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The distribution and abundance of cheatgrass, an invasive annual grass native to Eurasia, has increased substantially across the Intermountain West, including the Great Basin. Cheatgrass is highly flammable, and as it has expanded, the extent and frequency of fire in the Great Basin has increased by as much as 200%. These changes in fire regimes are associated with loss of the native sagebrush, grasses, and herbaceous flowering plants that provide habitat for many native animals, including Greater Sage-Grouse. Changes in vegetation and fire management have been suggested with the intent of conserving Greater Sage-Grouse. However, the potential responses of other sensitive-status birds to these changes in management...
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Relative condition of fish habitat in streams of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico States. Histogram shows percentage of total stream length in each condition class.
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Covering 120 million acres across 14 western states and 3 Canadian provinces, sagebrush provides critical habitat for species such as pronghorn, mule deer, and sage-grouse – a species of conservation concern. The future of these and other species is closely tied to the future of sagebrush. Yet this important ecosystem has already been affected by fire, invasive species, land use conversion, and now, climate change. In the western U.S., temperatures are rising and precipitation patterns are changing. However, there is currently a limited ability to anticipate the impacts of climate change on sagebrush. Current methods suffer from a range of weakness that limits the reliability of results. In fact, the current uncertainty...
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Wildlife is an essential recreational, commercial, and cultural resource to communities worldwide, while also being vital to ecosystem health and function. For our purposes, the term wildlife encompasses mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds. As climate change and other anthropogenic activities continue to threaten wildlife at a global scale, continued research and increased understanding of the effects of climate change on organisms is imperative for future wildlife management and conservation. Researchers have been studying and speculating on the effects of climate change on wildlife for decades; thus, there is a large body of climate change and wildlife literature available. Traditional search engines...
The objective of this project is to integrate observations from multiple image acquisition platforms into a coherent time series of glacier volume changes for a variety of sites in the Pacific Northwest, including South Cascade Glacier and the others in Washington State (e.g., Mt. Olympus, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker). Specific objectives include: Enhancing glacier mass balance methodology by incorporating newly derived and reanalyzed geodetic records in the form of Digital Elevation Models and associated Area Altitude Distributions. Estimating regional patterns of glacier mass balance by expanding the spatial density of mass balance measurements and the geographic diversity of monitored glaciers. Understanding hydrologic...
Climate change is expected to result in changes in plant-pollinator interactions, but the severity of these changes is not yet clearly understood. This project will address both spatial and temporal effects of climate change on plant-pollinator interactions by studying butterfly and plant phenology in alpine and subalpine environments of Mount Rainier National Park (MORA). Western Washington University and the National Park Service will collaborate on several project objectives, including conducting field work at multiple meadows at MORA to collect plant and butterfly data, constructing plant phenophase profiles for common forbs, constructing butterfly emergence curves for commonly detected species, developing a...
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National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) along the East Coast of the United States protect habitat for a host of wildlife species, while also offering storm surge protection, improving water quality, supporting nurseries for commercially important fish and shellfish, and providing recreation opportunities for coastal communities. Yet in the last century, coastal ecosystems in the eastern U.S. have been severely altered by human development activities as well as sea-level rise and more frequent extreme events related to climate change. These influences threaten the ability of NWRs to protect our nation’s natural resources and to sustain their many beneficial services. Through this project, researchers are collaborating with...
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The Integrated Scenarios of the Future Northwest Environment project (an FY2012 NW CSC funded project), resulted in several datasets describing projected changes in climate, hydrology and vegetation for the 21st century over the Northwestern US. The raw data is available in netCDF format, which is a standard data file format for weather forecasting/climate change/GIS applications. However, the sheer size of these datasets and the specific file format (netCDF) for data access pose significant barriers to data access for many users. This is a particular challenge for many natural/cultural resource managers and others working on conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest. The goal of this project was to increase...
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Relative condition of fish habitat in streams of the Northern Plains States. Histogram shows percentage of total stream length in each condition class.
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Southern Plains States Fish Habitat Partnerships’ 2010 - 2015 Actions to Make a Difference Partnerships - Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, Great Plains Fish Habitat Partnership, Desert Fishes Habitat Partnership, and Western Native Trout Initiative Funded a project to stabilized 3,050 feet of shoreline on Olpe City Lake, Kansas. Assisted partners in installation of a fish barrier on Lovewell Reservoir, Kansas to prevent fish loss during irrigation releases. Evaluation is ongoing but preliminary results show a large increase in the forage base. Provided funding for 400 plastic fish attractors that were installed in six Texas reservoirs: Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend,...
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Key elements of the 2015 national assessment of stream fish habitats follow the 2010 assessment, including: 1) the idea that distributions and numbers fishes reflect the quality of habitat in which they live; and 2) human landscape factors pose a risk to the condition of stream habitat, and indirectly, to fishes. The 2015 inland stream assessments for the contiguous United States, Alaska, and Hawaii all followed five broad steps (Figure 1) that are described in detail below for the inland stream assessment for Alaska. Note that analytical details for the Alaska assessment differed in southeast Alaska as compared to the remainder of the state (referred to as greater Alaska) due to differences in the resolution of...
Tags: Alaska, Method, 2015
Accounting for natural variation With the exception of differences in spatial units, assessments for greater Alaska and southeast Alaska were conducted similarly across regions. Because stream fish assemblage data were not available for the state, no steps were taken to account for natural variation in stream habitats for either southeast or greater Alaska. This represents an important need for future work.
Tags: Alaska, Method, 2015
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The Crystal Darter (Crystallaria asprella) requires large, clear-water streams with clean sand and gravel bottoms and moderate to swift currents. It is intolerant of siltation and other forms of pollution from various land use practices. Direct habitat degradation from damming, channelization, and dredging has also reduced habitat for this species. Remaining populations have become isolated from one another by dams and impoundments. The Mississippi River most likely no longer serves as a usable corridor for the Crystal Darter because of the silt load. The isolated local populations are then vulnerable to single destructive events such as toxic chemical spills.
The Bering Cisco (Coregonus laurettae) is endemic to Alaska and is present primarily along the State’s west and north coasts. It is known to spawn in only three river systems – the Yukon, Kuskokwim, and Susitna Rivers. Genetic research indicates that each of these populations is distinct. The Bering Cisco has been observed to migrate more than 1,200 miles into freshwater streams to spawn. Unlike salmon, some of these fish survive spawning runs. Since this species is slow-growing but short-lived, it is highly vulnerable to alterations in stream flow or water quality and large-scale environmental disasters.
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Partnerships - Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership, Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, and Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership Removed four barriers that opened access to six mile of streams and restored 21 miles of streams to improve habitat for Eastern Brook Trout and other fish species. A shoreline restoration demonstration area was constructed near the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Visitors Center in North Carolina. Native vegetation was used to stabilize 175’ of shoreline to be used as a showcase for other lakeshore property owners. Planted 0.2 acres of tidal marsh and installed 0.1 acres of oyster reefs in Stump Sound, North Carolina. Also planted 0.15 acres...
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Available data for the American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) indicate that, overall, there have been declines in recruitment, population, and escapement during three generations (36 years). A recent report indicated that barriers to migration (dams and weirs), passage through turbines at hydropower dams, habitat degradation or loss, and overharvest were likely the greatest threats by humans across the species’ range. Although eels are able to ascend many smaller barriers, recent studies have documented a tenfold reduction in eel density above each potentially passable barrier. For example, the number of juvenile eels migrating to Lake Ontario passing over hydropower dams fell from 935,000 in 1985 to approximately 8,000...
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The habitats of the Southeast Atlantic states range from the mountains and uplands in the Blue Ridge and Piedmont areas in the western portion of this region to the Southeastern and Coastal Plains. Fish habitats in the higher elevation regions are typically fast-moving, clear, coldwater streams originating from seeps and springs, while warmwater rivers of the plains carry more organic material and sediment. This diversity of habitats along a very long period of stable geologic activity produces one of the most diverse assemblages of aquatic species in the nation. The Altamaha, Chattahoochee, Flint, Savannah, Catawba, Pee Dee, Broad, and Neuse are major rivers of the region. There are a large number of dams on waterways...
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Partnership - Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership Anchialine pools represent an inland waterbody type that is widespread but threatened throughout the Hawaiian Islands and is a key habitat type of concern to the Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership. Anchialine pools, also known as fishponds in Hawaii, are near the coast and are land-locked bodies of water that have connections both to the sea, typically by high tides, as well as to local freshwater. These systems have been used for thousands of years for fish production by Native Hawaiians. The majority of remaining fishpond pools are located on the Kona coast and southern coastlines of the Big Island, the southeast coast of Maui, and on several small and widely separated...


map background search result map search result map Forecasting Future Changes in Sagebrush Distribution and Abundance Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal National Wildlife Refuges Integrated Scenarios Tools: Improving the Accessibility of the Integrated Scenarios Data Fish Habitat Partnerships Making a Difference in Kiholo Estuary-Fishpond Complex, Hawaii Habitat Trouble for Crystal Darters in Central Midwest States Northern Plains States - Risk of Current Degradation Chart (Stream Length) Summary of Scientific Findings for Southeast Atlantic States Habitat Trouble for American Eel in Northeastern States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Southeast Atlantic States Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Risk of Current Degradation Chart (Stream Length) Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Southern Plains States Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal National Wildlife Refuges Summary of Scientific Findings for Southeast Atlantic States Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Southeast Atlantic States Northern Plains States - Risk of Current Degradation Chart (Stream Length) Habitat Trouble for American Eel in Northeastern States Integrated Scenarios Tools: Improving the Accessibility of the Integrated Scenarios Data Habitat Trouble for Crystal Darters in Central Midwest States Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Risk of Current Degradation Chart (Stream Length) Fish Habitat Partnership Activities for the Southern Plains States Forecasting Future Changes in Sagebrush Distribution and Abundance Fish Habitat Partnerships Making a Difference in Kiholo Estuary-Fishpond Complex, Hawaii