Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

Species Biology

Research into life history, successful conservation, and recovery of threatened and endangered species listed under the Endangered Species Act; trust species that are protected by law; sensitive species that are declining, rare, or uncommon and are identified as candidates for future listing consideration; and species of management concern that warrant management or conservation attention as identified by a natural resource management agency

Filter Total Items: 44
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

Migration and winter ecology of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo Population of whooping cranes

The only self-sustaining population of endangered whooping cranes nests within and near Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada, migrates through the Great Plains, and winters primarily along the Texas Gulf Coast. Our objectives of this collaborative project are to address the entire annual life cycle of this species by advancing knowledge of breeding, wintering, and migration ecology, including...

Contacts: Aaron Pearse
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

Population demographics of least terns and piping plovers in Colorado

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) is helping to improve the monitoring of federally listed least terns and piping plovers by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at John Martin Reservoir in Southeastern Colorado.  NPWRC is providing information to the USACE aimed to improve their habitat management and productivity monitoring.  NPWRC is also providing the capability to mark adults...

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

Breeding ecology and demographics of least terns and piping plovers at the Central Platte River, Nebraska

The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP) partnered with Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) to study demographics of least terns and piping plovers at the Central Platte River in Nebraska. Due to water management and other alterations, riverine habitat for least terns and piping plovers has become degraded. Least terns and piping plovers, however, have begun...

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

Metapopulation dynamics of piping plovers in the Northern Great Plains

NPWRC is leading a multi-agency study to understand metapopulation dynamics of piping plovers in the Northern Great Plains.  Piping plovers are a federally listed species that nests on riverine sandbars and shorelines of wetlands and reservoirs. These habitats are dynamic in response to climate and water-management regimes of the Missouri River. The US Army Corps of Engineers manages the...

Contacts: Michael Anteau
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

Investigating roadside bias in point-count surveys of grassland passerines

The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) provides much essential information for assessing bird populations, but it is unknown how inherent assumptions of the BBS apply to grassland birds in the Northern Plains.  Understanding the effects of these assumptions on our understanding of grassland bird populations is essential given widespread declines of grassland birds as well as recent and...

Contacts: Terry Shaffer
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

Immune components in eggs of New World blackbirds

Interest in the immune systems of wild birds has increased as public health authorities have recognized that many emerging infectious diseases of wildlife can be transmitted to humans (i.e., zoonoses). Eco-immunology is an emerging field that characterizes how immune adaptations of wild species vary as a result of evolution in different habitats and niches. Present understanding of the...

Contacts: Lawrence Igl
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...