collects data and attaches GPS backpacks to purple martins. ©CNS.Pantex

A project led by longtime TWS member Jim Ray has received the Council for the Conservation of Migratory Birds’ 2019 Presidential Migratory Bird Federal Stewardship Award.

A wildlife biologist with Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC’s Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, and a certified wildlife biologist, Ray led a comprehensive migratory bird research program of multiyear projects conducted with numerous universities, NGOs, government agencies, property owners and volunteers.

Ray’s program involved on-site migratory bird protection, outreach and research strategies that extended throughout, North America, Central America and South America. At the plant, the project included installing protective devices on 500 utility poles to protect raptors from electrocution and capping dozens of open-topped pipe fence posts to protect small birds from entrapment.

It also used tracking technologies to study the conservation needs of migratory birds, evaluated the effects of wind energy development on migratory birds, banded more than 12,000 purple martins (Progne subis) and promoted migratory bird conservation.

The Presidential Migratory Bird Federal Stewardship Award recognizes a project or action conducted by or in partnership with a federal agency that contributes to migratory bird conservation efforts.


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