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The Souris River watershed spans more than 23,000 square miles (61,000 square kilometers) across Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Manitoba. The funding will support a cross-jurisdictional study led by Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Province of Manitoba researchers that will combine current and historic wetland inventories and examine water quality trends across watersheds with varying levels of wetland cover. Non-point source pollution from the Souris River watershed has been known to impact water quality throughout the watershed including the adjoining Assiniboine River and Lake Winnipeg.
Emerging applications of ecosystem resilience and resistance concepts in sagebrush ecosystems allow managers to better predict and mitigate impacts of wildfire and invasive annual grasses. Soil temperature and moisture strongly influence the kind and amount of vegetation, and consequently, are closely tied to sagebrush ecosystem resilience and resistance (Chambers et al. 2014, 2016). Soil taxonomic temperature and moisture regimes can be used as indicators of resilience and resistance at landscape scales to depict environmental gradients in sagebrush ecosystems that range from cold/cool-moist sites to warm-dry sites. We aggregated soil survey spatial and tabular data to facilitate broad-scale analyses of resilience...
This work provides a flexible and scalable framework to assess the impacts of climate change on streamflow and stream temperature within the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NALCC) region. This is accomplished through use of lumped parameter, physically-based, conceptual hydrologic and stream temperature models formulated in a hierarchical Bayesian framework. This allows for model predictions of streamflow and temperature at ungaged locations and a formal accounting of model estimate uncertainty at each location, something not previously achieved in these models. These environmental models will also link seamlessly with the land use and fish models. The final products of this project will provide:...
Categories: Data; Tags: BIOSPHERE, BIOSPHERE, DATA ANALYSIS AND VISUALIZATION, DATA ANALYSIS AND VISUALIZATION, DATA MANAGEMENT/DATA HANDLING, All tags...
This presentation aired as part of the Great Basin LCC webinar series on December 6, 2017. The presentation was given by Dr. Tamara Wall of the Desert Research InstituteOne of the challenges facing public land managers in the Great Basin is identifying adaptation strategies to increase resiliency to climate change in an area that is already struggling with profound environmental challenges. Recent efforts to understand how the Great Basin weathered past droughts and climate variability may offer insight into approaches that could work in future decades. One approach to gather this information is to understand Traditional Knowledge. Gathering this information is challenging and requires an acknowledgment that much...
The distribution of the greater sage-grouse (hereafter sage-grouse; Centrocercus urophasianus) has declined to 56% of its pre-settlement distribution (Schroeder et al. 2004) and abundance of males attending leks has decreased substantially over the past 50 years throughout the species’ range (Garton et al. 2011, Garton et al. 2015, WAFWA 2015). Livestock grazing is a common land use within sage-grouse habitat, and livestock grazing has been implicated by some experts as one of numerous factors contributing to sage-grouse population declines (Beck and Mitchell 2000, Schroeder et al. 2004). However, there are also numerous mechanisms by which livestock grazing might benefit sage-grouse (Beck and Mitchell 2000, Crawford...
Monarch butterfly and other pollinators are in trouble. Monarch butterfly habitat— including milkweed host plants and nectar food sources—has declined drastically throughout most of the United States. Observed overwinter population levels have also exhibited a long-term downward trend, suggesting a strong relationship between habitat loss and monarch population declines. Preliminary research results from a U.S. Geological Survey led effort indicate that we need a comprehensive conservation strategy that includes all land types in order to stabilize monarch populations at levels necessary to adequately minimize extinction risk—urban areas will likely play a critical role. A Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) tool...
Melanism (dark coloration) is a condition resulting from a greater than normal expres-sion of the eumelanin pigments in the plumage (Gill 1990). The dark coloration can be advantageous to raptors by increasing the feathers’ resistance to bacterial degradation (Goldstein et al. 2004). conversely, abnormally dark pigmentation can reduce success in pairing by disguising key species-identification cues (García 2003) and decrease lifetime reproductive success by increasing mortality (krüger and lindström 2001). Polymorphism in color, of which melanism is one example, occurs in at least 3.5% of avian species worldwide and in 22% of raptors of the family Accipitridae (harriers, hawks, eagles, kites, and Old World vultures;...
The Upper Midwest and Great Lakes (UMGL) and the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie & Big Rivers (ETP) Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) are convening State Wildlife Action Plan Coordinators in the Midwest states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin to work across state boundaries to conserve species of greatest conservation need and their habitats. The partnership members have agreed to focus on three conservation priorities that are common among their State Wildlife Action Plans: freshwater mussels, pollinators, and large grassland complexes with their associated species of greatest conservation need. Work under this partnership addresses implementation of these priorities...
The Williston Basin, located in the NorthernGreat Plains, is experiencing rapid energy developmentwith North Dakota and Montana being the epicenter ofcurrent and projected development in the USA. Theaverage single-bore well pad is 5 acres with an estimated58,485 wells in North Dakota alone. This landscapeleveldisturbance may provide a pathway for the establishmentof non-native plants. To evaluate potentialinfluences of energy development on the presence andabundance of non-native species, vegetation surveyswere conducted at 30 oil well sites (14 ten-year-oldand 16 five-year-old wells) and 14 control sites in nativeprairie environments across the Williston Basin. Nonnativespecies richness and cover were recorded...
Report on research that has shown that management of river connectivity of channels to floodplains is an effective mitigation strategy to remove nutrients, sediment, and carbon from river flows. The confluence of the Maquoketa and Mississippi Rivers is a unique site because: 1) the Maquoketa River carries some of the highest documented sediment and nutrient loads in the Upper Mississippi River (Garrett 2013, Robertson et al 2009); 2) the delta at the confluence with the Mississippi River is heavily managed by a State-Federai-NGO partnership and includes several Habitat Rehabilitation Projects designed to enhance fish and wildlife production and recreational access; 3) a recent nonreparable break in the levy near...
In June 2015, the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) granted $80,000 to the City of St. Louis (City) to promote urban monarch conservation by expanding activities associated with Milkweeds for Monarchs: The St. Louis Butterfly Project (M4M). Generally speaking, the USFWS grant was to: (1) enhance urban education and outreach efforts, and (2) conduct research on urban monarch habitat. The project spent $51,583.57 on activities for ed and $27,785.68 for research. The City’s Office of the Mayor used a portion of the funds to contract a part time individual to act as a Monarch Community Liaison, and used the majority of the grant...
The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the north-central U.S. and south-central Canada contains millions of small prairie wetlands that provide critical habitat to many migrating and breeding waterbirds. Due to their small size and the relatively dry climate of the region, these wetlands are considered at high risk for negative climate change effects as temperatures increase. To estimate the potential impacts of climate change on breeding waterbirds, we predicted current and future distributions of species common in the PPR using species distribution models (SDMs). We created regional-scale SDMs for the U.S. PPR using Breeding Bird Survey occurrence records for 1971–2011 and wetland, upland, and climate variables....
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Monarch butterfly and other pollinators are in trouble. Monarch butterfly habitat— including milkweed host plants and nectar food sources—has declined drastically throughout most of the United States. Observed overwinter population levels have also exhibited a long-term downward trend, suggesting a strong relationship between habitat loss and monarch population declines. Preliminary research results from a U.S. Geological Survey led effort indicate that we need a comprehensive conservation strategy that includes all land types in order to stabilize monarch populations at levels necessary to adequately minimize extinction risk—urban areas will likely play a critical role. A Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) tool...
The Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy (hereafter Strategy, DOI 2015) outlined the need for coordinated, science-based adaptive management to achieve long-term protection, conservation, and restoration of the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem. A key component of this management approach is the identification of knowledge gaps that limit implementation of effective strategies to meet current management challenges. The tasks and actions identified in the Strategy address several broad topics related to management of the sagebrush ecosystem. This science plan is organized around these topics and specifically focuses on fire, invasive plant species and their effects on altering fire regimes, restoration,...
The spread and impacts of exotic species are unambiguous, global threats to many ecosystems. A prominent example is the suite of annual grasses in the Bromus genus (Bromus hereafter) that originate from Europe and Eurasia but have invaded or are invading large areas of the Western USA. This book brings a diverse, multidisciplinary group of authors together to synthesize current knowledge, research needs, and management implications for Bromus. Exotic plant invasions are multifaceted problems, and understanding and managing them requires the biological, ecological, sociological, and economic perspectives that are integrated in this book. Knowing how well information from one geographic or environmental setting can...
A genecological approach was used to explore genetic variation for survival in Artemisia tridentata (big sagebrush). Artemisia tridentata is a widespread and foundational shrub species in western North America. This species has become extremely fragmented, to the detriment of dependent wildlife, and efforts to restore it are now a land manage-ment priority. Common- garden experiments were established at three sites with seed-lings from 55 source- populations. Populations included each of the three predominant subspecies, and cytotype variations. Survival was monitored for 5 years to assess dif-ferences in survival between gardens and populations. We found evidence of adap-tive genetic variation for survival. Survival...
On August 25, 2015 speaker Matt Germino presented on his work restoring sagebrush in the Great Basin. Shrubs are ecosystem foundation species in most of the Great Basin’s landscapes. Most of the species, including sagebrush, are poorly adapted to the changes in fire and invasive pressures that are compounded by climate change. This presentation gives an overview of challenges and opportunities regarding restoration of sagebrush and blackbrush, focusing on climate adaptation, selection of seeds and achieving seeding and planting success. Results from Great Basin LCC supported research on seed selection and planting techniques are presented.
Native grasslands have been reduced to a fraction of their original extent, with estimated total loss prior to the 1990s of 70% for prairie grassland (Federal Provincial and Territorial Governments of Canada 2010). Conversion of native grassland to cropland and tame hayfields or pasture has been one of the leading drivers of native grassland loss in North America. Degradation of native grasslands also continues in some areas due to changes in natural disturbance regimes such as fire suppression and intensive prolonged cattle grazing, threats from invasive non-native species, fragmentation, intensification of agriculture, and economic development associated with population growth(Federal Provincial and Territorial...
This carbon sequestration research is part of a new pilot grassland conservation program to protect at-risk grasslands from conversion to cropland in the northern Great Plains. Natural resources partners have leveraged more than $3 million in private and federal funding to support an innovative program that extends protection of privately-owned grasslands that have expired under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). In the past two years alone, the number of CRP acres nationally has dropped from 31.2 million to 27 million. Of the 4.2-million-acre-decline, lands lost in North Dakota and Montana accounted for 1.6 million acres, or 38 percent. The program aims to encourage private landowners to conserve CRP grasslands...


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