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 26, 2018
Status: Active

Long-term changes in pollinator resources (alfalfa, sweetclover, milkweed) and monarch butterfly populations in CRP grasslands

Federal cropland retirement programs are increasingly being used to provide resources for pollinators (e.g., nectar, pollen, host plants).  Pollinator-friendly plant species (e.g., alfalfa, sweetclover) were readily included in seed mixes in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands since its inception in the 1985 Farm Bill.  Through time, some native plant species (e.g., milkweeds) also...

Contacts: Lawrence Igl
Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

Improving forage for honey bees and native pollinators on Federal conservation lands

Since its inception in 1933, the U.S. Farm Bill has been one of the most influential federal policies for agriculture and food production.  Provisions within the Farm Bill have profound influence on global trade, nutrition programs, commodity crop programs, rural communities, and land conservation.  Northern Prairie’s research quantifies the impact on pollinator forage and health of USDA...

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

Understanding how land-use change in the Northern Great Plains affects pollinator health and pollination services

Societal dependence on insects for pollination of agricultural crops has risen amidst concerns over global pollinator declines.  Habitat loss and lack of forage have been implicated in the decline of managed and native pollinators in the U.S. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is conducting a regional research project to understand how land use affects honey bee colony health, and the...

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

Improving monitoring techniques for nests of interior least terns and piping plovers

Least terns and piping plovers are the subject of numerous population monitoring efforts.  Population monitoring requires periodic visits to nesting areas to count and assess breeding status of the birds.  At higher visit frequencies, detection of nests and chicks improves as does ability to determine outcomes of nesting attempts, resulting in more complete and accurate productivity...

Contacts: Mark Sherfy
Date published: June 21, 2018
Status: Active

Demographic response of least terns and piping plovers to the 2011 Missouri River Flood

The largest recorded flood event on the Missouri River occurred during 2011. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center recently concluded a study that evaluated effects of that flood on least tern and piping plover breeding populations. These federally-listed species nest on riverine sandbars and reservoir shorelines.  Since construction of the dams on the Missouri River there have been few...

Contacts: Michael Anteau
Date published: June 21, 2018
Status: Active

Development of survey methods for spring-migrating waterfowl in the Rainwater Basin

The Rainwater Basin Wetland Complex is a mid-latitude focal point of spring migration for numerous species of birds in the Great Plains. The Rainwater Basin Joint Venture (RWBJV) and partners desire geospatial models to identify characteristics of wetland complexes and understand local and landscape level factors that influence habitat selection of migrating waterfowl.  To support this effort...

Contacts: Aaron Pearse
Date published: June 21, 2018
Status: Active

Ecology and management of midcontinent sandhill cranes

Midcontinent sandhill cranes occupy a large geographic area of central and western North America and northeastern Asia during breeding, winter, and migration.  They are a species representing a unique convergence of multiple user groups with an interest in the continued health of this population.  Tens of thousands of people view cranes during spring staging at the Platte River Valley in...

Contacts: Aaron Pearse
Date published: June 21, 2018
Status: Active

The effects of management practices on grassland birds

With support from the U.S. Prairie Pothole Joint Venture (PPJV), the U.S. Forest Service, and The Nature Conservancy, Northern Prairie is synthesizing literature on the effects of management practices on grassland bird species. The need for these syntheses was identified by the PPJV, a part of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, in support of its objective to stabilize or increase...

Date published: June 21, 2018
Status: Active

Breeding bird use of grasslands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program in the northern Great Plains

Agriculture is the dominant land use on privately owned lands in the northern Great Plains of the United States.  Management decisions on agricultural lands are influenced by a variety of policies and programs established by the federal government in periodic Farm Bills.  In 1985, Congress passed the Food Security Act.  Title XII of the Act established the Conservation Reserve Program or CRP,...

Contacts: Lawrence Igl
Date published: June 21, 2018
Status: Active

Distribution and habitat use of waterbirds

Waterbird distribution and habitat use are influenced by human activities of agriculture and land-management practices, such as grazing or burning.  For many waterbird species, our knowledge of their ecology and factors influencing their abundance and importance of different habitats is very limited.  Such information can help direct more effective habitat restoration, management, and...

Contacts: Jane Austin
Date published: June 21, 2018
Status: Completed

Long-term changes in wetland and prairie landscapes

Over the past 50 years, wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of the northern Great Plains have experienced a wide range of climatic conditions (severe drought to extreme wet), expansion of invasive species such as hybrid cattail, and disturbances (e.g., grazing, burning, flooding, drainage).  In this study, we revisited wetlands that Stewart and Kantrud (1971) studied 50 years ago to...

Contacts: Jane Austin
Date published: June 21, 2018
Status: Active

Demographic analysis of waterfowl populations

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) has a long history of conducting broad-scale demographic analyses on available waterfowl. Our current efforts are collaborative with a variety of partners. Current studies include: 1) analysis of banding data for lesser scaup to inform the role of harvest on the continental population; 2) analysis of North American survey information of...

Contacts: Michael Anteau