Draft Mission Statement

The Borderlands Foundation for Understudied Plants and Animals is an Arizona-based foundation to conduct natural history investigations of understudied plants and animals in the American Southwest (including Mexico).

Draft Charter

  1. Provide funding for investigations into the distribution, natural history, status and conservation of plant and wildlife species with priority given to species in the American Southwest as defined on the Brown and Lowe (1994) map. Species of special interest include native nongame animals, those not listed on the US Endangered Species Act, those of unknown conservation status, and those not actively managed by a state or federal agency.  Examples of such species include: bobcats (lynx rufus), cottontail rabbits ( Sylvilagus spp.), western hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus mesoleucus), Mexican duck (Anas platyrhynchos diazi), Sonoran green toad (Anaxyrus retiformis), Yaqui catfish (Ictalurus pricei), crested coralroot orchids (Hexalectris spp.), as well as a number of invertebrates.
  2. Provide expertise and direction to biologists and students working on species for which natural history information is lacking or imperfectly known.
  3. Facilitate field studies and provide seed money for investigations into the natural history of uncommon and/or understudied species. 
  4. Sponsor and help fund inventories, field studies, and data-mining projects to better the above species including the use of data from camera traps, radio telemetry, questionnaires, and field notes.
  5. Promote and fund field and laboratory-based classes and internships to learn techniques needed to accomplish 1-4.


The organization of the foundation would be under the aegis of the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center (SWCC). Project proposals would be vetted by a Board of Advisors appointed by the SWCC, with a budget and expenses approved and audited by the SWCC.

Membership: Partner organizations, including but not limited to universities, federal and state wildlife agencies, and NGOs (see list of potential partners below), will provide a pool of Advisors and assist SWCC, as needed. An initial Board of approximately 20 Advisors would be selected, with each Partner organization having the opportunity to provide an Advisor to serve on the Board. Individuals not backed by a partner organization may also serve as Advisors.  Each Partner or Advisor would contribute $100 annually for operating expenses, seminars, small stipends, editorial services and class materials. Advisors would consist of biologists and project leaders experienced in conducting and/or obtaining funding for field studies.  Additional Partners/Advisors would be by invitation and voted on by the existing Board of Advisors. Advisors would serve a 3-year term of office.

Duties of Founding Charter Advisors (for first year of operation only)

  • Complete the List of Charter Advisors and Partner Organizations
  • Refine and establish the Mission Statement and Charter.
  • Establish a base of operations and regular meeting place in the Phoenix or Tucson area. The ASU Natural History Museum on Alameda Avenue in Tempe has been suggested as a meeting place.
  • Approve an institutional logo (Lepus alleni?)

Possible outreach/funding programs other than natural history studies

  • Workshops to teach museum curators and mammalogy students the necessity of keeping field notes and preparing study skins.
  • Sponsor symposia on a variety of natural history subjects of interest to individuals and wildlife agencies (possibly linked with other meetings or symposia).
  • Establish a web-site and publish an on-line newsletter to disseminate information on animals of interest and the Institute’s actions.
  • Have an annual Board of Advisors Meeting and Presentation at the Annual Conference of The Wildlife Society.

Borderlands Foundation for Understudied Plants and Animals – Donors/Members


  • Linda Searles
  • Quail Forever
  • Randy Babb  
  • Arizona Chapter of The Wildlife Society
  • Myles Traphagen
  • Kay Nicholson
  • Karen Hajek
  • Joe Figel


  • Linda Searles
  • Southwest Natural History Association
  • Russell Benford
  • Kerry Baldwin
  • Arizona Chapter of The Wildlife Society
  • Arizona Chapter of Safari Club International
  • David Brown

Last updated November 24, 2019