Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center


Located on six hundred acres along the James River Valley near Jamestown, North Dakota, the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is one of seventeen USGS Science Centers that develop and disseminate the scientific information needed to understand, conserve, and manage the Nation’s rich biological resources.

View the latest NPWRC Research Activity Report

Migratory-bird center of excellence

Migratory-bird center of excellence

The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is known for its long history of meeting the migratory-bird research needs of Department of the Interior and the Nation.

Migratory Birds

Insect pollinators of the Great Plains

Insect pollinators of the Great Plains

Pollinators support both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Northern Prairie scientists are studying factors affecting the health of insect pollinators across the northern Great Plains.

Pollinator Research

Minimizing impacts to wildlife and ecosystems

Minimizing impacts to wildlife and ecosystems

Providing information needed to reduce human impacts to wildlife populations and ecosystems in the northern Great Plains is a focus of several research efforts at NPWRC.

Species Stressors


Date published: June 20, 2019

Honey Bee Helpers: It Takes a Village to Conserve a Colony

Do you eat fruits and vegetables? What about nuts? If so, you can thank an insect pollinator, usually a honey bee. These small insects play a major role in pollinating the world’s plants, including those we eat regularly. They also increase our nation’s crop values each year by more than 15 billion dollars.

Date published: May 21, 2018

Scientists Collecting Bird Data on Grasslands in Montana this Spring

Now through late July, 2018, U.S. Geological Survey scientists will conduct fieldwork on public lands in Phillips and Valley counties near Malta and Glasgow, Montana, as part of a grassland bird project.

Date published: August 30, 2017

Public Invitation: Jamestown Science Center Opens Doors for Interactive Experience

The public is invited to attend a free, family-friendly open house at a local U.S. Geological Survey center for ecology research on Saturday, September 16.  


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Year Published: 2019

Invertebrate communities of Prairie-Pothole wetlands in the age of the aquatic Homogenocene

Simplification of communities is a common consequence of anthropogenic modification. However, the prevalence and mechanisms of biotic homogenization among wetland systems require further examination. Biota of wetlands in the North American Prairie Pothole Region are adapted to high spatial and temporal variability in ponded-water duration and...

Mclean, Kyle I.; Mushet, David M.; Jon N. Sweetman; Anteau, Michael J.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.

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Year Published: 2019

Alternative stable states in inherently unstable systems

Alternative stable states are nontransitory states within which communities can exist. However, even highly dynamic communities can be viewed within the framework of stable‐state theory if an appropriate “ecologically relevant” time scale is identified. The ecologically relevant time scale for dynamic systems needs to conform to the amount of time...

Mushet, David M.; McKenna, Owen P.; Mclean, Kyle I.

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Year Published: 2019

The effects of management practices on grassland birds—McCown’s Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii)

The key to McCown’s Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii) management is providing short, sparsely vegetated native grasslands of adequate size. Mixed-grass prairies can be made suitable for breeding McCown’s Longspurs by implementing moderate-to-heavy or season-long grazing. McCown’s Longspurs have been reported to use habitats with 5–42 centimeters (...

Shaffer, Jill A.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Rabie, Paul A.; Wooten, Travis L.; Euliss, Betty R.
Shaffer, J.A., Igl, L.D., Johnson, D.H., Sondreal, M.L., Goldade, C.M., Rabie, P.A., Wooten, T.L., and Euliss, B.R., 2019, The effects of management practices on grassland birds—McCown’s Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii), chap. Y of Johnson, D.H., Igl, L.D., Shaffer, J.A., and DeLong, J.P., eds., The effects of management practices on grassland birds: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1842, 10 p.,