Fish and Wildlife seasonal and temporary wetland assessment

Science Center Objects

The Prairie Pothole Region supports some of the most productive wetlands in the world for waterfowl. Up to 90% of seasonal and temporary wetlands have been lost in areas of the PPR due to the conversion of grasslands to croplands and the drainage of wetlands. Department of the Interior Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA) and National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) in North Dakota, South Dakota, and eastern Montana provide critical, remaining grassland and wetland habitat for nesting waterfowl. However, neighboring agricultural activities combined with invasion of non-native plants (i.e., cattail and reed canary grass) in temporary and seasonal wetlands makes them less attractive to breeding waterfowl. The Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and North Dakota State University are developing a multi-phase plan to assess the current state of temporary and seasonal wetlands on WPAs and NWRs. The first phase involves development of a spatially-balanced, wetland sampling design across the region, followed by a field campaign during the second phase. These findings will help to inform management decisions to effectively and efficiently protect wetland habitat.