Rewilding at the Chihuahuan Desert Conference
Rewilding principles had their moment at the third annual Chihuahuan Desert Conference, hosted by the El Paso Zoo and the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition on November 15th-16th, 2023. Researchers and conservationists from the United States and Mexico presented their work to a binational audience. Just a few of the many highlights included:
- Michael J. Robinson from the Center for Biological Diversity on the decades-long effort to restore jaguars and lobos in Arizona and New Mexico
- Kristen Lear of Bat Conservation International on binational agave restoration work for endangered migratory nectarivorous bats
- Natasha Bretz of the El Paso Zoo on their highly successful Mexican wolf cross-fostering program
- Alex Mayer of the University of Texas at El Paso on climate change’s impact on water availability for the Rio Grande Basin
Conservation advocate Jon Rezendes presented material from his first “Rewilding the Wall” article on Rewilding Earth. The talk was dedicated to the great conservation leaders the world lost in the past few years: Dave Foreman, Michael Soulé, Alan Rabinowitz, and Judy Ackerman. Jon’s slides are available for review here.
Jon Rezendes is a former US Army infantry combat veteran, Ranger Instructor, and graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Since leaving service, Jon works for a decarbonization-focused software company and dedicates his life to the preservation of wilderness with his wife, a certified associate wildlife biologist and PhD student, and their two children. In his spare time, Jon is a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Lobo Coalition and the Frontera Land Alliance.