You are here

Alfonso Ortega-Santos, Ph.D.
Research Scientist & Professor


Poncho was born and raised in Gonzalez, Tamaulipas in Northern Mexico where he was in contact with ranching activities since a young age because of the family business. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science at the Universidad Autonoma de Tamaulipas in Victoria, Tamps. In Mexico, Master of Science in Animal Production at the Universidad “Antonio Narro” of Saltillo, Coah., Mexico, and a Ph.D. in Agronomy focusing grazing management at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, FL.

Poncho was Researcher and Regional Research Director of the Livestock Division, National Research Institute of Forestry, Crops and Livestock (INIFAP) in Northern Mexico from 1993 to 1997 and from 1997 to 2000 he was Researcher and National Leader of the Range and Forage Program at the same institution, which gave him the opportunity to work nationwide with a team of 110 researchers located in 82 experimental stations all over Mexico.

Poncho came to Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute as a Research Scientist in 2001. Most of his research experience has been on grazing management of range and forage plants and evaluation of native and introduced legumes. His research interests focus on rangeland ecology and management for wildlife and domestic animals.

He received the awards of The Researcher of the Year 1991 and 1992 by The Sociedad Mexicana de Manejo de Pastizales – Mexico, where currently he is a member of the Board of Directors.

Livestock Wildlife Relationships

Research Interest

Rangeland Ecology

Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute |Texas A&M University-Kingsville
700 University Blvd., MSC 218
Kingsville, TX 78363
Work Phone: 
(361) 593-5001
(361) 593-3924
Serving Since: 

Related Books: 

Poncho Ortega and the rest of the CKWRI Deer Research team have a long history of supporting deer management and research in northern Mexico. This support has been in the form of annual presentations at landowner symposiums, visits to ranches interested in developing management programs, and a recent effort funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and headed by Sandra Rideout-Hanzak to engage ranchers in northern Mexico. This most recent project brought landowners to Kingsville for workshops, CKWRI deer scientists to northern Mexico to tour ranches, and was capped by publication of a wildlife management handbook written in Spanish for distribution to Mexican ranchers. The book covers the basics of cattle-wildlife operations: management plans for determining objectives of the operation, vegetation and wildlife surveys, habitat management practices, record keeping, monitoring, and wildlife harvest quotas. At the end of 2015, Randy DeYoung and Poncho Ortega were invited to speak at the Annual White-tailed Deer Symposium in Monterrey, Mexico.

The book Wildlife Ecology and Management in Mexico (Ecología y Manejo de Fauna Silvestre en Mexico). The objectives of this text are to 1) provide an updated text detailing the status, distribution, ecological relationships, habitat requirements and habitat management of the most important game birds and mammals in Mexico, 2) provide American and Mexican professionals, natural resource administrators, land owners, and students with a comprehensive reference work on the wildlife of Mexico, and 3) review the threats and challenges facing wildlife conservation in Mexico and present strategies for their resolution based on an understanding of the political, economic, social, cultural, land governance systems and ecological factors impacting the wildlife of Mexico.

This second edition provides a carefully reasoned synthesis of ecological and range management principles that incorporate rangeland vegetation management and the impact of crops, livestock, predation, and population density within the context of the arid and semiarid habitats of this broad regions.

Click HERE for purchasing details.


This book takes on ecological approach to deer management in the semiarid lands of Oklahoma, Texas, and northern Mexico.  These are the least productive of white-tail habitats, where periodic drought punctuates long-term weather patterns.  The book's focus on this landscape across political borders is one of its original and lasting contributions and makes this Spanish language edition particularly appropriate.

Click HERE for purchasing details.


Unlike other books on white-tailed deer in places where rainfall is relatively high and the environment stable, this book takes on ecological approach to deer managemnt in the semiarid lands of Oklahoma, Texas, and northern Mexico.

Click HERE for purchasing details

Peaceful Forest