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We propose to use long-term fish-population data from a relict reach of the Pecos River, New Mexico to assess population dynamics of imperiled prairie-river minnows, including Arkansas River shiner. Development of viable management strategies requires basic understanding of population ecology. Rigorous, quantitative ecological methods can be used to analyze continuous, long-term demographic data, but such data are rarely available for imperiled, non-game fishes. Data available for the Pecos River provide a unique opportunity to apply quantitative methods to prairie-river minnow conservation and management. Analyses proposed here would determine (1) whether population regulation is density dependent or flow-regime...
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While habitat selection and population estimates are well documented for spring migrating birds in the central Platte River system, little information or monitoring efforts on the North Platte River exist, particularly for the multiple priority bird species known to be present. Most conservation partners deliver habitat programs in the region with limited information and a lack of a landscape prioritization tools. In order for conservation delivery to be more effective and efficient in utilizing limited funds, a decision support tool is critical so that priority species habitat needs are being addressed through appropriate restoration/management strategies in the correct geography at multiple scales. We propose...
Strategic conservation planning for broad, multi-species landscapes benefits from a data-driven approach that emphasizes persistence of all priority species’ populations and utilized landscapes, while simultaneously accounting for human uses. We propose to initiate a strategic conservation area assessment for the GPLCC. We will focus on Great Plains fishes for this initial project, though additional priority taxa can later be easily incorporated into this proposed framework. We will start with compilation and/or creation of spatial habitat utilization information (including construction of range-wide species distribution models) for GPLCC priority fishes. We will then utilize the open source software Zonation to...
River systems in the Great Plains region are heavily fragmented by potential instream barriers to movement such as low-head diversion dams. The longitudinal connectivity of these systems can be restored with the use of fish passage structures that are designed to allow passage of native fishes, but data on appropriate design requirements are lacking. The proposed project will measure the passage success of 3 species of Great Plains fishes (1 darter, 1 minnow, and 1 catfish in the madtom group) as function of rock ramp fishway slope and sinuosity, two of the key design parameters for an effective fishway. The project will use a model fishway with variable slope and sinuosity and integrated PIT tag antennas to...
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DJ Case will work with PLJV and other project cooperators to develop, conduct, and analyze 14 focus groups with key landowners in six states within the GPLCC. Focus groups allow for open-ended discussions and follow-on questioning that will reveal the key socioeconomic realities and hurdles that discourage landowners from enrolling in conservation programs or restoring playas. Focus groups will be conducted in areas with large playa clusters as identified by PLJV’s science-based Playa Decision Support System. Researchers will select key landowners in each state for participation, and will use the focus group sessions to learn what landowners think and feel about management of their lands in general, and about conservation...
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: Policy makers & regulators, WETLANDS, Playas, Playas, Nebraska, All tags...
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The Rainwater Basin in south-central Nebraska includes a complex of seasonally shallow playa wetlands that attract millions of migratory waterfowl as well as other waterbirds, including the federally and state listed endangered whooping crane. The Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data provide the robust capability of capturing small variations in low-relief playa wetlands. The main objective of this project is to build LiDAR-derived 3-D geospatial models to statistically assess the effectiveness of grass plantings and buffers on playa natural inundation and sedimentation control at watershed scales in the Rainwater Basin. The anticipated products include: (1) A set of statistical models to correlate grass plantings/buffers...
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Despite extensive knowledge and data surrounding the status and threats to Yellowstone cutthroat trout there is currently no comprehensive framework for prioritizing conservation of populations and metapopulations (i.e., locations) and potential actions that could be taken in these locations to secure and expand populations, particularly in anticipation of climate change. Through our existing collaboration with state and federal management partners from Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and Montana, we propose to integrate existing information on Yellowstone cutthroat trout status and limiting factors in a spatially-explicit conservation priority framework adapted from a financial portfolio concept aimed at maximizing...
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Playa wetlands are critical resources of the Great Plains, providing a range of ecological functions such as groundwater recharge, surface water storage, wetland habitat, and sediment filtering. As land cover has been converted from native grassland to cropland, playa ecological functions appear to have been dramatically impacted due to increased sediment delivery. This project will incorporate historical data to establish long-term trends in climate (primarily precipitation), watershed and playa land cover, buffer conditions, and playa sedimentation patterns. Previous studies have relied on relatively low-resolution spatial data and have focused primarily on contemporary land cover to establish spatial patterns...
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: Policy makers & regulators, WETLANDS, Playas, Playas, Nebraska, All tags...
Land-use change, invasive species, and climate change have dramatically impaired ecosystem function worldwide. Understanding how changes to ecosystems impact species of conservation concern is essential for effective conservation delivery. Of particular importance are environments that provide disproportionate ecosystem services. Throughout the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative, playas provide disproportionate ecological services, including essential stopover habitat for migratory waterbirds. Anthropogenic change to playa distribution, abundance, and function may impact the ecosystem services provided, with demographic consequences for priority species. We will address partner needs by developing a...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: WETLANDS, Playas, Playas, Nebraska, Map, All tags...
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Advancement in Geographical Information System (GIS) data development, management, and analysis has allowed conservation practitioners to apply ecological theory into conservation delivery at broad landscape scales. This project demonstrated that process with the creation of Decision Support Tools (DST) to guide on-the-ground habitat delivery to those areas on the landscape that, if managed, will provide the greatest biological return for the conservation dollar invested. This project focused on the habitat needs of Sandhill cranes and waterfowl, as a guild, during spring migration. Understanding the species habitat relationships for these priority species/guild will allow the conservation community to more effectively...
Playas and other wetlands within the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) provide essential habitat for many wetland-dependent vertebrate species and are especially important as migration and wintering areas for waterfowl and shorebirds. Playas in the GPLCC are at risk of unsustainable sediment accumulation, reduced inundation frequency, and declining hydroperiods due to agricultural intensification and a changing climate with expected decreases in annual precipitation, changing precipitation patterns, and higher summer temperatures. We propose to project distribution shifts and/or range reductions of several focal migrating shorebird, waterfowl, and waterbird species in response to climate change,...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: Policy makers & regulators, Decision Support, WETLANDS, Playas, Playas, All tags...
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Groundwater pumping for irrigated agriculture has depleted regional aquifers that sustain habitat for native fishes in the western Great Plains of North America. Depleted surface stream flow is implicated in the decline of 69% of endemic Great Plains fishes, including conservation priority species such as the Arkansas River shiner Notropis girardi. Species declines are likely to continue as water demands increase. Knowledge of spatial patterns of hydrologic connectivity and rates and magnitude of fragmentation through time will help prioritize areas for native fish conservation. We propose to use groundwater-surface water models to document and map the spatiotemporal distribution of flowing and intermittent stream...
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: Policy makers & regulators, Federal resource managers, Project, HABITAT CONVERSION/FRAGMENTATION, Habitat Modeling, All tags...
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The potential implications of climate change to fishes in Great Plains rivers and streams could range from drastic shifts in distribution to extirpation. Many lotic systems in the Great Plains are not well suited for direct escape routes for fish to move to more suitable habitats at other latitudes due to the west-east direction of flows rather than north-south. Therefore, we might expect additional climate related stress on fish communities in the Great Plains compared to other regions of North America. Therefore, we will 1) simulate potential water temperature and flow changes within the Great Plains based on extant regional climate models, 2) assess stream connectivity to potential refugia, 3) develop a database...
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Downloadable, Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, Shapefile; Tags: Policy makers & regulators, Nebraska, Great Plains, Federal resource managers, Project, All tags...
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Redacted transcripts of open-ended focus groups discussions and follow-on questioning intended to reveal the key socioeconomic realities and hurdles that discourage landowners from enrolling in conservation programs or restoring playas. Focus groups were conducted in areas with large playa clusters as identified by PLJV’s science-based Playa Decision Support System. Researchers selected key landowners in each state for participation, and will use the focus group sessions to learn what landowners think and feel about management of their lands in general, and about conservation of playas specifically. To prepare for the focus groups, workshops were held to solicit input from conservation agencies and partners on what...


    map background search result map search result map Helping Managers Develop and Implement a Consistent Method to Prioritize Conservation and Identify Climate Adaptation Strategies for Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Evaluating the Long-term Impacts of Land Cover, Climate, and Buffer Condition Change on Sediment Delivery and Playa Storage Volume Understanding Landowner Attitudes, Opinions and Willingness to Participate in Playa Conservation Use of LIDAR to Assess the Effectiveness of Grass Plantings and Buffers on Playa Natural Inundation and Sedimentation Control in the Rainwater Basin Sandhill Cranes and Waterfowl of the North Platte River Valley: Evaluation of Habitat Selection to Guide Conservation Delivery Mapping and Predicting Groundwater-Mediated Hydrologic Connectivity for Great Plains Prairie Rivers and Streams Population Management of Prairie-River Minnows Implications for Connectivity and Movement of Lotic Great Plains Fishes in the Face of Climate Change. Final Report: Sandhill Cranes and Waterfowl of the North Platte River Valley Transcripts of Discussions: Understanding Landowner Attitudes, Opinions and Willingness to Participate in Playa Conservation Helping Managers Develop and Implement a Consistent Method to Prioritize Conservation and Identify Climate Adaptation Strategies for Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Sandhill Cranes and Waterfowl of the North Platte River Valley: Evaluation of Habitat Selection to Guide Conservation Delivery Use of LIDAR to Assess the Effectiveness of Grass Plantings and Buffers on Playa Natural Inundation and Sedimentation Control in the Rainwater Basin Final Report: Sandhill Cranes and Waterfowl of the North Platte River Valley Mapping and Predicting Groundwater-Mediated Hydrologic Connectivity for Great Plains Prairie Rivers and Streams Evaluating the Long-term Impacts of Land Cover, Climate, and Buffer Condition Change on Sediment Delivery and Playa Storage Volume Population Management of Prairie-River Minnows Understanding Landowner Attitudes, Opinions and Willingness to Participate in Playa Conservation Transcripts of Discussions: Understanding Landowner Attitudes, Opinions and Willingness to Participate in Playa Conservation Implications for Connectivity and Movement of Lotic Great Plains Fishes in the Face of Climate Change.