New Mexico

How Can You Help Frogs and Fish? Just Add Water.

Thanks to generous support from people like you, we're creating habitat—and hope!—for threatened frogs and chubs in the Mimbres Valley.

The Nature Conservancy purchased the 600-acre Mimbres River Preserve near Silver City in 1994. We've been busy since working to restore several river miles that support threatened Chiricahua leopard frogs, Chihuahua chubs and other native species.

Over the years, two crucial springs at the preserve—Moreno and Dead Otter—were becoming filled with sediment and choked by vegetation. Open-water pools desperately needed by the Chiricahua leopard frogs (pictured) and tiny fish were disappearing.

To help turn things around, Martha Cooper, the Conservancy’s southwest New Mexico program manager, took action. She worked with partners including the Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy and US Fish and Wildlife Service to come up with a plan and restore the wetlands.

Together the partners held a hands-on workshop for federal and state agency staff at Moreno Springs on how to efficiently and effectively restore wetlands.

Volunteers helped out during restoration, surveying and collecting frogs and fish before the project began—and reintroducing them when work was completed.

Heavy machinery was used to dig out 14 new open-water pools. Surrounding banks were then mulched with juniper slash and seeded with native plants to improve habitat.

These before (left) and after pictures show one of the newly created pools, which are perfect habitat for the frogs and chubs.

“People were inspired by the workshop and excited to see frogs jumping into the new pools,” said Cooper. “And I’m hopeful. We really can make direct and positive impacts for species—including ours.”

You make our work to protect the Mimbres River and other important places in New Mexico possible. Donate

We're working with New Mexico Department of Game and Fish on a similar—but exponentially larger—project now. Get the story from the local news >>

Explore More New Mexico Projects >>

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