Status and Trends Program

Management and Restoration

Successful restoration or rehabilitation of degraded species, habitats and ecosystems requires assessments of the status and trends of the impacted system before, during and after restoration. In addition, an ecological understanding is required to inform changes in resource management activities to support restoration, as well as to assess the relative success of the restoration and to adjust activities using adaptive approaches.

Filter Total Items: 35
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Restoration of wetland invertebrates to improve wildlife habitat in Minnesota

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) is investigating limitations to restoring abundant aquatic macroinvertebrate populations to Minnesota wetlands and shallow lakes. Recent research on larger more permanent wetlands in Minnesota indicates that there have been decreases in quality of wetlands of use by ducks. That research also describes a decline in abundance of amphipods, a...

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

Importance of wetlands in intensively farmed landscapes to duck production

The Prairie Pothole Region of the northern Great Plains annually hosts 50–80% of North America’s ducks during the breeding season. Accordingly, there are significant government and private funds that go to conservation for the purposes of improving duck production in the region. The Prairie Pothole Region ecosystem has a number of stressors, intensive agriculture being chief among them. The...

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

Interactions of consolidation drainage and climate on water-level dynamics, wetland productivity, and waterbirds

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) recently completed a project aimed at understanding the impacts of wetland drainage on wetlands that receive drainage water. The biological communities of prairie pothole wetlands evolved in a hydrologically dynamic system due to periodic wet and dry conditions.  NPWRC research indicates that relative to wetlands in undrained landscapes,...

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

Interaction of land use and wet/dry cycles on invertebrate populations of northern prairie wetlands: implications for waterbird habitat conservation

This effort is aimed at understanding how productivity of larger and more permanent wetlands is influenced by a combination of inter-annual hydrological dynamics and land-use impacts. Historically, aquatic-invertebrates productivity and abundance was driven by inter-annual hydrological dynamics because drying periods allow for nutrient cycling and a subsequent pulse of productivity when wet...

Contacts: Michael Anteau
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: 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

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 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...