Jim Ray

2019 Presidential Migratory Bird Stewardship Award Winner

  • Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 11:36 am

The Council for the Conservation of Migratory Birds is pleased to announce the winner of the 2019 Presidential Migratory Bird Federal Stewardship Award. The U. S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) Pantex Plant was honored at this year’s Council meeting for their innovative work with Swainson’s Hawks, Purple Martins, and other birds across the Western Hemisphere.

Wild Pantex – Tracking Monarchs

  • Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 7:51 am

Article by James D. Ray, Pantex Wildlife Biologist/Environmental Science Senior Specialist

In the early 1990s, I had the opportunity to affix coded tags to wings of dozens of monarch butterflies that volunteers and I captured during their southward migrations. My interest in these butterflies peaked again a few years later when Pantex Agronomist Monty Schoenhals impressed upon me to keep an eye on our local milkweeds for monarch caterpillars.

Wild Pantex — Crafty Coyote

  • Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2019, 3:29 pm

Article by James D. Ray, Pantex Wildlife Biologist/Environmental Science Senior Specialist

One would think that I would come to a point sometime in my 30-year career where I could say that I had seen it all. Not me. Like everyone else I may have strong opinions and stances on some things but I remain committed to a “never say never” mind frame when it comes to wildlife. Pantex Agronomist Monty Schoenhals and I were once again in the “right place at the right time” and neither of us would have ever expected to witness a scene that unfolded in front of us one afternoon.

Wild Pantex- Unlikely Comrades: Badgers and Coyotes

  • Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 9:35 am

Article by James D. Ray, Pantex Wildlife Biologist/Scientist

Natural Resources staff at Pantex has spent a lot of time working within the boundaries of colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs. This has included annual mapping of colony boundaries, spotlight surveys for wildlife, standardized surveys of vegetation and birds, and many projects conducted in collaboration with Texas Tech and West Texas A&M Universities.

Wild Pantex – Nighttime Magic

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 8:14 am

Article by Jim Ray, Pantex Wildlife Biologist/Scientist

It’s December and time again to conduct our annual spotlight surveys for wildlife. A 24-mile route, established almost 20 years ago, is driven on three separate nights beginning just after dark. As we proceed along the route, our powerful spotlights illuminate the habitat on each side of the vehicle allowing us to possibly detect several kinds of animals and numbers of animals not typically seen during our normal workday. This makes these spotlight surveys an integral part of monitoring wildlife species at Pantex.

Wild Pantex - From deer tracks to reindeer in the Texas Panhandle

  • Posted: Tuesday, December 22, 2015, 12:00 am

Article by Jim Ray, Pantex Wildlife Biologist/Scientist

I write to you from a snow-covered Texas Panhandle and wonder if another round of wintery weather might be timed just right to give us a white Christmas. The season and a line of deer tracks in the snow outside of my office building gives me the idea to focus this edition of the blog on reindeer. I can honestly say that I have never had the opportunity to see a reindeer – for sure, not the flashing red-nosed variety.

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