A recent web project focusing on New Mexico's desert wetlands called "ciénegas" provides a very nice introduction to these fascinating and important aquatic habitats widely scattered across the southwestern US and Northern Mexico - see Christina Selby's Las Cénegas storymap project (will open in a new tab).  

The amazing valley of Cuatrociénegas, in the Chihuahuan Desert of central Coahuila, México, has long been a focus of Hendrickson's efforts. This small desert valley harbors an amazing diversity of endemic species, mostly aquatic, but also terrestrial. Beginning in the early 1990's Hendrickson has had projects there studying the fishes and other organisms, and for many years ran a small research station there (with support from Desert Fishes Council). The objective was to work with the local community to facilitate all kinds of research relevant to conservation of this amazing place. Along the way, with local support, Hendrickson organized several meetings of interested researchers in Cuatrociénegas with as many as 300 participants, and carried out many projects with the support of the local CONANP office. Unfortunately, diverse factors caused the research station to be closed, but the interest persists and we hope one day to again secure the resources to renew this effort. We continue to maintain our contacts with our many good friends and supporters in the area.

Hendrickson has long been interested in Ciénegas in general. See the following bibliography:

Hendrickson, Dean A., and W.L. Minckley. 1985. “Ciénegas-Vanishing Climax Communities of the American Southwest.” Desert Plants 6 (3): 130–176.

Hendrickson, Dean A., and Thomas A. Minckley. 2018. “Aridland Ciénegas of Western North America - Google Fusion Tables.” Database of locations of ciénegas, formerly served via Google Fusion Tables @ See for updates or to request a copy of the database. 

Finally, the Ciénegas bibliography initiated by Hendrickson (with substantial help from Thomas A. Minckley and Biol. Arturo Contreras-Arquieta (Cuatrociénegas)) is still actively maintained (researchers - please keep us informed of your publications).