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The project will utilize a 4.5 million acre study area on the Montana Glaciated Plains. The objectives are to (1) identify environmental conditions and management practices that will maintain habitat for grassland birds but not impact ranching sustainability, and (2) identify areas on the landscape that have the greatest conservation potential for grassland birds. This spatial analysis will provide the framework for a rigorous assessment of management actions on the Montana Glaciated Plains.
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Construct enclosures at Columbia Mine to house approximately 60 turtles (translocated animals) that were collected off of the right-of-way for sections 2 and 4 of I-69. Monitor the behavior, survival and reproduction of trans-located box turtles during the captive phase of the new home-range adoption process. Determine the population and habit-use characteristics of the remnant, resident box turtle population at Columbia Mine. Determine the genetics profile of individual trans-located, resident and hatchling turtles and to conduct parentage analysis of hatchlings or eggs detected. Monitor the survival, movements and habitat use of post-release, trans-located turtles for 2 years post-release.
Land transformations occurring from energy development and agrarian use have altered the natural connectivity of fish communities inhabiting prairie waterways. The nation’s prairie waterways are obstructed by thousands of barriers that include road culverts, irrigation diversions, and dams. Connectivity is essential for the long term viability of aquatic species. One of the most promising adaptive management strategies for addressing impacts to aquatic systems by climate change and other landscape stressors is increasing connectivity. The purpose of this research is to characterize swimming abilities of three northern plains fish species; the sauger, the longnose dace, and the fathead minnow. The results of the...
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Map drained wetland basins in the PPR of Iowa and complete data set for the eastern (Region 3) of the U.S. Prairie Pothole Regionl. These data form the foundation for a newly launced inititative to develop an “Integrated Conservation Design Strategy for the PPR of Minnesota and Iowa.” This new initiative integrates wildlife habitat, water quality and flood attenuation objectives with wetland restoration potential maps to develop multi-objective wetland restoration plans for landscape-scale watershed.
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The efficiency and effectiveness of aerial photography by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Aviation Program has been improved with upgraded components for the Applanix DSS 439 Camera System, including a 60 millimeter lens and gyro-stabilization mount. Both are installed and in use. The stabilization mount improves image resolution and minimizes asymmetrical pixels. The 60 millimeter lens also improves image resolution for higher quality aerial photographs. This advanced equipment results in more accurate bird counts and stereo interpretation of vegetation maps which will ultimately assist management decisions made in biological programs.
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Completion of the National Wildlife Inventory has been identified as a top science priority for the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes-LCC (UMGL). Some areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin still have not been mapped to NWI standards. Completion of NWI is integral to developing geospatial models based on landscape-level land use. Completion of NWI will also aid in monitoring of wetlands to assess effects of climate change. Funding for this project has been leveraged with several other larger projects to improve digital wetland mapping infrastructure for Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. This project is targeting a portions of Wisconsin, at least six counties, for digital conversion and updating of Wetland Inventory maps....
Livestock grazing practices are managed by private landowners and federal and state agencies across the western U.S. Increasingly, grazing strategies by these entities are incorporating conservation objectives and developing goals that include livestock production that is compatible with wildlife conservation objectives. This project evaluates the impact of conservation-oriented, rest-rotation livestock grazing and climate changes on migratory bird species associated with sagebrush habitat to better inform grazing management practices. Rest-rotation grazing management is likely to enhance important components of sagebrush, shrubland, and grassland habitat for a wide range of species, but little work has been done...
This project has three objectives: (1) evaluate the abilitiy of dual acoustic-ultrasonic recorders to capture nocturnal calls of birds and bats at wind power sites; (2) relate nocturnal calls to results of facility searches at operational wind farms: (3) evaluate whether call activitiy varies in relation to landscape features.
In the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) wetland plant, invertebrate, and waterbird productivity are primarily driven by water-level dynamics in response to climate cycles. Large proportions of wetlands in the PPR have been drained, often consolidating water from smaller to larger-interconnected wetlands. This project will examine whether large basins that receive inflow from consolidation drainage have reduced water-level dynamics in response to climate cycles than those in undrained landscapes, resulting in relatively stable wetlands that have lower densities of invertebrate forage for ducks and shorebirds. We will also include a sample of wetland historically used by piping plovers to assess the threat of consolidation...
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Researchers assessed how an expansion of forest reserves and climate-adaptive management may improve ecological connectivity and resilience under different climate scenarios. Resilience is measured as the capacity for these systems to maintain extant forest communities and aboveground live biomass. Forest landscape change was simulated via a spatially explicit forest ecosystem model, LANDIS-II. Simulations covered areas in northern Minnesota and northern lower Michigan that represent northern Great Lakes forest types. Restoring and maintaining ecological connectivity is one of the primary climate change adaptation strategies available to land managers, in addition to silvicultural practices. This study is...
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In FY12, hydrogeomorphic methodology was being applied along 670 miles of the Missouri River from Decatur, Nebraska to St. Louis, Missouri. In FY15, additional resources extended the HGM up river to Gavin’s Point Dam, West Yankton, South Dakota (approximate river mile 811), the location of the most downstream mainstem dam; thus encompassing the entire free flowing reach of the Missouri River and increasing the study area by approximately 800,000 acres. Using this method, engineers and ecologists will incorporate state-of-the-art scientific knowledge of ecological processes and key fish and wildlife species to identify options by which to emulate natural hydrologic and vegetation/ animal community dynamics. Results...
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: Conservation Plan/Design/Framework, EARTH SCIENCE > LAND SURFACE > LANDSCAPE, hydrology, Federal resource managers, Project, All tags...
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The rapid expansion of pattern tile drainage (PTD) to enhance agricultural production in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) has the potential to negatively impact ecosystem services provided by wetlands. To better understand and assess these impacts we will develop a spatial database to provide a regional characterization of areas at risk to PTD. Spatial information in conjunction with existing data and models will be used to make preliminary projections on the effects of PTD on cosystem services such as duck production, water storage and water quality. Spatial information will be used to identify study sites that will be instrumented to quantify and model the effects of PTD systems on wetland hydrology; this information...
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The collection of LiDAR data for the James River basin began in 2010. The detailed surface elevation data will be used for conservation planning, design, research, delivery, floodplain mapping and hydrologic modeling utilizing LiDAR technology. The project area includes part of the James River watershed and adjacent areas in North and South Dakota. The project encompasses 16,825 sq miles and the 2010 phase of the project acquired 8,060 sq miles of LiDAR data and subsequent terrain data. This project represents the second phase with an objective to collect the remaining 8,765 square miles of the project area.
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Climate change is expected to alter the distributions and community composition of stream fishes in the Great Lakes region in the 21st century, in part as a result of altered hydrological systems (stream temperature, streamflow, and habitat). Resource managers need information and tools to understand where fish species and stream habitats are expected to change under future conditions. Fish sample collections and environmental variables from multiple sources across the United States Great Lakes Basin were integrated and used to develop empirical models to predict fish species occurrence under present-day climate conditions. Random Forests models were used to predict the probability of occurrence of 13 lotic fish...
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As part of the Genoa National Fish Hatchery Native Freshwater Mussel Restoration Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service researchers utilized advanced technology in mobile rearing to evaluate how different water sources support growth and survival of young freshwater mussels. A mobile aquatic rearing station, or MARS, was deployed along the banks of the Mississippi River in Wisconsin in the summer of 2012 to raise rare and endangered mussel species, including Higgins’ eye pearlymussel, hickorynut, black sandshell and snuffbox. Information gathered will provide a knowledge base for the operation of the trailer moving forward, and will help ultimately optimize rearing techniques in light of expanding natural resource...
This project will develop species distribution models (SDM) to evaluate current and future occurrence and density of wetland-dependent birds relative to several predictors, including land use patterns, wetland condition and connectivity, geomorphic setting and climate. These tools will suggest which wetland-dependent bird species appear most vulnerable to climate and land use change based on the expected extent of range change under various scenarios. Knowledge of natural history and habitat associations of species coupled with coefficients from regression models will provide insight into the potential reasons for species vulnerability. This information will be valuable in the development of management strategies.
Wetland hydroperiod, the length of time water is available in wetlands, is particularly sensitive to changes in precipitation, temperature and timing due to climate variation. Truncated hydroperiod has major implications for wetland-dependent species (e.g., waterfowl) and human water allocation. Researchers aim to link hydroperiod to current climatic variation and use this relationship to predict wetland hydroperiod across the moisture gradient from sage steppe to grasslands.
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Mayflies (Ephemeroptera), stoneflies (Plecoptera), and caddisflies (Trichoptera) (a.k.a. EPT taxa) are the most environmentally sensitive of freshwater insects. They are utilized the world over as indicators of water quality in flowing waters. Their decline has been documented in Asia, Europe, and North America. A 220,321 record dataset of new and museum EPT specimen records covering much of the Midwest and Maximum Entropy (Maxent) software were used construct to current and future, climate influenced distribution models. Nearly 100 physical and historic vegetation variables and 9 BIOCLIM variables derived from downscaled climate data for the region were employed in this process. A total of 426 EPT species were...
Oil and gas development in North Dakota is occurring at a rapid rate, and managers and biologists are ill-equipped to address and minimize damage from oil development and related activities on fish and wildlife habitat. This project aims to gather information on impacts to grassland birds from oil and gas development to better inform conservation managers.The 2012 pilot season was a success. Bird surveys were conducted at 18 oil wells and four control sites. Preliminary findings showed reduced densities of grassland birds near wells compared with away from wells, but the effect varied among species. Continuing work will strengthen inferences as well as attempt to assess effects on uncommon species such as Baird’s...


map background search result map search result map Regional decision support tool for identifying vulnerabilities of riverine habitat and fishes to climate change Moderization of National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) mapping Predicting climate change effects on riverine aquatic insects in the Upper Midwest Scenarios for forest reserve expansion and adaptive management under alternative climate change scenarios in the northern Great Lakes LiDAR Data Collection for the James River Watershed and Adjacent Areas in South Dakota and North Dakota Assessment of Pattern Tile Drainage on Wetland Hydrology and Ecosystem Services in the Prairie Pothole Region Iowa Wetland Assessment and Restorable Wetland Inventory:  Improving Wetland Restoration Planning Through Processing of Recently Collected LIDAR data for the Prairie Pothole Region of Iowa Grassland Bird Conservation on Working Landscapes: Spatial analysis linking populations to habitat Refining Mussel Conservation Techniques through the Operation of a Streamside Rearing Trailer Aviation and Remote Sensing Programs Relocation of Eastern Box Turtles to reclaimed mineland at the Patoka River NWR Creating a detailed vegetation classification and digital vegetation map for Loess Bluffs NWR A Hydrogeomorphic approach to evaluate ecosystem restoration and habitat management for the Lower Missouri River Creating a detailed vegetation classification and digital vegetation map for Loess Bluffs NWR Refining Mussel Conservation Techniques through the Operation of a Streamside Rearing Trailer Iowa Wetland Assessment and Restorable Wetland Inventory:  Improving Wetland Restoration Planning Through Processing of Recently Collected LIDAR data for the Prairie Pothole Region of Iowa LiDAR Data Collection for the James River Watershed and Adjacent Areas in South Dakota and North Dakota Grassland Bird Conservation on Working Landscapes: Spatial analysis linking populations to habitat Moderization of National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) mapping A Hydrogeomorphic approach to evaluate ecosystem restoration and habitat management for the Lower Missouri River Scenarios for forest reserve expansion and adaptive management under alternative climate change scenarios in the northern Great Lakes Aviation and Remote Sensing Programs Regional decision support tool for identifying vulnerabilities of riverine habitat and fishes to climate change Assessment of Pattern Tile Drainage on Wetland Hydrology and Ecosystem Services in the Prairie Pothole Region Predicting climate change effects on riverine aquatic insects in the Upper Midwest