Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

Management and Restoration

Understanding how ecosystems work and how chemical, geological, hydrological, and biological processes interact and change with human and natural alterations

Filter Total Items: 50
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Impacts of wind-turbine energy complexes on northern prairie grouse

Wind-energy development in the northern Great Plains primarily occurs along the Missouri Coteau and Missouri River Plateau in North Dakota and South Dakota.  While these areas rank high in wind-energy potential they also contain important breeding habitat for sharp-tailed grouse and greater prairie-chickens.  The impact of these wind-energy developments on prairie grouse populations and trends...

Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Improving wildlife-habitat modeling and assessments with lidar

Lidar has proven itself as a valuable tool for providing high-resolution digital elevation models and for quantifying forest stand metrics utilized by the forest industry. Studies are only beginning to emerge relating lidar data directly to wildlife species occurrences and abundances.  NPWRC has been assessing capabilities of lidar data in various ecosystems to include the mixed forests in...

Contacts: Wesley Newton
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Completed

USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) durability assessment with FORT

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is assisting the Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) in conducting an assessment of the current status of agricultural lands that were previously, but not currently, enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The goal of...

Contacts: David Mushet
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Integrating climate change scenario planning into National Park Service resource management

Resource managers are tasked with managing complex systems with inherent uncertainty around how those systems might change with time and respond to management actions in a changing climate. Scenario planning—often implemented as a qualitative, participatory exercise for exploring multiple possible futures—is a valuable tool for addressing uncertainty. At the same time, quantitative information...

Contacts: Amy Symstad
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Completed

Potential effects of energy development on environmental resources of the Williston Basin in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota

Federal resource managers in the Williston Basin need to understand how the recent expansion of oil and gas development is affecting a range of natural resources. The Bakken Federal Executive Group (BFEG), a group of representatives from over a dozen federal and tribal agencies, called for a report that synthesizes existing information about the potential impacts from energy development. The...

Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Mechanisms, methods, models and management of soil biogeochemical processes in prairie-pothole wetlands

Previous work has shown that Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) wetlands are biogeochemical hotspots, with rapid turnover and transport rates of greenhouse gases (GHG). However, mechanisms controlling GHG fluxes are not well understood, leading to high uncertainty in model estimates of these processes. Additionally, unprecedented changes to land-use and cover in the PPR have potential to alter...

Contacts: Sheel Bansal
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Can wetland water-management influence mercury bioaccumulation in songbirds and ducks at National Wildlife Refuges with mercury problems?

During summer 2017, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) initiated a collaborative research study focused on understanding if water-level management of wetlands at refuges can influence mercury bioaccumulation in wetland-dependent migratory birds.  Birds are susceptible to the effects of mercury and can serve as indicators of contamination in ecosystems. We examined mercury...

Contacts: Michael Anteau
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Quantifying the effects of land-use change and bioenergy crop production on ecosystem services in the Northern Great Plains

Rising commodity crop prices, increased federal subsidies for biofuels, such as corn-based ethanol and soy-based biodiesel, and reduction in U.S. Farm Bill conservation programs have facilitated rapid land-use changes in the Northern Great Plains (NGP).  Although renewable biofuels are touted as a mechanism for increasing energy security and potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions,...

Contacts: Clint Otto
Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

Monitoring and modeling wetland chloride concentrations in relationship to oil and gas development

Extraction of oil and gas via unconventional methods is becoming an important aspect of energy production worldwide. Studying the effects of this development in countries where these technologies are being widely used may provide managers in other oil producing parts of the world with some insight in terms of concerns associated with development. Rapid increases in energy development in North...

Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

Integrated conservation of bison and native prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Badlands National Park contains the largest contiguous bison range in the core of the species’ historic range on the northern Great Plains. The park nevertheless is too small to accommodate natural movements of free-ranging bison. As a result, continual grazing by resident bison has supplanted intense-but-ephemeral grazing by nomadic bison. The herd also is currently too small to prevent...

Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Completed

Developing a sampling and modeling framework to support Dakota skipper management decisions

The presence or absence of an endangered species on the landscape can have significant policy implications for public land managers and private landowners. The Dakota Skipper, a grassland dependent butterfly, was recently listed as a threatened species under The Endangered Species Act in 2014. This listing has created controversy in the states of North and South Dakota because of the potential...

Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

The pollinator library: a decision-support tool for improving national pollinator conservation efforts

Pollinator declines have emphasized the need for a greater understanding of plant-pollinator networks and land management activities that improve pollinator habitat.  At the request of USDA and FWS partners, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center created the Pollinator Library (https://...

Contacts: Clint Otto