WorldWideScience

Sample records for greater sage-grouse habitat

  1. Greater sage-grouse winter habitat use on the eastern edge of their range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher C. Swanson; Mark A. Rumble; Nicholas W. Kaczor; Robert W. Klaver; Katie M. Herman-Brunson; Jonathan A. Jenks; Kent C. Jensen

    2013-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) at the western edge of the Dakotas occur in the transition zone between sagebrush and grassland communities. These mixed sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) and grasslands differ from those habitats that comprise the central portions of the sage-grouse range; yet, no information is available on winter habitat selection within this...

  2. Does Wyoming's Core Area Policy Protect Winter Habitats for Greater Sage-Grouse?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kurt T.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Pratt, Aaron C.

    2016-10-01

    Conservation reserves established to protect important habitat for wildlife species are used world-wide as a wildlife conservation measure. Effective reserves must adequately protect year-round habitats to maintain wildlife populations. Wyoming's Sage-Grouse Core Area policy was established to protect breeding habitats for greater sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus). Protecting only one important seasonal habitat could result in loss or degradation of other important habitats and potential declines in local populations. The purpose of our study was to identify the timing of winter habitat use, the extent which individuals breeding in Core Areas used winter habitats, and develop resource selection functions to assess effectiveness of Core Areas in conserving sage-grouse winter habitats in portions of 5 Core Areas in central and north-central Wyoming during winters 2011-2015. We found that use of winter habitats occured over a longer period than current Core Area winter timing stipulations and a substantial amount of winter habitat outside of Core Areas was used by individuals that bred in Core Areas, particularly in smaller Core Areas. Resource selection functions for each study area indicated that sage-grouse were selecting habitats in response to landscapes dominated by big sagebrush and flatter topography similar to other research on sage-grouse winter habitat selection. The substantial portion of sage-grouse locations and predicted probability of selection during winter outside small Core Areas illustrate that winter requirements for sage-grouse are not adequately met by existing Core Areas. Consequently, further considerations for identifying and managing important winter sage-grouse habitats under Wyoming's Core Area Policy are warranted.

  3. Restoration handbook for sagebrush steppe ecosystems with emphasis on greater sage-grouse habitat - Part 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    David A. Pyke; Jeanne C. Chambers; Mike Pellant; Steven T. Knick; Richard F. Miller; Jeffrey L. Beck; Paul S. Doescher; Eugene W. Schupp; Bruce A. Roundy; Mark Brunson; James D. McIver

    2015-01-01

    Sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the United States currently occur on only about one-half of their historical land area because of changes in land use, urban growth, and degradation of land, including invasions of non-native plants. The existence of many animal species depends on the existence of sagebrush steppe habitat. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus...

  4. Linking occurrence and fitness to persistence: Habitat-based approach for endangered Greater Sage-Grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldridge, Cameron L.; Boyce, Mark S.

    2007-01-01

    Detailed empirical models predicting both species occurrence and fitness across a landscape are necessary to understand processes related to population persistence. Failure to consider both occurrence and fitness may result in incorrect assessments of habitat importance leading to inappropriate management strategies. We took a two-stage approach to identifying critical nesting and brood-rearing habitat for the endangered Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Alberta at a landscape scale. First, we used logistic regression to develop spatial models predicting the relative probability of use (occurrence) for Sage-Grouse nests and broods. Secondly, we used Cox proportional hazards survival models to identify the most risky habitats across the landscape. We combined these two approaches to identify Sage-Grouse habitats that pose minimal risk of failure (source habitats) and attractive sink habitats that pose increased risk (ecological traps). Our models showed that Sage-Grouse select for heterogeneous patches of moderate sagebrush cover (quadratic relationship) and avoid anthropogenic edge habitat for nesting. Nests were more successful in heterogeneous habitats, but nest success was independent of anthropogenic features. Similarly, broods selected heterogeneous high-productivity habitats with sagebrush while avoiding human developments, cultivated cropland, and high densities of oil wells. Chick mortalities tended to occur in proximity to oil and gas developments and along riparian habitats. For nests and broods, respectively, approximately 10% and 5% of the study area was considered source habitat, whereas 19% and 15% of habitat was attractive sink habitat. Limited source habitats appear to be the main reason for poor nest success (39%) and low chick survival (12%). Our habitat models identify areas of protection priority and areas that require immediate management attention to enhance recruitment to secure the viability of this population. This novel

  5. Greater sage-grouse winter habitat use on the eastern edge of their range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, Christopher C.; Rumble, Mark A.; Grovenburg, Troy W.; Kaczor, Nicholas W.; Klaver, Robert W.; Herman-Brunson, Katie M.; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Jensen, Kent C.

    2013-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) at the western edge of the Dakotas occur in the transition zone between sagebrush and grassland communities. These mixed sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) and grasslands differ from those habitats that comprise the central portions of the sage-grouse range; yet, no information is available on winter habitat selection within this region of their distribution. We evaluated factors influencing greater sage-grouse winter habitat use in North Dakota during 2005–2006 and 2006–2007 and in South Dakota during 2006–2007 and 2007–2008. We captured and radio-marked 97 breeding-age females and 54 breeding-age males from 2005 to 2007 and quantified habitat selection for 98 of these birds that were alive during winter. We collected habitat measurements at 340 (177 ND, 163 SD) sage-grouse use sites and 680 random (340 each at 250 m and 500 m from locations) dependent sites. Use sites differed from random sites with greater percent sagebrush cover (14.75% use vs. 7.29% random; P 2 use vs. 0.94 plants/m2 random; P ≤ 0.001), but lesser percent grass cover (11.76% use vs. 16.01% random; P ≤ 0.001) and litter cover (4.34% use vs. 5.55% random; P = 0.001) and lower sagebrush height (20.02 cm use vs. 21.35 cm random; P = 0.13) and grass height (21.47 cm use vs. 23.21 cm random; P = 0.15). We used conditional logistic regression to estimate winter habitat selection by sage-grouse on continuous scales. The model sagebrush cover + sagebrush height + sagebrush cover × sagebrush height (wi = 0.60) was the most supported of the 13 models we considered, indicating that percent sagebrush cover strongly influenced selection. Logistic odds ratios indicated that the probability of selection by sage-grouse increased by 1.867 for every 1% increase in sagebrush cover (95% CI = 1.627–2.141) and by 1.041 for every 1 cm increase in sagebrush height (95% CI = 1.002–1.082). The

  6. Integrating spatially explicit indices of abundance and habitat quality: an applied example for greater sage-grouse management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S; Casazza, Michael L; Ricca, Mark A; Brussee, Brianne E; Blomberg, Erik J; Gustafson, K Benjamin; Overton, Cory T; Davis, Dawn M; Niell, Lara E; Espinosa, Shawn P; Gardner, Scott C; Delehanty, David J

    2016-02-01

    Predictive species distributional models are a cornerstone of wildlife conservation planning. Constructing such models requires robust underpinning science that integrates formerly disparate data types to achieve effective species management.Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus , hereafter 'sage-grouse' populations are declining throughout sagebrush-steppe ecosystems in North America, particularly within the Great Basin, which heightens the need for novel management tools that maximize the use of available information.Herein, we improve upon existing species distribution models by combining information about sage-grouse habitat quality, distribution and abundance from multiple data sources. To measure habitat, we created spatially explicit maps depicting habitat selection indices (HSI) informed by >35 500 independent telemetry locations from >1600 sage-grouse collected over 15 years across much of the Great Basin. These indices were derived from models that accounted for selection at different spatial scales and seasons. A region-wide HSI was calculated using the HSI surfaces modelled for 12 independent subregions and then demarcated into distinct habitat quality classes.We also employed a novel index to describe landscape patterns of sage-grouse abundance and space use (AUI). The AUI is a probabilistic composite of the following: (i) breeding density patterns based on the spatial configuration of breeding leks and associated trends in male attendance; and (ii) year-round patterns of space use indexed by the decreasing probability of use with increasing distance to leks. The continuous AUI surface was then reclassified into two classes representing high and low/no use and abundance. Synthesis and application s. Using the example of sage-grouse, we demonstrate how the joint application of indices of habitat selection, abundance and space use derived from multiple data sources yields a composite map that can guide effective allocation of management

  7. Integrating spatially explicit indices of abundance and habitat quality: an applied example for greater sage-grouse management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Ricca, Mark A.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Blomberg, Erik J.; Gustafson, K. Benjamin; Overton, Cory T.; Davis, Dawn M.; Niell, Lara E.; Espinosa, Shawn P.; Gardner, Scott C.; Delehanty, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Predictive species distributional models are a cornerstone of wildlife conservation planning. Constructing such models requires robust underpinning science that integrates formerly disparate data types to achieve effective species management. Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter “sage-grouse” populations are declining throughout sagebrush-steppe ecosystems in North America, particularly within the Great Basin, which heightens the need for novel management tools that maximize use of available information. Herein, we improve upon existing species distribution models by combining information about sage-grouse habitat quality, distribution, and abundance from multiple data sources. To measure habitat, we created spatially explicit maps depicting habitat selection indices (HSI) informed by > 35 500 independent telemetry locations from > 1600 sage-grouse collected over 15 years across much of the Great Basin. These indices were derived from models that accounted for selection at different spatial scales and seasons. A region-wide HSI was calculated using the HSI surfaces modelled for 12 independent subregions and then demarcated into distinct habitat quality classes. We also employed a novel index to describe landscape patterns of sage-grouse abundance and space use (AUI). The AUI is a probabilistic composite of: (i) breeding density patterns based on the spatial configuration of breeding leks and associated trends in male attendance; and (ii) year-round patterns of space use indexed by the decreasing probability of use with increasing distance to leks. The continuous AUI surface was then reclassified into two classes representing high and low/no use and abundance. Synthesis and applications. Using the example of sage-grouse, we demonstrate how the joint application of indices of habitat selection, abundance, and space use derived from multiple data sources yields a composite map that can guide effective allocation of management intensity across

  8. Restoration handbook for sagebrush steppe ecosystems with emphasis on greater sage-grouse habitat - Part 3: Site level restoration decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    David A. Pyke; Jeanne C. Chambers; Mike Pellant; Richard F. Miller; Jeffrey L. Beck; Paul S. Doescher; Bruce A. Roundy; Eugene W. Schupp; Steven T. Knick; Mark Brunson; James D. McIver

    2017-01-01

    Sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the United States currently (2016) occur on only about one-half of their historical land area because of changes in land use, urban growth, and degradation of land, including invasions of non-native plants. The existence of many animal species depends on the existence of sagebrush steppe habitat. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus...

  9. Seasonal Habitat Use by Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) on a Landscape with Low Density Oil and Gas Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Mindy B; Rossi, Liza G; Apa, Anthony D

    2016-01-01

    Fragmentation of the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem has led to concern about a variety of sagebrush obligates including the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Given the increase of energy development within greater sage-grouse habitats, mapping seasonal habitats in pre-development populations is critical. The North Park population in Colorado is one of the largest and most stable in the state and provides a unique case study for investigating resource selection at a relatively low level of energy development compared to other populations both within and outside the state. We used locations from 117 radio-marked female greater sage-grouse in North Park, Colorado to develop seasonal resource selection models. We then added energy development variables to the base models at both a landscape and local scale to determine if energy variables improved the fit of the seasonal models. The base models for breeding and winter resource selection predicted greater use in large expanses of sagebrush whereas the base summer model predicted greater use along the edge of riparian areas. Energy development variables did not improve the winter or the summer models at either scale of analysis, but distance to oil/gas roads slightly improved model fit at both scales in the breeding season, albeit in opposite ways. At the landscape scale, greater sage-grouse were closer to oil/gas roads whereas they were further from oil/gas roads at the local scale during the breeding season. Although we found limited effects from low level energy development in the breeding season, the scale of analysis can influence the interpretation of effects. The lack of strong effects from energy development may be indicative that energy development at current levels are not impacting greater sage-grouse in North Park. Our baseline seasonal resource selection maps can be used for conservation to help identify ways of minimizing the effects of energy development.

  10. Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat Use and Population Demographics at the Simpson Ridge Wind Resource Area, Carbon County, Wyoming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gregory D. Johnson; Chad W. LeBeau; Ryan Nielsen; Troy Rintz; Jamey Eddy; Matt Holloran

    2012-03-27

    This study was conducted to obtain baseline data on use of the proposed Simpson Ridge Wind Resource Area (SRWRA) in Carbon County, Wyoming by greater sage-grouse. The first two study years were designed to determine pre-construction seasonally selected habitats and population-level vital rates (productivity and survival). The presence of an existing wind energy facility in the project area, the PacifiCorp Seven Mile Hill (SMH) project, allowed us to obtain some information on initial sage-grouse response to wind turbines the first two years following construction. To our knowledge these are the first quantitative data on sage-grouse response to an existing wind energy development. This report presents results of the first two study years (April 1, 2009 through March 30, 2011). This study was selected for continued funding by the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative Sage-Grouse Collaborative (NWCC-SGC) and has been ongoing since March 30, 2011. Future reports summarizing results of this research will be distributed through the NWCC-SGC. To investigate population trends through time, we determined the distribution and numbers of males using leks throughout the study area, which included a 4-mile radius buffer around the SRWRA. Over the 2-year study, 116 female greater sage-grouse were captured by spotlighting and use of hoop nets on roosts surrounding leks during the breeding period. Radio marked birds were located anywhere from twice a week to once a month, depending on season. All radio-locations were classified to season. We developed predictor variables used to predict success of fitness parameters and relative probability of habitat selection within the SRWRA and SMH study areas. Anthropogenic features included paved highways, overhead transmission lines, wind turbines and turbine access roads. Environmental variables included vegetation and topography features. Home ranges were estimated using a kernel density estimator. We developed resource selection

  11. Resource selection during brood-rearing by Greater Sage-Grouse [chapter 12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholas W. Kaczor; Katie M. Herman-Brunson; Kent C. Jensen; Mark A. Rumble; Robert W. Klaver; Christopher C. Swanson

    2011-01-01

    Understanding population dynamics and resource selection is crucial in developing wildlife resource management plans for sensitive species such as Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Little is known about sage grouse habitats on the eastern edge of their range. We investigated resource selection of Greater Sage-Grouse during brood- rearing in North and...

  12. Sage-grouse habitat selection during winter in Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Jennifer L.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Boyce, Mark S.

    2010-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are dependent on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) for food and shelter during winter, yet few studies have assessed winter habitat selection, particularly at scales applicable to conservation planning. Small changes to availability of winter habitats have caused drastic reductions in some sage-grouse populations. We modeled winter habitat selection by sage-grouse in Alberta, Canada, by using a resource selection function. Our purpose was to 1) generate a robust winter habitat-selection model for Alberta sage-grouse; 2) spatially depict habitat suitability in a Geographic Information System to identify areas with a high probability of selection and thus, conservation importance; and 3) assess the relative influence of human development, including oil and gas wells, in landscape models of winter habitat selection. Terrain and vegetation characteristics, sagebrush cover, anthropogenic landscape features, and energy development were important in top Akaike's Information Criterionselected models. During winter, sage-grouse selected dense sagebrush cover and homogenous less rugged areas, and avoided energy development and 2-track truck trails. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development highlights the need for comprehensive management strategies that maintain suitable habitats across all seasons. ?? 2010 The Wildlife Society.

  13. Habitat prioritization across large landscapes, multiple seasons, and novel areas: an example using greater sage-grouse in Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedy, Bradley C.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; O'Donnell, Michael S.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Bedrosian, Bryan; Gummer, David; Holloran, Matthew J.; Johnson, Gregory D.; Kaczor, Nicholas W.; Kirol, Christopher P.; Mandich, Cheryl A.; Marshall, David; McKee, Gwyn; Olson, Chad; Pratt, Aaron C.; Swanson, Christopher C.; Walker, Brett L.

    2014-01-01

    Animal habitat selection is an important and expansive area of research in ecology. In particular, the study of habitat selection is critical in habitat prioritization efforts for species of conservation concern. Landscape planning for species is happening at ever-increasing extents because of the appreciation for the role of landscape-scale patterns in species persistence coupled to improved datasets for species and habitats, and the expanding and intensifying footprint of human land uses on the landscape. We present a large-scale collaborative effort to develop habitat selection models across large landscapes and multiple seasons for prioritizing habitat for a species of conservation concern. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter sage-grouse) occur in western semi-arid landscapes in North America. Range-wide population declines of this species have been documented, and it is currently considered as “warranted but precluded” from listing under the United States Endangered Species Act. Wyoming is predicted to remain a stronghold for sage-grouse populations and contains approximately 37% of remaining birds. We compiled location data from 14 unique radiotelemetry studies (data collected 1994–2010) and habitat data from high-quality, biologically relevant, geographic information system (GIS) layers across Wyoming. We developed habitat selection models for greater sage-grouse across Wyoming for 3 distinct life stages: 1) nesting, 2) summer, and 3) winter. We developed patch and landscape models across 4 extents, producing statewide and regional (southwest, central, northeast) models for Wyoming. Habitat selection varied among regions and seasons, yet preferred habitat attributes generally matched the extensive literature on sage-grouse seasonal habitat requirements. Across seasons and regions, birds preferred areas with greater percentage sagebrush cover and avoided paved roads, agriculture, and forested areas. Birds consistently preferred

  14. Nest-site selection and reproductive success of greater sage-grouse in a fire-affected habitat of northwestern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying links between micro-habitat selection and wildlife reproduction is imperative to population persistence and recovery. This information is particularly important for landscape species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse). Although this species has been widely studied, because environmental factors can affect sage-grouse populations, local and regional studies are crucial for developing viable conservation strategies. We studied the habitat-use patterns of 71 radio-marked sage-grouse inhabiting an area affected by wildfire in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada during 2009–2011 to determine the effect of micro-habitat attributes on reproductive success. We measured standard vegetation parameters at nest and random sites using a multi-scale approach (range = 0.01–15,527 ha). We used an information-theoretic modeling approach to identify environmental factors influencing nest-site selection and survival, and determine whether nest survival was a function of resource selection. Sage-grouse selected micro-sites with greater shrub canopy cover and less cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) cover than random sites. Total shrub canopy, including sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and other shrub species, at small spatial scales (0.8 ha and 3.1 ha) was the single contributing selection factor to higher nest survival. These results indicate that reducing the risk of wildfire to maintain important sagebrush habitats could be emphasized in sage-grouse conservation strategies in Nevada. Managers may seek to mitigate the influx of annual grass invasion by preserving large intact sagebrush-dominated stands with a mixture of other shrub species. For this area of Nevada, the results suggest that ≥40% total shrub canopy cover in sage-grouse nesting areas could yield improved reproductive success. 

  15. Using DNA from hairs left at depredated greater sage-grouse nests to detect mammalian nest predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher P. Kirol; Kristine L. Pilgrim; Andrew L. Sutphin; Thomas L. Maechtle

    2018-01-01

    Despite a multitude of studies on sage-grouse (Centrocercus spp.), there is still sparse information on the predator communities that influence sage-grouse productivity and how these predator communities may change when sagebrush habitats are altered by human activities. As a proof-of-concept, we used mammalian hairs collected at depredated greater sage-grouse (C....

  16. Non-target effects on songbirds from habitat manipulation for Greater Sage-Grouse: Implications for the umbrella species concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlisle, Jason D.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Smith, Kurt T.; Beck, Jeffery L.

    2018-01-01

    The “umbrella species” concept is a conservation strategy in which creating and managing reserve areas to meet the needs of one species is thought to benefit other species indirectly. Broad-scale habitat protections on behalf of an umbrella species are assumed to benefit co-occurring taxa, but targeted management actions to improve local habitat suitability for the umbrella species may produce unintended effects on other species. Our objective was to quantify the effects of a common habitat treatment (mowing of big sagebrush [Artemisia tridentata]) intended to benefit a high-profile umbrella species (Greater Sage-Grouse [Centrocercus urophasianus]) on 3 sympatric songbird species of concern. We used a before–after control-impact experimental design spanning 3 yr in Wyoming, USA, to quantify the effect of mowing on the abundance, nest-site selection, nestling condition, and nest survival of 2 sagebrush-obligate songbirds (Brewer's Sparrow [Spizella breweri] and Sage Thrasher [Oreoscoptes montanus]) and one open-habitat generalist songbird (Vesper Sparrow [Pooecetes gramineus]). Mowing was associated with lower abundance of Brewer's Sparrows and Sage Thrashers but higher abundance of Vesper Sparrows. We found no Brewer's Sparrows or Sage Thrashers nesting in the mowed footprint posttreatment, which suggests complete loss of nesting habitat for these species. Mowing was associated with higher nestling condition and nest survival for Vesper Sparrows but not for the sagebrush-obligate species. Management prescriptions that remove woody biomass within a mosaic of intact habitat may be tolerated by sagebrush-obligate songbirds but are likely more beneficial for open-habitat generalist species. By definition, umbrella species conservation entails habitat protections at broad spatial scales. We caution that habitat manipulations to benefit Greater Sage-Grouse could negatively affect nontarget species of conservation concern if implemented across large spatial extents.

  17. Wyoming greater sage-grouse habitat prioritization: A collection of multi-scale seasonal models and geographic information systems land management tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Michael S.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Fedy, Bradley C.

    2015-01-01

    With rapidly changing landscape conditions within Wyoming and the potential effects of landscape changes on sage-grouse habitat, land managers and conservation planners, among others, need procedures to assess the location and juxtaposition of important habitats, land-cover, and land-use patterns to balance wildlife requirements with multiple human land uses. Biologists frequently develop habitat-selection studies to identify prioritization efforts for species of conservation concern to increase understanding and help guide habitat-conservation efforts. Recently, the authors undertook a large-scale collaborative effort that developed habitat-selection models for Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) across large landscapes in Wyoming, USA and for multiple life-stages (nesting, late brood-rearing, and winter). We developed these habitat models using resource selection functions, based upon sage-grouse telemetry data collected for localized studies and within each life-stage. The models allowed us to characterize and spatially predict seasonal sage-grouse habitat use in Wyoming. Due to the quantity of models, the diversity of model predictors (in the form of geographic information system data) produced by analyses, and the variety of potential applications for these data, we present here a resource that complements our published modeling effort, which will further support land managers.

  18. Spatially explicit modeling of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) habitat in Nevada and northeastern California: a decision-support tool for management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Ricca, Mark A.; Gustafson, K. Benjamin; Overton, Cory T.; Sanchez-Chopitea, Erika; Kroger, Travis; Mauch, Kimberly; Niell, Lara; Howe, Kristy; Gardner, Scott; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter referred to as “sage-grouse”) populations are declining throughout the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem, including millions of acres of potential habitat across the West. Habitat maps derived from empirical data are needed given impending listing decisions that will affect both sage-grouse population dynamics and human land-use restrictions. This report presents the process for developing spatially explicit maps describing relative habitat suitability for sage-grouse in Nevada and northeastern California. Maps depicting habitat suitability indices (HSI) values were generated based on model-averaged resource selection functions informed by more than 31,000 independent telemetry locations from more than 1,500 radio-marked sage-grouse across 12 project areas in Nevada and northeastern California collected during a 15-year period (1998–2013). Modeled habitat covariates included land cover composition, water resources, habitat configuration, elevation, and topography, each at multiple spatial scales that were relevant to empirically observed sage-grouse movement patterns. We then present an example of how the HSI can be delineated into categories. Specifically, we demonstrate that the deviation from the mean can be used to classify habitat suitability into three categories of habitat quality (high, moderate, and low) and one non-habitat category. The classification resulted in an agreement of 93–97 percent for habitat versus non-habitat across a suite of independent validation datasets. Lastly, we provide an example of how space use models can be integrated with habitat models to help inform conservation planning. In this example, we combined probabilistic breeding density with a non-linear probability of occurrence relative to distance to nearest lek (traditional breeding ground) using count data to calculate a composite space use index (SUI). The SUI was then classified into two categories of use

  19. Greater sage-grouse apparent nest productivity and chick survival in Carbon County, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie A. Schreiber; Christopher P. Hansen; Mark A. Rumble; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Frank R. Thompson; R. Scott Gamo; Jon W. Kehmeier; Nate Wojik

    2016-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus populations across North America have been declining due to degradation and fragmentation of sagebrush habitat. As part of a study quantifying greater sage-grouse demographics prior to construction of a wind energy facility, we estimated apparent net nest productivity and survival rate of chicks associated with...

  20. Microhabitat selection of brood-rearing sites by greater sage-grouse in Carbon County, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie A. Schreiber; Christopher P. Hansen; Mark A. Rumble; Joshua J. Millspaugh; R. Scott Gamo; Jon W. Kehmeier; Nate Wojcik

    2015-01-01

    Declines in Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter sage-grouse) populations could be attributed to low chick survival, which may be influenced by the availability of food and cover at sites used by females rearing broods. Habitat attributes important to broods may vary regionally; thus, it is necessary to understand factors affecting...

  1. Identifying Greater Sage-Grouse source and sink habitats for conservation planning in an energy development landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirol, Christopher P; Beck, Jeffrey L; Huzurbazar, Snehalata V; Holloran, Matthew J; Miller, Scott N

    2015-06-01

    Conserving a declining species that is facing many threats, including overlap of its habitats with energy extraction activities, depends upon identifying and prioritizing the value of the habitats that remain. In addition, habitat quality is often compromised when source habitats are lost or fragmented due to anthropogenic development. Our objective was to build an ecological model to classify and map habitat quality in terms of source or sink dynamics for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Atlantic Rim Project Area (ARPA), a developing coalbed natural gas field in south-central Wyoming, USA. We used occurrence and survival modeling to evaluate relationships between environmental and anthropogenic variables at multiple spatial scales and for all female summer life stages, including nesting, brood-rearing, and non-brooding females. For each life stage, we created resource selection functions (RSFs). We weighted the RSFs and combined them to form a female summer occurrence map. We modeled survival also as a function of spatial variables for nest, brood, and adult female summer survival. Our survival-models were mapped as survival probability functions individually and then combined with fixed vital rates in a fitness metric model that, when mapped, predicted habitat productivity (productivity map). Our results demonstrate a suite of environmental and anthropogenic variables at multiple scales that were predictive of occurrence and survival. We created a source-sink map by overlaying our female summer occurrence map and productivity map to predict habitats contributing to population surpluses (source habitats) or deficits (sink habitat) and low-occurrence habitats on the landscape. The source-sink map predicted that of the Sage-Grouse habitat within the ARPA, 30% was primary source, 29% was secondary source, 4% was primary sink, 6% was secondary sink, and 31% was low occurrence. Our results provide evidence that energy development and avoidance of

  2. Greater sage-grouse nest predators in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter sage-grouse, populations have declined across their range due to the loss, degradation, and fragmentation of habitat. Habitat alterations can lead not only to vegetative changes but also to shifts in animal behavior and predator composition that may influence population vital rates, such as nest success. For example, common ravens Corvus corax are sage-grouse nest predators, and common raven abundance is positively associated with human-caused habitat alterations. Because nest success is a central component to sage-grouse population persistence, research that identifies factors influencing nest success will better inform conservation efforts. We used videography to unequivocally identify sage-grouse nest predators within the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada, USA, from 2009 to 2011 and used maximum likelihood to calculate daily probability of nest survival. In the Virginia Mountains, fires, energy exploration, and other anthropogenic activities have altered historic sage-grouse habitat. We monitored 71 sage-grouse nests during the study, placing video cameras at 39 nests. Cumulative nest survival for all nests was 22.4% (95% CI, 13.0–33.4%), a survival rate that was significantly lower than other published results for sage-grouse in the Great Basin. Depredation was the primary cause for nest failure in our study (82.5%), and common ravens were the most frequent sage-grouse nest predator, accounting for 46.7% of nest depredations. We also successfully documented a suite of mammalian and reptilian species depredating sage-grouse nests, including some predators never previously confirmed in the literature to be sage-grouse nest predators (i.e., bobcats Lynx rufus and long-tailed weasels Mephitis frenata). Within the high elevation, disturbed habitat of the Virginia Mountains, low sage-grouse nest success may be limiting sage-grouse population growth. These results suggest that management actions that

  3. Conservation buffer distance estimates for Greater Sage-Grouse: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manier, Daniel J.; Bowen, Zachary H.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Casazza, Michael L.; Coates, Peter S.; Deibert, Patricia A.; Hanser, Steven E.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2014-01-01

    This report was prepared at the request of the U.S. Department of the Interior and is a compilation and summary of published scientific studies that evaluate the influence of anthropogenic activities and infrastructure on Greater Sage-Grouse(Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter, sage-grouse) populations. The purpose of this report is to provide a convenient reference for land managers and others who are working to develop biologically relevant and socioeconomically practical buffer distances around sage-grouse habitats. The framework for this summary includes (1) addressing the potential effects of anthropogenic land use and disturbances on sage-grouse populations, (2) providing ecologically based interpretations of evidence from the scientific literature, and (3) informing implementation of conservation buffers around sage-grouse communal breeding locations—known as leks.

  4. Conservation of greater sage-grouse- a synthesis of current trends and future management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connelly, John W.; Knick, Steven T.; Braun, Clait E.; Baker, William L.; Beever, Erik A.; Christiansen, Thomas J.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Garton, Edward O.; Hagen, Christian A.; Hanser, Steven E.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Leu, Matthias; Miller, Richard F.; Naugle, David E.; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Pyke, David A.; Reese, Kerry P.; Schroeder, Michael A.; Stiver, San J.; Walker, Brett L.; Wisdorn, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Recent analyses of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) populations indicate substantial declines in many areas but relatively stable populations in other portions of the species? range. Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitats neces-sary to support sage-grouse are being burned by large wildfires, invaded by nonnative plants, and developed for energy resources (gas, oil, and wind). Management on public lands, which con-tain 70% of sagebrush habitats, has changed over the last 30 years from large sagebrush control projects directed at enhancing livestock grazing to a greater emphasis on projects that often attempt to improve or restore ecological integrity. Never-theless, the mandate to manage public lands to provide traditional consumptive uses as well as recreation and wilderness values is not likely to change in the near future. Consequently, demand and use of resources contained in sagebrush land-scapes plus the associated infrastructure to sup-port increasing human populations in the western United States will continue to challenge efforts to conserve Greater Sage-Grouse. The continued widespread distribution of sage-grouse, albeit at very low densities in some areas, coupled with large areas of important sagebrush habitat that are relatively unaffected by the human footprint, sug-gest that Greater Sage-Grouse populations may be able to persist into the future. We summarize the status of sage-grouse populations and habitats, provide a synthesis of major threats and chal-lenges to conservation of sage-grouse, and suggest a roadmap to attaining conservation goals.

  5. Ecology of greater sage-grouse in the Dakotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher C. Swanson

    2009-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) populations and the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) communities that they rely on have dramatically declined from historic levels. Moreover, information regarding sage-grouse annual life-history requirements at the eastern-most extension of sagebrush steppe communities is lacking....

  6. Molecular insights into the biology of Greater Sage-Grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Quinn, Thomas W.

    2011-01-01

    Recent research on Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) genetics has revealed some important findings. First, multiple paternity in broods is more prevalent than previously thought, and leks do not comprise kin groups. Second, the Greater Sage-Grouse is genetically distinct from the congeneric Gunnison sage-grouse (C. minimus). Third, the Lyon-Mono population in the Mono Basin, spanning the border between Nevada and California, has unique genetic characteristics. Fourth, the previous delineation of western (C. u. phaios) and eastern Greater Sage-Grouse (C. u. urophasianus) is not supported genetically. Fifth, two isolated populations in Washington show indications that genetic diversity has been lost due to population declines and isolation. This chapter examines the use of molecular genetics to understand the biology of Greater Sage-Grouse for the conservation and management of this species and put it into the context of avian ecology based on selected molecular studies.

  7. Preliminary analysis of Greater Sage-grouse reproduction in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Lockyer, Zachary B.; Farinha, Melissa A.; Sweeney, Joelle M.; Johnson, Valerie M.; Meshriy, Matthew G.; Espinosa, Shawn P.; Delehanty, David J.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2011-01-01

    Relationships between habitat selection and population vital rates of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter sage-grouse), recently designated as a candidate species under the Endangered Species Act, within the Great Basin are not well-understood. The growing development of renewable energy infrastructure within areas inhabited by sage-grouse is thought to influence predator and vegetation communities. For example, common ravens (Corvus corax), a synanthropic sage-grouse nest predator, are increasing range-wide and select transmission lines and other tall structures for nesting and perching. In the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada, we collected preliminary information of space-use, habitat selection, and population vital rates during the nesting and brood-rearing period over two years on 56 sage-grouse. Additionally, videography at nest sites (n = 22) was used to identify sage-grouse nest predators. The study area is a potential site for renewable energy developments (i.e., wind and solar), and we plan to continue monitoring this population using a before-after-control-impact study design. The results reported here are preliminary and further data are required before conclusions can be drawn from this population of sage-grouse.

  8. Importance of regional variation in conservation planning: A rangewide example of the Greater Sage-Grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Kevin E.; Evans, Jeffrey S.; Coates, Peter S.; Juliusson, Lara; Fedy, Bradley C.

    2016-01-01

    We developed rangewide population and habitat models for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) that account for regional variation in habitat selection and relative densities of birds for use in conservation planning and risk assessments. We developed a probabilistic model of occupied breeding habitat by statistically linking habitat characteristics within 4 miles of an occupied lek using a nonlinear machine learning technique (Random Forests). Habitat characteristics used were quantified in GIS and represent standard abiotic and biotic variables related to sage-grouse biology. Statistical model fit was high (mean correctly classified = 82.0%, range = 75.4–88.0%) as were cross-validation statistics (mean = 80.9%, range = 75.1–85.8%). We also developed a spatially explicit model to quantify the relative density of breeding birds across each Greater Sage-Grouse management zone. The models demonstrate distinct clustering of relative abundance of sage-grouse populations across all management zones. On average, approximately half of the breeding population is predicted to be within 10% of the occupied range. We also found that 80% of sage-grouse populations were contained in 25–34% of the occupied range within each management zone. Our rangewide population and habitat models account for regional variation in habitat selection and the relative densities of birds, and thus, they can serve as a consistent and common currency to assess how sage-grouse habitat and populations overlap with conservation actions or threats over the entire sage-grouse range. We also quantified differences in functional habitat responses and disturbance thresholds across the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) management zones using statistical relationships identified during habitat modeling. Even for a species as specialized as Greater Sage-Grouse, our results show that ecological context matters in both the strength of habitat selection (i

  9. Interspecific nest parasitism by chukar on greater sage-grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fearon, Michelle L.; Coates, Peter S.

    2014-01-01

    Nest parasitism occurs when a female bird lays eggs in the nest of another and the host incubates the eggs and may provide some form of parental care for the offspring (Lyon and Eadie 1991). Precocial birds (e.g., Galliformes and Anseriformes) are typically facultative nest parasites of both their own and other species (Lyon and Eadie 1991). This behavior increases a female’s reproductive success when she parasitizes other nests while simultaneously raising her own offspring. Both interspecific and conspecific nest parasitism have been well documented in several families of the order Galliformes, particularly the Phasianidae (Lyon and Eadie 1991, Geffen and Yom-Tov 2001, Krakauer and Kimball 2009). The Chukar (Alectoris chukar) has been widely introduced as a game bird to western North America from Eurasia and is now well established within the Great Basin from northeastern California east to Utah and north to Idaho and Oregon (Christensen 1996). Over much of this range the Chukar occurs with other phasianids, including the native Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), within sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) steppe (Christensen 1996, Schroeder et al. 1999, Connelly et al. 2000). Chukar typically exploit a broader range of habitats than do sage-grouse, but both species use the same species of sagebrush and other shrubs for nesting cover (Christensen 1996, Schroeder et al. 1999). Chukar are known to parasitize nests of other individuals of their own species (Geffen and Yom-Tov 2001), but we are unaware of reported evidence that Chukar may parasitize nests of sage-grouse. Here we describe a case of a Chukar parasitizing a sage-grouse nest in the sagebrush steppe of western Nevada.

  10. Greater sage-grouse: general use and roost site occurrence with pellet counts as a measure of relative abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven E. Hanser; Cameron L. Aldridge; Matthias Leu; Mary M. Rowland; Scott E. Nielsen; Steven T. Knick

    2011-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) have been declining both spatially and numerically throughout their range because of anthropogenic disturbance and loss and fragmentation of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitats. Understanding how sage-grouse respond to these habitat alterations and disturbances, particularly the...

  11. Ecology of Greater Sage-Grouse in the Bi-State Planning Area Final Report, September 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casazza, Michael L.; Overton, Cory T.; Farinha, Melissa A.; Torregrosa, Alicia; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Miller, Michael R.; Sedinger, James S.; Kolada, Eric J.

    2009-01-01

    Conservation efforts for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), hereafter sage-grouse, are underway across the range of this species. Over 70 local working groups have been established and are implementing on-the-ground sage-grouse oriented conservation projects. Early on in this process, the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) recognized the need to join in these efforts and received funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) under the Candidate Species Conservation Program to help develop a species conservation plan for sage-grouse in the Mono County area. This conservation plan covers portions of Alpine, Mono, and Inyo counties in California and Douglas, Esmeralda, Lyon, and Mineral counties in Nevada. A concurrent effort underway through the Nevada Governor's Sage-grouse Conservation Team established Local Area Working Groups across Nevada and eastern California. The Mono County populations of sage-grouse were encompassed by the Bi-State Local Planning Area, which was comprised of six population management units (PMUs). The state agencies from California (CDFG) and Nevada (Nevada Department of Wildlife; NDOW) responsible for the management of sage-grouse agreed to utilize the process that had begun with the Nevada Governor's Team in order to develop local plans for conservation planning and implementation. Resources from the USFWS were applied to several objectives in support of the development of the Bi-State Local Area Sage-grouse Conservation Plan through a grant to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Objectives included: (1) participate in the development of the Bi-State Conservation Plan, (2) compile and synthesize existing sage-grouse data, (3) document seasonal movements of sage-grouse, (4) identify habitats critical to sage-grouse, (5) determine survival rates and identify causal factors of mortality, (6) determine nest success and brood success of sage-grouse, and (7) identify sage-grouse lek sites. Progress reports

  12. Using resilience and resistance concepts to manage threats to sagebrush ecosystems, Gunnison sage-grouse, and Greater sage-grouse in their eastern range: A strategic multi-scale approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Campbell, Steve; Carlson, John; Christiansen, Thomas J.; Clause, Karen J.; Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Griffin, Kathleen A.; Havlina, Douglas W.; Mayer, Kenneth F.; Hennig, Jacob D.; Kurth, Laurie L.; Maestas, Jeremy D.; Manning, Mary E.; Mealor, Brian A.; McCarthy, Clinton; Perea, Marco A.; Pyke, David A.

    2016-01-01

    This report provides a strategic approach developed by a Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies interagency working group for conservation of sagebrush ecosystems, Greater sage-grouse, and Gunnison sage-grouse. It uses information on (1) factors that influence sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative invasive annual grasses and (2) distribution and relative abundance of sage-grouse populations to address persistent ecosystem threats, such as invasive annual grasses and wildfire, and land use and development threats, such as oil and gas development and cropland conversion, to develop effective management strategies. A sage-grouse habitat matrix links relative resilience and resistance of sagebrush ecosystems with modeled sage-grouse breeding habitat probabilities to help decisionmakers assess risks and determine appropriate management strategies at both landscape and site scales. Areas for targeted management are assessed by overlaying matrix components with Greater sage-grouse Priority Areas for Conservation and Gunnison sage-grouse critical habitat and linkages, breeding bird concentration areas, and specific habitat threats. Decision tools are discussed for determining the suitability of target areas for management and the most appropriate management actions. A similar approach was developed for the Great Basin that was incorporated into the Federal land use plan amendments and served as the basis of a Bureau of Land Management Fire and Invasives Assessment Tool, which was used to prioritize sage-grouse habitat for targeted management activities.

  13. Greater sage-grouse population trends across Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmunds, David; Aldridge, Cameron L.; O'Donnell, Michael; Monroe, Adrian

    2018-01-01

    The scale at which analyses are performed can have an effect on model results and often one scale does not accurately describe the ecological phenomena of interest (e.g., population trends) for wide-ranging species: yet, most ecological studies are performed at a single, arbitrary scale. To best determine local and regional trends for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Wyoming, USA, we modeled density-independent and -dependent population growth across multiple spatial scales relevant to management and conservation (Core Areas [habitat encompassing approximately 83% of the sage-grouse population on ∼24% of surface area in Wyoming], local Working Groups [7 regional areas for which groups of local experts are tasked with implementing Wyoming's statewide sage-grouse conservation plan at the local level], Core Area status (Core Area vs. Non-Core Area) by Working Groups, and Core Areas by Working Groups). Our goal was to determine the influence of fine-scale population trends (Core Areas) on larger-scale populations (Working Group Areas). We modeled the natural log of change in population size ( peak M lek counts) by time to calculate the finite rate of population growth (λ) for each population of interest from 1993 to 2015. We found that in general when Core Area status (Core Area vs. Non-Core Area) was investigated by Working Group Area, the 2 populations trended similarly and agreed with the overall trend of the Working Group Area. However, at the finer scale where Core Areas were analyzed separately, Core Areas within the same Working Group Area often trended differently and a few large Core Areas could influence the overall Working Group Area trend and mask trends occurring in smaller Core Areas. Relatively close fine-scale populations of sage-grouse can trend differently, indicating that large-scale trends may not accurately depict what is occurring across the landscape (e.g., local effects of gas and oil fields may be masked by increasing

  14. Mitigation effectiveness for improving nesting success of greater sage-grouse influenced by energy development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirol, Christopher P.; Sutphin, Andrew L.; Bond, Laura S.; Fuller, Mark R.; Maechtle, Thomas L.

    2015-01-01

    Sagebrush Artemisia spp. habitats being developed for oil and gas reserves are inhabited by sagebrush obligate species — including the greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus (sage-grouse) that is currently being considered for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Numerous studies suggest increasing oil and gas development may exacerbate species extinction risks. Therefore, there is a great need for effective on-site mitigation to reduce impacts to co-occurring wildlife such as sage-grouse. Nesting success is a primary factor in avian productivity and declines in nesting success are also thought to be an important contributor to population declines in sage-grouse. From 2008 to 2011 we monitored 296 nests of radio-marked female sage-grouse in a natural gas (NG) field in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming, USA, and compared nest survival in mitigated and non-mitigated development areas and relatively unaltered areas to determine if specific mitigation practices were enhancing nest survival. Nest survival was highest in relatively unaltered habitats followed by mitigated, and then non-mitigated NG areas. Reservoirs used for holding NG discharge water had the greatest support as having a direct relationship to nest survival. Within a 5-km2 area surrounding a nest, the probability of nest failure increased by about 15% for every 1.5 km increase in reservoir water edge. Reducing reservoirs was a mitigation focus and sage-grouse nesting in mitigated areas were exposed to almost half of the amount of water edge compared to those in non-mitigated areas. Further, we found that an increase in sagebrush cover was positively related to nest survival. Consequently, mitigation efforts focused on reducing reservoir construction and reducing surface disturbance, especially when the surface disturbance results in sagebrush removal, are important to enhancing sage-grouse nesting success.

  15. Investigating impacts of oil and gas development on greater sage-grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Adam; Aldridge, Cameron L.; O'Donnell, Michael

    2017-01-01

    The sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems in western North America providing habitat for species found nowhere else. Sagebrush habitats have experienced dramatic declines since the 1950s, mostly due to anthropogenic disturbances. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a sagebrush-obligate species that has experienced population declines over the last several decades, which are attributed to a variety of disturbances including the more recent threat of oil and gas development. We developed a hierarchical, Bayesian state-space model to investigate the impacts of 2 measures of oil and gas development, and environmental and habitat conditions, on sage-grouse populations in Wyoming, USA using male lek counts from 1984 to 2008. Lek attendance of male sage-grouse declined by approximately 2.5%/year and was negatively related to oil and gas well density. We found little support for the influence of sagebrush cover and precipitation on changes in lek counts. Our results support those of other studies reporting negative impacts of oil and gas development on sage-grouse populations and our modeling approach allowed us to make inference to a longer time scale and larger spatial extent than in previous studies. In addition to sage-grouse, development may also negatively affect other sagebrush-obligate species, and active management of sagebrush habitats may be necessary to maintain some species. 

  16. Landscape characteristics and livestock presence influence common ravens: Relevance to greater sage-grouse conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Howe, Kristy; Gustafson, K. Ben; Casazza, Michael L.; Delehanty, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Common raven (Corvus corax; hereafter, raven) population abundance in the sagebrush steppe of the American West has increased threefold during the previous four decades, largely as a result of unintended resource subsidies from human land-use practices. This is concerning because ravens frequently depredate nests of species of conservation concern, such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter, sage-grouse). Grazing by livestock in sagebrush ecosystems is common practice on most public lands, but associations between livestock and ravens are poorly understood. The primary objective of this study was to identify the effects of livestock on raven occurrence while accounting for landscape characteristics within human-altered sagebrush steppe habitat, particularly in areas occupied by breeding sage-grouse. Using data from southeastern Idaho collected during spring and summer across 3 yr, we modeled raven occurrence as a function of the presence of livestock while accounting for multiple landscape covariates, including land cover features, topographical features, and proximity to sage-grouse lek sites (breeding grounds), as well as site-level anthropogenic features. While accounting for landscape characteristics, we found that the odds of raven occurrence increased 45.8% in areas where livestock were present. In addition, ravens selected areas near sage-grouse leks, with the odds of occurrence decreasing 8.9% for every 1-km distance, increase away from the lek. We did not find an association between livestock use and distance to lek. We also found that ravens selected sites with relatively lower elevation containing increased amounts of cropland, wet meadow, and urbanization. Limiting raven access to key anthropogenic subsidies and spatially segregating livestock from sage-grouse breeding areas would likely reduce exposure of predatory ravens to sage-grouse nests and chicks.

  17. Landscape restoration for greater sage-grouse: implications for multiscale planning and monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael J. Wisdom; Mary M. Rowland; Miles A. Hemstrom; Barbara C. Wales

    2005-01-01

    Habitats and populations of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) have declined throughout western North America in response to a myriad of detrimental land uses. Successful restoration of this species' habitat, therefore, is of keen interest to Federal land agencies who oversee management of most remaining habitat. To illustrate the...

  18. Nesting success and resource selection of Greater Sage-Grouse [chapter 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholas W. Kaczor; Kent C. Jensen; Robert W. Klaver; Mark A. Rumble; Katie M. Herman-Brunson; Christopher C. Swanson

    2011-01-01

    Declines of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in South Dakota are a concern because further population declines may lead to isolation from populations in Wyoming and Montana. Furthermore, little information exists about reproductive ecology and resource selection of sage grouse on the eastern edge of their distribution. We investigated Greater Sage-Grouse...

  19. Lek ecology of male greater sage-grouse in Carbon County, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleshia Lynn Fremgen

    2014-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter "sage-grouse") have experienced range-wide population declines for several decades, and as a result they were considered warranted for listing under the Endangered Species Act in 2010. Therefore, wildlife managers need to understand how sage-grouse breeding behavior influences long-term reproductive...

  20. Greater sage-grouse science (2015–17)—Synthesis and potential management implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanser, Steven E.; Deibert, Patricia A.; Tull, John C.; Carr, Natasha B.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Bargsten, Travis D.; Christiansen, Thomas J.; Coates, Peter S.; Crist, Michele R.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Ellsworth, Ethan A.; Foster, Lee J.; Herren, Vicki A.; Miller, Kevin H.; Moser, Ann; Naeve, Robin M.; Prentice, Karen L.; Remington, Thomas E.; Ricca, Mark A.; Shinneman, Douglas J.; Truex, Richard L.; Wiechman , Lief A.; Wilson, Dereck C.; Bowen, Zachary H.

    2018-02-15

    Executive SummaryThe greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter called “sage-grouse”), a species that requires sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), has experienced range-wide declines in its distribution and abundance. These declines have prompted substantial research and management investments to improve the understanding of sage-grouse and its habitats and reverse declines in distribution and population numbers.Over the past two decades, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has responded to eight petitions to list the sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, with the completion of the most recent listing determination in September 2015. At that time, the USFWS determined that the sage-grouse did not warrant a listing, primarily because of the large scale science-based conservation and planning efforts completed or started by Federal, State, local agencies, private landowners, and other entities across the range. The planning efforts culminated in the development of the 2015 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service Land Use Plan Amendments, which provided regulatory certainty and commitment from Federal land-management agencies to limit, mitigate, and track anthropogenic disturbance and implement other sage-grouse conservation measures.After these policy decisions, the scientific community has continued to refine and expand the knowledge available to inform implementation of management actions, increase the efficiency and effectiveness of those actions, and continue developing an overall understanding of sage-grouse populations, habitat requirements, and their response to human activity and other habitat changes. The development of science has been driven by multiple prioritization documents including the “Greater Sage-Grouse National Research Strategy” (Hanser and Manier, 2013) and, most recently, the “Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy Actionable Science Plan” (Integrated Rangeland Fire Management

  1. Conserving and restoring habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse and other sagebrush-obligate wildlife: The crucial link of forbs and sagebrush diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kas Dumroese; Tara Luna; Bryce A. Richardson; Francis F. Kilkenny; Justin B. Runyon

    2015-01-01

    In the western US, Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus Bonaparte [Phasianidae]) have become an indicator species of the overall health of the sagebrush (Artemisia L. [Asteraceae]) dominated communities that support a rich diversity of flora and fauna. This species has an integral association with sagebrush, its understory forbs and grasses, and the...

  2. Greater sage-grouse as an umbrella species for sagebrush-associated vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary M. Rowland; Michael J. Wisdom; Lowell Suring; Cara W. Meinke

    2006-01-01

    Widespread degradation of the sagebrush ecosystem in the western United States, including the invasion of cheatgrass, has prompted resource managers to consider a variety of approaches to restore and conserve habitats for sagebrush-associated species. One such approach involves the use of greater sage-grouse, a species of prominent conservation interest, as an umbrella...

  3. Assessing Greater Sage-Grouse Selection of Brood-Rearing Habitat Using Remotely-Sensed Imagery: Can Readily Available High-Resolution Imagery Be Used to Identify Brood-Rearing Habitat Across a Broad Landscape?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westover, Matthew; Baxter, Jared; Baxter, Rick; Day, Casey; Jensen, Ryan; Petersen, Steve; Larsen, Randy

    2016-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse populations have decreased steadily since European settlement in western North America. Reduced availability of brood-rearing habitat has been identified as a limiting factor for many populations. We used radio-telemetry to acquire locations of sage-grouse broods from 1998 to 2012 in Strawberry Valley, Utah. Using these locations and remotely-sensed NAIP (National Agricultural Imagery Program) imagery, we 1) determined which characteristics of brood-rearing habitat could be used in widely available, high resolution imagery 2) assessed the spatial extent at which sage-grouse selected brood-rearing habitat, and 3) created a predictive habitat model to identify areas of preferred brood-rearing habitat. We used AIC model selection to evaluate support for a list of variables derived from remotely-sensed imagery. We examined the relationship of these explanatory variables at three spatial extents (45, 200, and 795 meter radii). Our top model included 10 variables (percent shrub, percent grass, percent tree, percent paved road, percent riparian, meters of sage/tree edge, meters of riparian/tree edge, distance to tree, distance to transmission lines, and distance to permanent structures). Variables from each spatial extent were represented in our top model with the majority being associated with the larger (795 meter) spatial extent. When applied to our study area, our top model predicted 75% of naïve brood locations suggesting reasonable success using this method and widely available NAIP imagery. We encourage application of our methodology to other sage-grouse populations and species of conservation concern.

  4. Phenology largely explains taller grass at successful nests in greater sage-grouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joseph T; Tack, Jason D; Doherty, Kevin E; Allred, Brady W; Maestas, Jeremy D; Berkeley, Lorelle I; Dettenmaier, Seth J; Messmer, Terry A; Naugle, David E

    2018-01-01

    Much interest lies in the identification of manageable habitat variables that affect key vital rates for species of concern. For ground-nesting birds, vegetation surrounding the nest may play an important role in mediating nest success by providing concealment from predators. Height of grasses surrounding the nest is thought to be a driver of nest survival in greater sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus ; sage-grouse), a species that has experienced widespread population declines throughout their range. However, a growing body of the literature has found that widely used field methods can produce misleading inference on the relationship between grass height and nest success. Specifically, it has been demonstrated that measuring concealment following nest fate (failure or hatch) introduces a temporal bias whereby successful nests are measured later in the season, on average, than failed nests. This sampling bias can produce inference suggesting a positive effect of grass height on nest survival, though the relationship arises due to the confounding effect of plant phenology, not an effect on predation risk. To test the generality of this finding for sage-grouse, we reanalyzed existing datasets comprising >800 sage-grouse nests from three independent studies across the range where there was a positive relationship found between grass height and nest survival, including two using methods now known to be biased. Correcting for phenology produced equivocal relationships between grass height and sage-grouse nest survival. Viewed in total, evidence for a ubiquitous biological effect of grass height on sage-grouse nest success across time and space is lacking. In light of these findings, a reevaluation of land management guidelines emphasizing specific grass height targets to promote nest success may be merited.

  5. Sagebrush, greater sage-grouse, and the occurrence and importance of forbs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennington, Victoria E.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Bradford, John B.; Palmquist, Kyle A.; Lauenroth, William K.

    2016-01-01

    Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) ecosystems provide habitat for sagebrush-obligate wildlife species such as the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). The understory of big sagebrush plant communities is composed of grasses and forbs that are important sources of cover and food for wildlife. The grass component is well described in the literature, but the composition, abundance, and habitat role of forbs in these communities is largely unknown. Our objective was to synthesize information about forbs and their importance to Greater Sage-Grouse diets and habitats, how rangeland management practices affect forbs, and how forbs respond to changes in temperature and precipitation. We also sought to identify research gaps and needs concerning forbs in big sagebrush plant communities. We searched for relevant literature including journal articles and state and federal agency reports. Our results indicated that in the spring and summer, Greater Sage-Grouse diets consist of forbs (particularly species in the Asteraceae family), arthropods, and lesser amounts of sagebrush. The diets transition to sagebrush in fall and winter. Forbs provide cover for Greater Sage-Grouse individuals at their lekking, nesting, and brood-rearing sites, and the species has a positive relationship with arthropod presence. The effect of grazing on native forbs may be compounded by invasion of nonnative species and differs depending on grazing intensity. The effect of fire on forbs varies greatly and may depend on time elapsed since burning. In addition, chemical and mechanical treatments affect annual and perennial forbs differently. Temperature and precipitation influence forb phenology, biomass, and abundance differently among species. Our review identified several uncertainties and research needs about forbs in big sagebrush ecosystems. First, in many cases the literature about forbs is reported only at the genus or functional type level. Second, information about forb

  6. Forecasting sagebrush ecosystem components and greater sage-grouse habitat for 2050: learning from past climate patterns and Landsat imagery to predict the future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homer, Collin G.; Xian, George Z.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Meyer, Debra K.; Loveland, Thomas R.; O'Donnell, Michael S.

    2015-01-01

    urophasianus) habitat models to evaluate the effects of potential climate-induced habitat change. Under the 2050 IPCC A1B scenario, 11.6% of currently identified nesting habitat was lost, and 0.002% of new potential habitat was gained, with 4% of summer habitat lost and 0.039% gained. Our results demonstrate the successful ability of remote sensing based sagebrush components, when coupled with precipitation, to forecast future component response using IPCC precipitation scenarios. Our approach also enables future quantification of greater sage-grouse habitat under different precipitation scenarios, and provides additional capability to identify regional precipitation influence on sagebrush component response.

  7. Sage grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Shawna; Timmer, Jennifer M.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Braun, Clait E.; Young, Jessica R.

    2017-01-01

    Sage grouse are a group of chicken-sized birds with a unique breeding behavior and dependence on sagebrush shrubs (genus Artemisia) for food and shelter throughout their life cycle. In the last century, human population expansion throughout western North America has reduced the amount of sagebrush and degraded and fragmented the remaining areas. Vanishing sagebrush has resulted in sage grouse (genus Centrocercus) population declines and elevated conservation concern. Western Colorado is home to both species of sage grouse: greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and Gunnison sage grouse (Centrocercus minimus). Populations in the state, and throughout their range, have declined sufficiently to warrant consideration for federal protection for both species under the Endangered Species Act.

  8. Genomic single-nucleotide polymorphisms confirm that Gunnison and Greater sage-grouse are genetically well differentiated and that the Bi-State population is distinct

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Cornman, Robert S.; Jones, Kenneth L.; Fike, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Sage-grouse are iconic, declining inhabitants of sagebrush habitats in western North America, and their management depends on an understanding of genetic variation across the landscape. Two distinct species of sage-grouse have been recognized, Greater (Centrocercus urophasianus) and Gunnison sage-grouse (C. minimus), based on morphology, behavior, and variation at neutral genetic markers. A parapatric group of Greater Sage-Grouse along the border of California and Nevada ("Bi-State") is also genetically distinct at the same neutral genetic markers, yet not different in behavior or morphology. Because delineating taxonomic boundaries and defining conservation units is often difficult in recently diverged taxa and can be further complicated by highly skewed mating systems, we took advantage of new genomic methods that improve our ability to characterize genetic variation at a much finer resolution. We identified thousands of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among Gunnison, Greater, and Bi-State sage-grouse and used them to comprehensively examine levels of genetic diversity and differentiation among these groups. The pairwise multilocus fixation index (FST) was high (0.49) between Gunnison and Greater sage-grouse, and both principal coordinates analysis and model-based clustering grouped samples unequivocally by species. Standing genetic variation was lower within the Gunnison Sage-Grouse. The Bi-State population was also significantly differentiated from Greater Sage-Grouse, albeit more weakly (FST = 0.09), and genetic clustering results were consistent with reduced gene flow with Greater Sage-Grouse. No comparable genetic divisions were found within the Greater Sage-Grouse sample, which spanned the southern half of the range. Thus, we provide much stronger genetic evidence supporting the recognition of Gunnison Sage-Grouse as a distinct species with low genetic diversity. Further, our work confirms that the Bi-State population is differentiated from other

  9. Spatially explicit modeling of annual and seasonal habitat for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Nevada and Northeastern California—An updated decision-support tool for management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Ricca, Mark A.; Gustafson, K. Benjamin; Sanchez-Chopitea, Erika; Mauch, Kimberly; Niell, Lara; Gardner, Scott; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2016-05-20

    Successful adaptive management hinges largely upon integrating new and improved sources of information as they become available. As a timely example of this tenet, we updated a management decision support tool that was previously developed for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereinafter referred to as “sage-grouse”) populations in Nevada and California. Specifically, recently developed spatially explicit habitat maps derived from empirical data played a key role in the conservation of this species facing listing under the Endangered Species Act. This report provides an updated process for mapping relative habitat suitability and management categories for sage-grouse in Nevada and northeastern California (Coates and others, 2014, 2016). These updates include: (1) adding radio and GPS telemetry locations from sage-grouse monitored at multiple sites during 2014 to the original location dataset beginning in 1998; (2) integrating output from high resolution maps (1–2 m2) of sagebrush and pinyon-juniper cover as covariates in resource selection models; (3) modifying the spatial extent of the analyses to match newly available vegetation layers; (4) explicit modeling of relative habitat suitability during three seasons (spring, summer, winter) that corresponded to critical life history periods for sage-grouse (breeding, brood-rearing, over-wintering); (5) accounting for differences in habitat availability between more mesic sagebrush steppe communities in the northern part of the study area and drier Great Basin sagebrush in more southerly regions by categorizing continuous region-wide surfaces of habitat suitability index (HSI) with independent locations falling within two hydrological zones; (6) integrating the three seasonal maps into a composite map of annual relative habitat suitability; (7) deriving updated land management categories based on previously determined cut-points for intersections of habitat suitability and an updated index of sage-grouse

  10. Modeling ecological minimum requirements for distribution of greater sage-grouse leks: implications for population connectivity across their western range, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knick, Steven T; Hanser, Steven E; Preston, Kristine L

    2013-06-01

    Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus (Bonaparte) currently occupy approximately half of their historical distribution across western North America. Sage-grouse are a candidate for endangered species listing due to habitat and population fragmentation coupled with inadequate regulation to control development in critical areas. Conservation planning would benefit from accurate maps delineating required habitats and movement corridors. However, developing a species distribution model that incorporates the diversity of habitats used by sage-grouse across their widespread distribution has statistical and logistical challenges. We first identified the ecological minimums limiting sage-grouse, mapped similarity to the multivariate set of minimums, and delineated connectivity across a 920,000 km(2) region. We partitioned a Mahalanobis D (2) model of habitat use into k separate additive components each representing independent combinations of species-habitat relationships to identify the ecological minimums required by sage-grouse. We constructed the model from abiotic, land cover, and anthropogenic variables measured at leks (breeding) and surrounding areas within 5 km. We evaluated model partitions using a random subset of leks and historic locations and selected D (2) (k = 10) for mapping a habitat similarity index (HSI). Finally, we delineated connectivity by converting the mapped HSI to a resistance surface. Sage-grouse required sagebrush-dominated landscapes containing minimal levels of human land use. Sage-grouse used relatively arid regions characterized by shallow slopes, even terrain, and low amounts of forest, grassland, and agriculture in the surrounding landscape. Most populations were interconnected although several outlying populations were isolated because of distance or lack of habitat corridors for exchange. Land management agencies currently are revising land-use plans and designating critical habitat to conserve sage-grouse and avoid endangered

  11. Modeling ecological minimum requirements for distribution of greater sage-grouse leks: implications for population connectivity across their western range, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knick, Steven T.; Hanser, Steven E.; Preston, Kristine L.

    2013-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus (Bonaparte) currently occupy approximately half of their historical distribution across western North America. Sage-grouse are a candidate for endangered species listing due to habitat and population fragmentation coupled with inadequate regulation to control development in critical areas. Conservation planning would benefit from accurate maps delineating required habitats and movement corridors. However, developing a species distribution model that incorporates the diversity of habitats used by sage-grouse across their widespread distribution has statistical and logistical challenges. We first identified the ecological minimums limiting sage-grouse, mapped similarity to the multivariate set of minimums, and delineated connectivity across a 920,000 km2 region. We partitioned a Mahalanobis D2 model of habitat use into k separate additive components each representing independent combinations of species–habitat relationships to identify the ecological minimums required by sage-grouse. We constructed the model from abiotic, land cover, and anthropogenic variables measured at leks (breeding) and surrounding areas within 5 km. We evaluated model partitions using a random subset of leks and historic locations and selected D2 (k = 10) for mapping a habitat similarity index (HSI). Finally, we delineated connectivity by converting the mapped HSI to a resistance surface. Sage-grouse required sagebrush-dominated landscapes containing minimal levels of human land use. Sage-grouse used relatively arid regions characterized by shallow slopes, even terrain, and low amounts of forest, grassland, and agriculture in the surrounding landscape. Most populations were interconnected although several outlying populations were isolated because of distance or lack of habitat corridors for exchange. Land management agencies currently are revising land-use plans and designating critical habitat to conserve sage-grouse and avoid endangered

  12. Development of 13 microsatellites for Gunnison Sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) using next-generation shotgun sequencing and their utility in Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fike, Jennifer A.; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Zimmerman, Shawna J; Castoe, Todd A.

    2015-01-01

    Gunnison Sage-grouse are an obligate sagebrush species that has experienced significant population declines and has been proposed for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. In order to examine levels of connectivity among Gunnison Sage-grouse leks, we identified 13 novel microsatellite loci though next-generation shotgun sequencing, and tested them on the closely related Greater Sage-grouse. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 12. No loci were found to be linked, although 2 loci revealed significant departures from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium or evidence of null alleles. While these microsatellites were designed for Gunnison Sage-grouse, they also work well for Greater Sage-grouse and could be used for numerous genetic questions including landscape and population genetics.

  13. Observations of territorial breeding common ravens caching eggs of greater sage-grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Kristy B.; Coates, Peter S.

    2015-01-01

    Previous investigations using continuous video monitoring of greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus nests have unambiguously identified common ravens Corvus corax as an important egg predator within the western United States. The quantity of greater sage-grouse eggs an individual common raven consumes during the nesting period and the extent to which common ravens actively hunt greater sage-grouse nests are largely unknown. However, some evidence suggests that territorial breeding common ravens, rather than nonbreeding transients, are most likely responsible for nest depredations. We describe greater sage-grouse egg depredation observations obtained opportunistically from three common raven nests located in Idaho and Nevada where depredated greater sage-grouse eggs were found at or in the immediate vicinity of the nest site, including the caching of eggs in nearby rock crevices. We opportunistically monitored these nests by counting and removing depredated eggs and shell fragments from the nest sites during each visit to determine the extent to which the common raven pairs preyed on greater sage-grouse eggs. To our knowledge, our observations represent the first evidence that breeding, territorial pairs of common ravens cache greater sage-grouse eggs and are capable of depredating multiple greater sage-grouse nests.

  14. 78 FR 65703 - Notice of Availability of the Idaho and Southwestern Montana Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Land Use...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    ...] Notice of Availability of the Idaho and Southwestern Montana Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Land Use Plan... Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for managing Greater Sage- Grouse (GRSG) in the Idaho and Southwestern... Southwestern Montana Greater Sage-Grouse Draft LUP Amendments/Draft EIS by any of the following methods: Email...

  15. 78 FR 50088 - Notice of Availability of the Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Resource Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-16

    ... Availability of the Northwest Colorado Greater Sage- Grouse Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and Draft... Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Resource Management.../or mailings. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse...

  16. 77 FR 71396 - Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest; Nevada and California Greater Sage Grouse Bi-State Distinct...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-30

    ... Greater Sage Grouse Bi-State Distinct Population Segment Forest Plan Amendment Environmental Impact... Sage Grouse Bi- State Distinct Population Segment. DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis..., but precluded'' Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing petition decision for the Greater Sage grouse Bi...

  17. Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus Urophasianus) Hen Survival: Effects of Raptors, Anthropogenic and Landscape Features, and Hen Behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Conover, Michael R.; Kirol, Christopher P.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Frey, S. Nicole

    2014-01-01

    Survival of breeding-age hens has been identified as the demographic rate with the greatest potential to influence population growth of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus (Bonaparte, 1827); hereafter “Sage-Grouse”). During 2008–2011, we collected summer survival data from 427 Sage-Grouse hens in southern Wyoming, USA. We assessed the effects of raptor densities, anthropogenic features, landscape features, and Sage-Grouse hen behavior on Sage-Grouse hen survival. Survival of Sage-G...

  18. Nesting ecology of greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus at the eastern edge of their historic distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katie M. Herman-Brunson; Kent C. Jensen; Nicholas W. Kaczor; Christopher C. Swanson; Mark A. Rumble; Robert W. Klaver

    2009-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus populations in North Dakota declined approximately 67% between 1965 and 2003, and the species is listed as a Priority Level 1 Species of Special Concern by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. The habitat and ecology of the species at the eastern edge of its historical range is largely unknown. We...

  19. Corticosterone metabolite concentrations in greater sage-grouse are positively associated with the presence of cattle grazing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jankowski, M.D.; Russell, Robin E.; Franson, J. Christian; Dusek, Robert J.; Hines, M.K.; Gregg, M.; Hofmeister, Erik K.

    2014-01-01

    The sagebrush biome in the western United States is home to the imperiled greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and encompasses rangelands used for cattle production. Cattle grazing activities have been implicated in the range-wide decline of the sage-grouse, but no studies have investigated the relationship between the physiological condition of sage-grouse and the presence of grazing cattle. We sampled 329 sage-grouse across four sites (two grazed and two ungrazed) encompassing 13 600 km2 during the spring and late summer–early autumn of 2005 to evaluate whether demographic factors, breeding status, plasma protein levels, and residence in a cattle-grazed habitat were associated with the stress hormone corticosterone. Corticosterone was measured in feces as immunoreactive corticosterone metabolites (ICM). Males captured during the lekking season exhibited higher ICM levels than all others. Prenesting female sage-grouse captured in a grazed site had higher ICM levels than those in ungrazed sites and prenesting female plasma protein levels were negatively correlated with ICM concentrations. With the use of a small-scale spatial model, we identified a positive correlation between cattle pat count and sage-grouse ICM levels. Our model indicated that ICM levels increased by 2.60 ng · g-1 dry feces for every increase in the number of cow pats found in the vicinity. Management practices will benefit from future research regarding the consistency and mechanism(s) responsible for this association and, importantly, how ICM levels and demographic rates are related in this species of conservation concern.

  20. Summary of science, activities, programs, and policies that influence the rangewide conservation of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manier, D.J.; Wood, David J.A.; Bowen, Z.H.; Donovan, R.M.; Holloran, M.J.; Juliusson, L.M.; Mayne, K.S.; Oyler-McCance, S.J.; Quamen, F.R.; Saher, D.J.; Titolo, A.J.

    2013-01-01

    The Greater Sage-Grouse, has been observed, hunted, and counted for decades. The sagebrush biome, home to the Greater Sage-Grouse, includes sagebrush-steppe and Great Basin sagebrush communities, interspersed with grasslands, salt flats, badlands, mountain ranges, springs, intermittent creeks and washes, and major river systems, and is one of the most widespread and enigmatic components of Western U.S. landscapes. Over time, habitat conversion, degradation, and fragmentation have accumulated across the entire range such that local conditions as well as habitat distributions at local and regional scales are negatively affecting the long-term persistence of this species. Historic patterns of human use and settlement of the sagebrush ecosystem have contributed to the current condition and status of sage-grouse populations. The accumulation of habitat loss, persistent habitat degradation, and fragmentation by industry and urban infrastructure, as indicated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) findings, presents a significant challenge for conservation of this species and sustainable management of the sagebrush ecosystem. Because of the wide variations in natural and human history across these landscapes, no single prescription for management of sagebrush ecosystems (including sage-grouse habitats) will suffice to guide the collective efforts of public and private entities to conserve the species and its habitat. This report documents and summarizes several decades of work on sage-grouse populations, sagebrush as habitat, and sagebrush community and ecosystem functions based on the recent assessment and findings of the USFWS under consideration of the Endangered Species Act. As reflected here, some of these topics receive a greater depth of discussion because of the perceived importance of the issue for sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse populations. Drawing connections between the direct effects on sagebrush ecosystems and the effect of ecosystem condition on

  1. Interseasonal movements of greater sage-grouse, migratory behavior, and an assessment of the core regions concept in Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedy, Bradley C.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Doherty, Kevin E.; O'Donnell, Michael S.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Bedrosian, Bryan; Holloran, Matthew J.; Johnson, Gregory D.; Kaczor, Nicholas W.; Kirol, Christopher P.; Mandich, Cheryl A.; Marshall, David; McKee, Gwyn; Olson, Chad; Swanson, Christopher C.; Walker, Brett L.

    2012-01-01

    Animals can require different habitat types throughout their annual cycles. When considering habitat prioritization, we need to explicitly consider habitat requirements throughout the annual cycle, particularly for species of conservation concern. Understanding annual habitat requirements begins with quantifying how far individuals move across landscapes between key life stages to access required habitats. We quantified individual interseasonal movements for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter sage-grouse) using radio-telemetry spanning the majority of the species distribution in Wyoming. Sage-grouse are currently a candidate for listing under the United States Endangered Species Act and Wyoming is predicted to remain a stronghold for the species. Sage-grouse use distinct seasonal habitats throughout their annual cycle for breeding, brood rearing, and wintering. Average movement distances in Wyoming from nest sites to summer-late brood-rearing locations were 8.1 km (SE = 0.3 km; n = 828 individuals) and the average subsequent distances moved from summer sites to winter locations were 17.3 km (SE = 0.5 km; n = 607 individuals). Average nest-to-winter movements were 14.4 km (SE = 0.6 km; n = 434 individuals). We documented remarkable variation in the extent of movement distances both within and among sites across Wyoming, with some individuals remaining year-round in the same vicinity and others moving over 50 km between life stages. Our results suggest defining any of our populations as migratory or non-migratory is innappropriate as individual strategies vary widely. We compared movement distances of birds marked using Global Positioning System (GPS) and very high frequency (VHF) radio marking techniques and found no evidence that the heavier GPS radios limited movement. Furthermore, we examined the capacity of the sage-grouse core regions concept to capture seasonal locations. As expected, we found the core regions approach, which was

  2. Using resistance and resilience concepts to reduce impacts of invasive annual grasses and altered fire regimes on the sagebrush ecosystem and greater sage-grouse: A strategic multi-scale approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers; David A. Pyke; Jeremy D. Maestas; Mike Pellant; Chad S. Boyd; Steven B. Campbell; Shawn Espinosa; Douglas W. Havlina; Kenneth E. Mayer; Amarina Wuenschel

    2014-01-01

    This Report provides a strategic approach for conservation of sagebrush ecosystems and Greater Sage- Grouse (sage-grouse) that focuses specifically on habitat threats caused by invasive annual grasses and altered fire regimes. It uses information on factors that influence (1) sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive annual grasses and (2...

  3. Quantifying restoration effectiveness using multi-scale habitat models: Implications for sage-grouse in the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert S. Arkle; David S. Pilliod; Steven E. Hanser; Matthew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers; James B. Grace; Kevin C. Knutson; David A. Pyke; Justin L. Welty; Troy A. Wirth

    2014-01-01

    A recurrent challenge in the conservation of wide-ranging, imperiled species is understanding which habitats to protect and whether we are capable of restoring degraded landscapes. For Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), a species of conservation concern in the western United States, we approached this problem by developing multi-scale empirical models of...

  4. A conservation planning tool for Greater Sage-grouse using indices of species distribution, resilience, and resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricca, Mark A; Coates, Peter S; Gustafson, K Benjamin; Brussee, Brianne E; Chambers, Jeanne C; Espinosa, Shawn P; Gardner, Scott C; Lisius, Sherri; Ziegler, Pilar; Delehanty, David J; Casazza, Michael L

    2018-06-01

    Managers require quantitative yet tractable tools that identify areas for restoration yielding effective benefits for targeted wildlife species and the ecosystems they inhabit. As a contemporary example of high national significance for conservation, the persistence of Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Great Basin is compromised by strongly interacting stressors of conifer expansion, annual grass invasion, and more frequent wildfires occurring in sagebrush ecosystems. Associated restoration treatments to a sagebrush-dominated state are often costly and may yield relatively little ecological benefit to sage-grouse if implemented without estimating how Sage-grouse may respond to treatments, or do not consider underlying processes influencing sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive species. Here, we describe example applications of a spatially explicit conservation planning tool (CPT) to inform prioritization of: (1) removal of conifers (i.e., pinyon-juniper); and (2) wildfire restoration aimed at improving habitat conditions for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of Sage-grouse along the California-Nevada state line. The CPT measures ecological benefits to sage-grouse for a given management action through a composite index comprised of resource selection functions and estimates of abundance and space use. For pinyon-juniper removal, we simulated changes in land-cover composition following the removal of sparse trees with intact understories, and ranked treatments on the basis of changes in ecological benefits per dollar-unit of cost. For wildfire restoration, we formulated a conditional model to simulate scenarios for land cover changes (e.g., sagebrush to annual grass) given estimated fire severity and underlying ecosystem processes influencing resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasion by annual grasses. For both applications, we compared CPT rankings to land cover changes along with sagebrush

  5. Spatial heterogeneity in response of male greater sage-grouse lek attendance to energy development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Gregory

    Full Text Available Landscape modification due to rapidly expanding energy development, in particular oil and gas, in the westernUSA, have prompted concerns over how such developments may impact wildlife. One species of conservation concern across much of the Intermountain West is the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercusurophasianus. Sage-grouse have been petitioned for listing under provisions of the Endangered Species Act 7 times and the state of Wyoming alone represents 64% of the extant sage-grouse population in the eastern portion of their range. Consequently, the relationship between sage-grouse populations and oil and gas development in Wyoming is an important component to managing the long-term viability of this species. We used 814 leks from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's lek survey database and well pad data from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to evaluate changes in sage-grouse lek counts as a function of oil and gas development since 1991.From 1991-2011 we found that oil and gas well-pad density increased 3.6-fold across the state and was associated with a 24% decline in the number of male sage-grouse. Using a spatial and temporally structured analysis via Geographically Weighted Regression, we found a 1-to-4 year time lag between development density and lek decline. Sage-grouse also responded to development densities at multiple spatial neighborhoods surrounding leks, including broad scales of 10 km. However, sage-grouse lek counts do not always decline as a result of oil and gas development. We found similar development densities resulting in different sage-grouse lek count responses, suggesting that development density alone is insufficient to predict the impacts that oil and gas development have on sage-grouse. Finally, our analysis suggests a maximum development density of 1 well-pad within 2 km of leks to avoid measurable impacts within 1 year, and <6 well-pads within 10 km of leks to avoid delayed impacts.

  6. Male greater sage-grouse detectability on leks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleshia L. Fremgen; Christopher P. Hansen; Mark A. Rumble; R. Scott Gamo; Joshua J. Millspaugh

    2016-01-01

    It is unlikely all male sage-grouse are detected during lek counts, which could complicate the use of lek counts as an index to population abundance. Understanding factors that influence detection probabilities will allow managers to more accurately estimate the number of males present on leks. We fitted 410 males with global positioning system and very high...

  7. Long-term effects of wildfire on greater sage-grouse - integrating population and ecosystem concepts for management in the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Ricca, Mark A.; Prochazka, Brian G.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2015-09-10

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereinafter, sage-grouse) are a sagebrush obligate species that has declined concomitantly with the loss and fragmentation of sagebrush ecosystems across most of its geographical range. The species currently is listed as a candidate for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Increasing wildfire frequency and changing climate frequently are identified as two environmental drivers that contribute to the decline of sage-grouse populations, yet few studies have rigorously quantified their effects on sage-grouse populations across broad spatial scales and long time periods. To help inform a threat assessment within the Great Basin for listing sage-grouse in 2015 under the ESA, we conducted an extensive analysis of wildfire and climatic effects on sage-grouse population growth derived from 30 years of lek-count data collected across the hydrographic Great Basin of Western North America. Annual (1984–2013) patterns of wildfire were derived from an extensive dataset of remotely sensed 30-meter imagery and precipitation derived from locally downscaled spatially explicit data. In the sagebrush ecosystem, underlying soil conditions also contribute strongly to variation in resilience to disturbance and resistance to plant community changes (R&R). Thus, we developed predictions from models of post-wildfire recovery and chronic effects of wildfire based on three spatially explicit R&R classes derived from soil moisture and temperature regimes. We found evidence of an interaction between the effects of wildfire (chronically affected burned area within 5 kilometers of a lek) and climatic conditions (spring through fall precipitation) after accounting for a consistent density-dependent effect. Specifically, burned areas near leks nullifies population growth that normally follows years with relatively high precipitation. In models, this effect results in long-term population declines for sage-grouse despite cyclic

  8. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) nesting and brood-rearing microhabitat in Nevada and California—Spatial variation in selection and survival patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Ricca, Mark A.; Dudko, Jonathan E.; Prochazka, Brian G.; Espinosa, Shawn P.; Casazza, Michael L.; Delehanty, David J.

    2017-08-10

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereinafter, "sage-grouse") are highly dependent on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) dominated vegetation communities for food and cover from predators. Although this species requires the presence of sagebrush shrubs in the overstory, it also inhabits a broad geographic distribution with significant gradients in precipitation and temperature that drive variation in sagebrush ecosystem structure and concomitant shrub understory conditions. Variability in understory conditions across the species’ range may be responsible for the sometimes contradictory findings in the scientific literature describing sage-grouse habitat use and selection during important life history stages, such as nesting. To help understand the importance of this variability and to help guide management actions, we evaluated the nesting and brood-rearing microhabitat factors that influence selection and survival patterns in the Great Basin using a large dataset of microhabitat characteristics from study areas spanning northern Nevada and a portion of northeastern California from 2009 to 2016. The spatial and temporal coverage of the dataset provided a powerful opportunity to evaluate microhabitat factors important to sage-grouse reproduction, while also considering habitat variation associated with different climatic conditions and areas affected by wildfire. The summary statistics for numerous microhabitat factors, and the strength of their association with sage-grouse habitat selection and survival, are provided in this report to support decisions by land managers, policy-makers, and others with the best-available science in a timely manner.

  9. Patterns in Greater Sage-grouse population dynamics correspond with public grazing records at broad scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monroe, Adrian P; Aldridge, Cameron L; Assal, Timothy J; Veblen, Kari E; Pyke, David A; Casazza, Michael L

    2017-06-01

    Human land use, such as livestock grazing, can have profound yet varied effects on wildlife interacting within common ecosystems, yet our understanding of land-use effects is often generalized from short-term, local studies that may not correspond with trends at broader scales. Here we used public land records to characterize livestock grazing across Wyoming, USA, and we used Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as a model organism to evaluate responses to livestock management. With annual counts of male Sage-grouse from 743 leks (breeding display sites) during 2004-2014, we modeled population trends in response to grazing level (represented by a relative grazing index) and timing across a gradient in vegetation productivity as measured by the Normalized Vegetation Difference Index (NDVI). We found grazing can have both positive and negative effects on Sage-grouse populations depending on the timing and level of grazing. Sage-grouse populations responded positively to higher grazing levels after peak vegetation productivity, but populations declined when similar grazing levels occurred earlier, likely reflecting the sensitivity of cool-season grasses to grazing during peak growth periods. We also found support for the hypothesis that effects of grazing management vary with local vegetation productivity. These results illustrate the importance of broad-scale analyses by revealing patterns in Sage-grouse population trends that may not be inferred from studies at finer scales, and could inform sustainable grazing management in these ecosystems. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  10. Quantifying restoration effectiveness using multi-scale habitat models: implications for sage-grouse in the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.; Hanser, Steven E.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Grace, James B.; Knutson, Kevin C.; Pyke, David A.; Welty, Justin L.

    2014-01-01

    A recurrent challenge in the conservation of wide-ranging, imperiled species is understanding which habitats to protect and whether we are capable of restoring degraded landscapes. For Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), a species of conservation concern in the western United States, we approached this problem by developing multi-scale empirical models of occupancy in 211 randomly located plots within a 40 million ha portion of the species' range. We then used these models to predict sage-grouse habitat quality at 826 plots associated with 101 post-wildfire seeding projects implemented from 1990 to 2003. We also compared conditions at restoration sites to published habitat guidelines. Sage-grouse occupancy was positively related to plot- and landscape-level dwarf sagebrush (Artemisia arbuscula, A. nova, A. tripartita) and big sagebrush steppe prevalence, and negatively associated with non-native plants and human development. The predicted probability of sage-grouse occupancy at treated plots was low on average (0.09) and not substantially different from burned areas that had not been treated. Restoration sites with quality habitat tended to occur at higher elevation locations with low annual temperatures, high spring precipitation, and high plant diversity. Of 313 plots seeded after fire, none met all sagebrush guidelines for breeding habitats, but approximately 50% met understory guidelines, particularly for perennial grasses. This pattern was similar for summer habitat. Less than 2% of treated plots met winter habitat guidelines. Restoration actions did not increase the probability of burned areas meeting most guideline criteria. The probability of meeting guidelines was influenced by a latitudinal gradient, climate, and topography. Our results suggest that sage-grouse are relatively unlikely to use many burned areas within 20 years of fire, regardless of treatment. Understory habitat conditions are more likely to be adequate than overstory

  11. 77 FR 12792 - Notice of Forest Service Land Management Plans To Be Amended To Incorporate Greater Sage-Grouse...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-02

    ... Forest Service Land Management Plans To Be Amended To Incorporate Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation... sage-grouse conservation measures into land use plans and land management plans. The BLM is the lead... submitted in writing until March 23, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the greater sage...

  12. Hierarchical population structure in greater sage-grouse provides insight into management boundary delineation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd B. Cross; David E. Naugle; John C. Carlson; Michael K. Schwartz

    2016-01-01

    Understanding population structure is important for guiding ongoing conservation and restoration efforts. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a species of concern distributed across 1.2 million km2 of western North America. We genotyped 1499 greater sagegrouse from 297 leks across Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota using a 15 locus...

  13. Using resilience and resistance concepts to manage threats to sagebrush ecosystems, Gunnison sage-grouse, and Greater sage-grouse in their eastern range: A strategic multi-scale approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers; Jeffrey L. Beck; Steve Campbell; John Carlson; Thomas J. Christiansen; Karen J. Clause; Jonathan B. Dinkins; Kevin E. Doherty; Kathleen A. Griffin; Douglas W. Havlina; Kenneth F. Henke; Jacob D. Hennig; Laurie L. Kurth; Jeremy D. Maestas; Mary Manning; Kenneth E. Mayer; Brian A. Mealor; Clinton McCarthy; Marco A. Perea; David A. Pyke

    2016-01-01

    This report provides a strategic approach developed by a Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies interagency working group for conservation of sagebrush ecosystems, Greater sage-grouse, and Gunnison sage-grouse. It uses information on (1) factors that influence sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative invasive annual grasses...

  14. A hierarchical integrated population model for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment, California and Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Halstead, Brian J.; Blomberg, Erik J.; Brussee, Brianne; Howe, Kristy B.; Wiechman, Lief; Tebbenkamp, Joel; Reese, Kerry P.; Gardner, Scott C.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2014-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter referred to as “sage-grouse”) are endemic to sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems throughout Western North America. Populations of sage-grouse have declined in distribution and abundance across the range of the species (Schroeder and others, 2004; Knick and Connelly, 2011), largely as a result of human disruption of sagebrush communities (Knick and Connelly, 2011). The Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS) represents sage-grouse populations that are geographically isolated and genetically distinct (Benedict and others, 2003; Oyler-McCance and others, 2005) and that are present at the extreme southwestern distribution of the sage-grouse range (Schroeder and others, 2004), straddling the border of California and Nevada. Subpopulations of sage-grouse in the DPS may be at increased risk of extirpation because of a substantial loss of sagebrush habitat and lack of connectivity (Oyler-McCance and others, 2005). Sage-grouse in the Bi-State DPS represent small, localized breeding populations distributed across 18,325 km2. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service currently (2014) is evaluating the Bi-State DPS as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, independent of other sage-grouse populations. This DPS was designated as a higher priority for listing than sage-grouse in other parts of the species’ range (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2010). Range-wide population analyses for sage-grouse have included portions of the Bi-State DPS (Sage and Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse Technical Committee 2008; Garton and others, 2011). Although these analyses are informative, the underlying data only represent a portion of the DPS and are comprised of lek count observations only. A thorough examination of population dynamics and persistence that includes multiple subpopulations and represents the majority of the DPS is largely lacking. Furthermore, fundamental information on population growth

  15. Restoration handbook for sagebrush steppe ecosystems with emphasis on greater sage-grouse habitat—Part 1. Concepts for understanding and applying restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyke, David A.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pellant, Mike; Knick, Steven T.; Miller, Richard F.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Doescher, Paul S.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Brunson, Mark; McIver, James D.

    2015-10-26

    Sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the United States currently occur on only about one-half of their historical land area because of changes in land use, urban growth, and degradation of land, including invasions of non-native plants. The existence of many animal species depends on the existence of sagebrush steppe habitat. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a landscape-dependent bird that requires intact habitat and combinations of sagebrush and perennial grasses to exist. In addition, other sagebrush-obligate animals also have similar requirements and restoration of landscapes for greater sage-grouse also will benefit these animals. Once sagebrush lands are degraded, they may require restoration actions to make those lands viable habitat for supporting sagebrushobligate animals. This restoration handbook is the first in a three-part series on restoration of sagebrush ecosystems. In Part 1, we discuss concepts surrounding landscape and restoration ecology of sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse that habitat managers and restoration practitioners need to know to make informed decisions regarding where and how to restore specific areas. We will describe the plant dynamics of sagebrush steppe ecosystems and their responses to major disturbances, fire, and defoliation. We will introduce the concepts of ecosystem resilience to disturbances and resistance to invasions of annual grasses within sagebrush steppe. An introduction to soils and ecological site information will provide insights into the specific plants that can be restored in a location. Soil temperature and moisture regimes are described as a tool for determining resilience and resistance and the potential for various restoration actions. Greater sage-grouse are considered landscape birds that require large areas of intact sagebrush steppe; therefore, we describe concepts of landscape ecology that aid our decisions regarding habitat restoration. We provide a brief overview of

  16. Encounters with Pinyon-Juniper influence riskier movements in Greater Sage-Grouse across the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prochazka, Brian; Coates, Peter S.; Ricca, Mark; Casazza, Michael L.; Gustafson, K. Ben; Hull, Josh M.

    2016-01-01

    Fine-scale spatiotemporal studies can better identify relationships between individual survival and habitat fragmentation so that mechanistic interpretations can be made at the population level. Recent advances in Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and statistical models capable of deconstructing high-frequency location data have facilitated interpretation of animal movement within a behaviorally mechanistic framework. Habitat fragmentation due to singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla; hereafter pinyon) and Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma; hereafter juniper) encroachment into sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) communities is a commonly implicated perturbation that can adversely influence greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter sage-grouse) demographic rates. Using an extensive GPS data set (233 birds and 282,954 locations) across 12 study sites within the Great Basin, we conducted a behavioral change point analysis and subsequently constructed Brownian bridge movement models from each behaviorally homogenous section. We found a positive relationship between modeled movement rate and probability of encountering pinyon-juniper with significant variation among age classes. The probability of encountering pinyon-juniper among adults was two and three times greater than that of yearlings and juveniles, respectively. However, the movement rate in response to the probability of encountering pinyon-juniper trees was 1.5 times greater for juveniles. We then assessed the risk of mortality associated with an interaction between movement rate and the probability of encountering pinyon-juniper using shared frailty models. During pinyon-juniper encounters, on average, juvenile, yearling, and adult birds experienced a 10.4%, 0.2%, and 0.3% reduction in annual survival probabilities. Populations that used pinyon-juniper habitats with a frequency ≥ 3.8 times the overall mean experienced decreases in annual survival probabilities of 71.1%, 0.9%, and 0.9%. This

  17. Range-wide network of priority areas for greater sage-grouse - a design for conserving connected distributions or isolating individual zoos?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crist, Michele R.; Knick, Steven T.; Hanser, Steven E.

    2015-09-08

    The network of areas delineated in 11 Western States for prioritizing management of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) represents a grand experiment in conservation biology and reserve design. We used centrality metrics from social network theory to gain insights into how this priority area network might function. The network was highly centralized. Twenty of 188 priority areas accounted for 80 percent of the total centrality scores. These priority areas, characterized by large size and a central location in the range-wide distribution, are strongholds for greater sage-grouse populations and also might function as sources. Mid-ranking priority areas may serve as stepping stones because of their location between large central and smaller peripheral priority areas. The current network design and conservation strategy has risks. The contribution of almost one-half (n = 93) of the priority areas combined for less than 1 percent of the cumulative centrality scores for the network. These priority areas individually are likely too small to support viable sage-grouse populations within their boundary. Without habitat corridors to connect small priority areas either to larger priority areas or as a clustered group within the network, their isolation could lead to loss of sage-grouse within these regions of the network. 

  18. Hierarchical spatial genetic structure in a distinct population segment of greater sage-grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Casazza, Michael L.; Fike, Jennifer A.; Coates, Peter S.

    2014-01-01

    north–south gradient. This genetic subdivision within the Bi-State is likely the result of habitat loss and fragmentation that has been exacerbated by recent human activities and the encroachment of singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) trees. While genetic concerns may be only one of many priorities for the conservation and management of the Bi-State greater sage-grouse, we believe that they warrant attention along with other issues (e.g., quality of sagebrush habitat, preventing future loss of habitat). Management actions that promote genetic connectivity, especially with respect to WM and PNa, may be critical to the long-term viability of the Bi-State DPS.

  19. Evaluating lek occupancy of greater sage-grouse in relation to landscape cultivation in the Dakotas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joe T.; Flake, Lester D.; Higgins, Kenneth F.; Kobriger, Gerald D.; Homer, Collin G.

    2005-01-01

    Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) have been declining in many states and provinces of North America, and North and South Dakota hold no exception to these declines. We studied effects of cultivated land on Greater Sage-Grouse lek abandonment in North and South Dakota. Landscape-level data were assessed using satellite imagery within a geographic information system. Comparisons were made of 1972-1976 and 1999-2000 percent cultivated and noncultivated land. These comparisons were made between land uses surrounding active leks versus inactive leks, active leks versus random locations, and abandoned regions versus active regions. The 1999-2000 imagery illustrated that percent cultivated land was greater near abandoned leks (4-km buffers) than near active leks in North Dakota or random sites, but this did not hold true in South Dakota. Comparison of an extensive region of abandoned leks with a region of active leks in North Dakota illustrated a similar increase as well as dispersion of cultivation within the abandoned region. However, 1972-1976 imagery revealed that this relationship between percentage of cultivated land and lek activity in North Dakota has been static over the last 30 years. Thus, if the decline of Greater Sage-Grouse is the result of cultivated land infringements, it occurred prior to 1972 in North Dakota.

  20. Sage-Grouse and Wind Energy: Biology, Habits, and Potential Effects from Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Becker, James M.; Tagestad, Jerry D.; Duberstein, Corey A.; Downs, Janelle L.

    2009-07-15

    Proposed development of domestic energy resources, including wind energy, is expected to impact the sagebrush steppe ecosystem in the western United States. The greater sage-grouse relies on habitats within this ecosystem for survival, yet very little is known about how wind energy development may affect sage-grouse. The purpose of this report is to inform organizations of the impacts wind energy development could have on greater sage-grouse populations and identify information needed to fill gaps in knowledge.

  1. The influence of mitigation on sage-grouse habitat selection within an energy development field.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley C Fedy

    Full Text Available Growing global energy demands ensure the continued growth of energy development. Energy development in wildlife areas can significantly impact wildlife populations. Efforts to mitigate development impacts to wildlife are on-going, but the effectiveness of such efforts is seldom monitored or assessed. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus are sensitive to energy development and likely serve as an effective umbrella species for other sagebrush-steppe obligate wildlife. We assessed the response of birds within an energy development area before and after the implementation of mitigation action. Additionally, we quantified changes in habitat distribution and abundance in pre- and post-mitigation landscapes. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development at large spatial scales is well documented. We limited our research to directly within an energy development field in order to assess the influence of mitigation in close proximity to energy infrastructure. We used nest-location data (n = 488 within an energy development field to develop habitat selection models using logistic regression on data from 4 years of research prior to mitigation and for 4 years following the implementation of extensive mitigation efforts (e.g., decreased activity, buried powerlines. The post-mitigation habitat selection models indicated less avoidance of wells (well density β = 0.18 ± 0.08 than the pre-mitigation models (well density β = -0.09 ± 0.11. However, birds still avoided areas of high well density and nests were not found in areas with greater than 4 wells per km2 and the majority of nests (63% were located in areas with ≤ 1 well per km2. Several other model coefficients differed between the two time periods and indicated stronger selection for sagebrush (pre-mitigation β = 0.30 ± 0.09; post-mitigation β = 0.82 ± 0.08 and less avoidance of rugged terrain (pre-mitigation β = -0.35 ± 0.12; post-mitigation β = -0.05 ± 0.09. Mitigation efforts

  2. Carryover effects and climatic conditions influence the postfledging survival of greater sage-grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blomberg, Erik J.; Sedinger, James S.; Gibson, Daniel; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2014-01-01

    Prebreeding survival is an important life history component that affects both parental fitness and population persistence. In birds, prebreeding can be separated into pre- and postfledging periods; carryover effects from the prefledging period may influence postfledging survival. We investigated effects of body condition at fledging, and climatic variation, on postfledging survival of radio-marked greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Great Basin Desert of the western United States. We hypothesized that body condition would influence postfledging survival as a carryover effect from the prefledging period, and we predicted that climatic variation may mediate this carryover effect or, alternatively, would act directly on survival during the postfledging period. Individual body condition had a strong positive effect on postfledging survival of juvenile females, suggesting carryover effects from the prefledging period. Females in the upper 25th percentile of body condition scores had a postfledging survival probability more than twice that (Φ = 0.51 ± 0.06 SE) of females in the bottom 25th percentile (Φ = 0.21 ± 0.05 SE). A similar effect could not be detected for males. We also found evidence for temperature and precipitation effects on monthly survival rates of both sexes. After controlling for site-level variation, postfledging survival was nearly twice as great following the coolest and wettest growing season (Φ = 0.77 ± 0.05 SE) compared with the hottest and driest growing season (Φ = 0.39 ± 0.05 SE). We found no relationships between individual body condition and temperature or precipitation, suggesting that carryover effects operated independently of background climatic variation. The temperature and precipitation effects we observed likely produced a direct effect on mortality risk during the postfledging period. Conservation actions that focus on improving prefledging habitat for sage-grouse may have indirect benefits

  3. Annotated bibliography of scientific research on greater sage-grouse published since January 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Sarah K.; Manier, Daniel J.; Arkle, Robert S.; Johnston, Aaron; Phillips, Susan L.; Hanser, Steven E.; Bowen, Zachary H.

    2018-02-14

    The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter GRSG) has been a focus of scientific investigation and management action for the past two decades. The 2015 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listing determination of “not warranted” was in part due to a large-scale collaborative effort to develop strategies to conserve GRSG populations and their habitat and to reduce threats to both. New scientific information augments existing knowledge and can help inform updates or modifications to existing plans for managing GRSG and sagebrush ecosystems. However, the sheer number of scientific publications can be a challenge for managers tasked with evaluating and determining the need for potential updates to existing planning documents. To assist in this process, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has reviewed and summarized the scientific literature published since January 1, 2015.To identify articles and reports published about GRSG, we first conducted a structured search of three reference databases (Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar) using the search term “greater sage-grouse.” We refined the initial list of products by (1) removing duplicates, (2) excluding products that were not published as research or scientific review articles in peer-reviewed journals or as formal government technical reports, and (3) retaining only those products for which GRSG or their habitat was a research focus.We summarized the contents of each product by using a consistent structure (background, objectives, methods, location, findings, and implications) and assessed the content of each product relevant to a list of 31 management topics. These topics include GRSG biology and habitat characteristics along with potential management actions, land uses, and environmental factors related to GRSG management and conservation. We also noted which articles/reports created new geospatial data.The final search was conducted on January 6, 2018, and application of our criteria

  4. Intraseasonal variation in survival and probable causes of mortality in greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blomberg, Erik J.; Gibson, Daniel; Sedinger, James S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Coates, Peter S.

    2013-01-01

    The mortality process is a key component of avian population dynamics, and understanding factors that affect mortality is central to grouse conservation. Populations of greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus have declined across their range in western North America. We studied cause-specific mortality of radio-marked sage-grouse in Eureka County, Nevada, USA, during two seasons, nesting (2008-2012) and fall (2008-2010), when survival was known to be lower compared to other times of the year. We used known-fate and cumulative incidence function models to estimate weekly survival rates and cumulative risk of cause-specific mortalities, respectively. These methods allowed us to account for temporal variation in sample size and staggered entry of marked individuals into the sample to obtain robust estimates of survival and cause-specific mortality. We monitored 376 individual sage-grouse during the course of our study, and investigated 87 deaths. Predation was the major source of mortality, and accounted for 90% of all mortalities during our study. During the nesting season (1 April - 31 May), the cumulative risk of predation by raptors (0.10; 95% CI: 0.05-0.16) and mammals (0.08; 95% CI: 0.03-013) was relatively equal. In the fall (15 August - 31 October), the cumulative risk of mammal predation was greater (M(mam) = 0.12; 95% CI: 0.04-0.19) than either predation by raptors (M(rap) = 0.05; 95% CI: 0.00-0.10) or hunting harvest (M(hunt) = 0.02; 95% CI: 0.0-0.06). During both seasons, we observed relatively few additional sources of mortality (e.g. collision) and observed no evidence of disease-related mortality (e.g. West Nile Virus). In general, we found little evidence for intraseasonal temporal variation in survival, suggesting that the nesting and fall seasons represent biologically meaningful time intervals with respect to sage-grouse survival.

  5. Crucial nesting habitat for gunnison sage-grouse: A spatially explicit hierarchical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldridge, Cameron L.; Saher, D.J.; Childers, T.M.; Stahlnecker, K.E.; Bowen, Z.H.

    2012-01-01

    Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) is a species of special concern and is currently considered a candidate species under Endangered Species Act. Careful management is therefore required to ensure that suitable habitat is maintained, particularly because much of the species' current distribution is faced with exurban development pressures. We assessed hierarchical nest site selection patterns of Gunnison sage-grouse inhabiting the western portion of the Gunnison Basin, Colorado, USA, at multiple spatial scales, using logistic regression-based resource selection functions. Models were selected using Akaike Information Criterion corrected for small sample sizes (AIC c) and predictive surfaces were generated using model averaged relative probabilities. Landscape-scale factors that had the most influence on nest site selection included the proportion of sagebrush cover >5%, mean productivity, and density of 2 wheel-drive roads. The landscape-scale predictive surface captured 97% of known Gunnison sage-grouse nests within the top 5 of 10 prediction bins, implicating 57% of the basin as crucial nesting habitat. Crucial habitat identified by the landscape model was used to define the extent for patch-scale modeling efforts. Patch-scale variables that had the greatest influence on nest site selection were the proportion of big sagebrush cover >10%, distance to residential development, distance to high volume paved roads, and mean productivity. This model accurately predicted independent nest locations. The unique hierarchical structure of our models more accurately captures the nested nature of habitat selection, and allowed for increased discrimination within larger landscapes of suitable habitat. We extrapolated the landscape-scale model to the entire Gunnison Basin because of conservation concerns for this species. We believe this predictive surface is a valuable tool which can be incorporated into land use and conservation planning as well the assessment of

  6. Sage-Grouse on the edge: understanding and managing western landscapes for their survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen Parks; Michael J. Wisdom

    2012-01-01

    Populations of greater sage-grouse have declined dramatically across their North American range for many decades in response to harmful effects of a plethora of human activities and land uses, prompting legal actions to protect the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). To evaluate the impacts of land-uses and habitat changes on sage-grouse, Michael Wisdom, a...

  7. Utilizing hunter harvest effort to survey for wildlife disease: a case study of West Nile virus in greater sage-grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dusek, Robert J.; Hagen, Christian A.; Franson, J. Christian; Budeau, David A.; Hofmeister, Erik K.

    2014-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse) are highly susceptible to infection with West Nile virus (WNV), with substantial mortality reported in wild populations and in experimentally infected birds. Although sage-grouse are hunted throughout much of their range, they have also recently been considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act. We used blood samples collected on filter-paper strips during the 2006–2010 Oregon, USA, annual sage-grouse hunt to survey for specific WNV-neutralizing antibodies that indicate a previous infection with WNV. During this period, hunters submitted 1,880 blood samples from sage-grouse they harvested. Samples obtained were proportional for all 12 Oregon sage-grouse hunting units. Laboratory testing of 1,839 samples by the WNV epitope-blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (bELISA) followed by plaque reduction neutralization test on bELISA-positive samples yielded 19 (1%) and 1 (0.05%) positive samples, respectively. These data provided early baseline information for future comparisons regarding the prevalence of WNV-specific neutralizing antibodies in sage-grouse in Oregon. This methodology may provide other states where sage-grouse (or other species) populations are hunted and where WNV constitutes a species conservation concern with a viable option to track the relative prevalence of the virus in populations.

  8. Evaluating greater sage-grouse seasonal space use relative to leks: Implications for surface use designations in sagebrush ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casazza, Michael L.; Coates, Peter S.

    2013-01-01

    The development of anthropogenic structures, especially those related to energy resources, in sagebrush ecosystems is an important concern among developers, conservationists, and land managers in relation to greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter, sage-grouse) populations. Sage-grouse are dependent on sagebrush ecosystems to meet their seasonal life-phase requirements, and research indicates that anthropogenic structures can adversely affect sage-grouse populations. Land management agencies have attempted to reduce the negative effects of anthropogenic development by assigning surface use (SU) designations, such as no surface occupancy, to areas around leks (breeding grounds). However, rationale for the size of these areas is often challenged. To help inform this issue, we used a spatial analysis of sage-grouse utilization distributions (UDs) to quantify seasonal (spring, summer and fall, winter) sage-grouse space use in relation to leks. We sampled UDs from 193 sage-grouse (11,878 telemetry locations) across 4 subpopulations within the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS, bordering California and Nevada) during 2003–2009. We quantified the volume of each UD (vUD) within a range of areas that varied in size and were centered on leks, up to a distance of 30 km from leks. We also quantified the percentage of nests within those areas. We then estimated the diminishing gains of vUD as area increased and produced continuous response curves that allow for flexibility in land management decisions. We found nearly 90% of the total vUD (all seasons combined) was contained within 5 km of leks, and we identified variation in vUD for a given distance related to season and migratory status. Five kilometers also represented the 95th percentile of the distribution of nesting distances. Because diminishing gains of vUD was not substantial until distances exceeded 8 km, managers should consider the theoretical optimal distances for SU designation

  9. The genetic network of greater sage-grouse: Range-wide identification of keystone hubs of connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd B. Cross; Michael K. Schwartz; David E. Naugle; Brad C. Fedy; Jeffrey R. Row; Sara J. Oyler-McCance

    2018-01-01

    Genetic networks can characterize complex genetic relationships among groups of individuals, which can be used to rank nodes most important to the overall connectivity of the system. Ranking allows scarce resources to be guided toward nodes integral to connectivity. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a species of conservation concern that breeds on...

  10. Forbs: Foundation for restoration of monarch butterflies, other pollinators, and greater sage-grouse in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kas Dumroese; Tara Luna; Jeremy Pinto; Thomas D. Landis

    2016-01-01

    Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), other pollinators, and Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are currently the focus of increased conservation efforts. Federal attention on these fauna is encouraging land managers to develop conservation strategies, often without corresponding financial resources. This could foster a myopic approach when...

  11. 78 FR 65700 - Notice of Availability of the Utah Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Land Use Plan Amendments and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    .../Garfield/Antimony, Pinyon, Warm Springs, House Range, Pony Express, Box Elder, Randolph, Park City, and...) Pinyon Management Framework Plan (MFP) (1978) Warm Springs RMP (1987) House Range RMP (1987) Pony Express... lands identified as having the highest value to maintaining sustainable Greater Sage-Grouse populations...

  12. 78 FR 59368 - Notice of Public Meeting: Northeast California Resource Advisory Council Sage Grouse Conservation...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-26

    ... Public Meeting: Northeast California Resource Advisory Council Sage Grouse Conservation Subcommittee and...) Northeast California Resource Advisory Council's sage grouse conservation subcommittee and the full Resource... conservation of sage grouse habitat. On November 12, the subcommittee will develop a recommendation for...

  13. Evaluation of the genetic distinctiveness of Greater Sage-grouse in the Bi-State Planning Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to further characterize a distinct population of Greater Sage-grouse: the population located along the border between Nevada and California (Bi-State Planning Area) and centered around the Mono Basin. This population was previously determined to be genetically distinct from other Greater Sage-grouse populations across their range. Previous genetic work focused on characterizing genetic variation across the species' range and thereby used a coarse sampling approach for species characterization. The goal of this study was to investigate this population further by obtaining samples from breeding locations within the population and analyzing those samples with the same mitochondrial and microsatellite loci used in previous studies. Blood samples were collected in six locations within the Bi-State Planning Area. Genetic data from subpopulations were then compared with each other and also with two populations outside of the Bi-State Planning Area. Particular attention was paid to subpopulation boundaries and internal dynamics by drawing comparisons among particular regions within the Bi-State Planning Area and regions proximal to it. All newly sampled subpopulations contained mitochondrial haplotypes and allele frequencies that were consistent with the genetically unique Bi-State (Mono Basin) Greater Sage-grouse described previously. This reinforces the fact that this group of Greater Sage-grouse is genetically unique and warrants special attention. Maintaining the genetic integrity of this population could protect the evolutionary potential of this population of Greater Sage-grouse. Additionally, the White Mountains subpopulation was found to be significantly distinct from all other Bi-State subpopulations.

  14. Combined effects of energy development and disease on greater sage-grouse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca L Taylor

    Full Text Available Species of conservation concern are increasingly threatened by multiple, anthropogenic stressors which are outside their evolutionary experience. Greater sage-grouse are highly susceptible to the impacts of two such stressors: oil and gas (energy development and West Nile virus (WNv. However, the combined effects of these stressors and their potential interactions have not been quantified. We used lek (breeding ground counts across a landscape encompassing extensive local and regional variation in the intensity of energy development to quantify the effects of energy development on lek counts, in years with widespread WNv outbreaks and in years without widespread outbreaks. We then predicted the effects of well density and WNv outbreak years on sage-grouse in northeast Wyoming. Absent an outbreak year, drilling an undeveloped landscape to a high permitting level (3.1 wells/km² resulted in a 61% reduction in the total number of males counted in northeast Wyoming (total count. This was similar in magnitude to the 55% total count reduction that resulted from an outbreak year alone. However, energy-associated reductions in the total count resulted from a decrease in the mean count at active leks, whereas outbreak-associated reductions resulted from a near doubling of the lek inactivity rate (proportion of leks with a last count = 0. Lek inactivity quadrupled when 3.1 wells/km² was combined with an outbreak year, compared to no energy development and no outbreak. Conservation measures should maintain sagebrush landscapes large and intact enough so that leks are not chronically reduced in size due to energy development, and therefore vulnerable to becoming inactive due to additional stressors.

  15. Acoustic communication in the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) an examination into vocal sacs, sound propagation, and signal directionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dantzker, Marc Steven

    The thesis is an inquiry into the acoustic communication of a very unusual avian species, the Greater Sage-Grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus. One of the most outstanding features of this animal's dynamic mating display is its use of paired air sacs that emerge explosively from an esophageal pouch. My first line of inquiry into this system is a review of the form and function of similar vocal apparatuses, collectively called vocal sacs, in birds. Next, with a combination of mathematical models and field measurements, My collaborator and I investigate the acoustic environment where the Greater Sage-Grouse display. The complexities of this acoustic environment are relevant both to the birds and to the subsequent examinations of the display's properties. Finally, my collaborators and I examine a cryptic component of the acoustic display --- directionality --- which we measured simultaneously from multiple locations around free moving grouse on their mating grounds.

  16. Fire patterns in the range of the greater sage-grouse, 1984-2013 — Implications for conservation and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Matthew L.; Matchett, John R.; Shinneman, Douglas J.; Coates, Peter S.

    2015-09-10

    Fire ranks among the top three threats to the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) throughout its range, and among the top two threats in the western part of its range. The national research strategy for this species and the recent U.S. Department of the Interior Secretarial Order 3336 call for science-based threats assessment of fire to inform conservation planning and fire management efforts. The cornerstone of such assessments is a clear understanding of where fires are occurring and what aspects of fire regimes may be shifting outside of their historical range of variation. This report fulfills this need by describing patterns of fire area, fire size, fire rotation, and fire season length and timing from 1984 to 2013 across the range of the greater sage-grouse. This information need is further addressed by evaluating the ecological and management implications of these fire patterns. Analyses are stratified by major vegetation types and the seven greater sage-grouse management zones, delineated regionally as four western and three eastern management zones. Soil temperature and moisture indicators of resilience to fire and resistance to cheatgrass invasion, and the potential for establishment of a grass/fire cycle, are used as unifying concepts in developing fire threat assessments for each analysis strata.

  17. Effects of lek count protocols on greater sage-grouse population trend estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monroe, Adrian; Edmunds, David; Aldridge, Cameron L.

    2016-01-01

    Annual counts of males displaying at lek sites are an important tool for monitoring greater sage-grouse populations (Centrocercus urophasianus), but seasonal and diurnal variation in lek attendance may increase variance and bias of trend analyses. Recommendations for protocols to reduce observation error have called for restricting lek counts to within 30 minutes of sunrise, but this may limit the number of lek counts available for analysis, particularly from years before monitoring was widely standardized. Reducing the temporal window for conducting lek counts also may constrain the ability of agencies to monitor leks efficiently. We used lek count data collected across Wyoming during 1995−2014 to investigate the effect of lek counts conducted between 30 minutes before and 30, 60, or 90 minutes after sunrise on population trend estimates. We also evaluated trends across scales relevant to management, including statewide, within Working Group Areas and Core Areas, and for individual leks. To further evaluate accuracy and precision of trend estimates from lek count protocols, we used simulations based on a lek attendance model and compared simulated and estimated values of annual rate of change in population size (λ) from scenarios of varying numbers of leks, lek count timing, and count frequency (counts/lek/year). We found that restricting analyses to counts conducted within 30 minutes of sunrise generally did not improve precision of population trend estimates, although differences among timings increased as the number of leks and count frequency decreased. Lek attendance declined >30 minutes after sunrise, but simulations indicated that including lek counts conducted up to 90 minutes after sunrise can increase the number of leks monitored compared to trend estimates based on counts conducted within 30 minutes of sunrise. This increase in leks monitored resulted in greater precision of estimates without reducing accuracy. Increasing count

  18. Science in the Public Sphere: Greater Sage-grouse Conservation Planning from a Transdisciplinary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torregrosa, Alicia; Casazza, Michael L.; Caldwell, Margaret R.; Mathiasmeier, Teresa A.; Morgan, Peter M.; Overton, Cory T.

    2010-01-01

    Integration of scientific data and adaptive management techniques is critical to the success of species conservation, however, there are uncertainties about effective methods of knowledge exchange between scientists and decisionmakers. The conservation planning and implementation process for Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; ) in the Mono Basin, Calif. region, was used as a case study to observe the exchange of scientific information among stakeholders with differing perspectives; resource manager, scientist, public official, rancher, and others. The collaborative development of a risk-simulation model was explored as a tool to transfer knowledge between stakeholders and inform conservation planning and management decisions. Observations compiled using a transdisciplinary approach were used to compare the exchange of information during the collaborative model development and more traditional interactions such as scientist-led presentations at stakeholder meetings. Lack of congruence around knowledge needs and prioritization led to insufficient commitment to completely implement the risk-simulation model. Ethnographic analysis of the case study suggests that further application of epistemic community theory, which posits a strong boundary condition on knowledge transfer, could help support application of risk simulation models in conservation-planning efforts within similarly complex social and bureaucratic landscapes.

  19. Using resistance and resilience concepts to reduce impacts of annual grasses and altered fire regimes on the sagebrush ecosystem and sage-grouse- A strategic multi-scale approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pyke, David A.; Maestas, Jeremy D.; Boyd, Chad S.; Campbell, Steve; Espinosa, Shawn; Havlina, Doug; Mayer, Kenneth F.; Wuenschel, Amarina

    2014-01-01

    This Report provides a strategic approach for conservation of sagebrush ecosystems and Greater Sage- Grouse (sage-grouse) that focuses specifically on habitat threats caused by invasive annual grasses and altered fire regimes. It uses information on factors that influence (1) sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive annual grasses and (2) distribution, relative abundance, and persistence of sage-grouse populations to develop management strategies at both landscape and site scales. A sage-grouse habitat matrix links relative resilience and resistance of sagebrush ecosystems with sage-grouse habitat requirements for landscape cover of sagebrush to help decision makers assess risks and determine appropriate management strategies at landscape scales. Focal areas for management are assessed by overlaying matrix components with sage-grouse Priority Areas for Conservation (PACs), breeding bird densities, and specific habitat threats. Decision tools are discussed for determining the suitability of focal areas for treatment and the most appropriate management treatments.

  20. USDA Forest Service Sage-Grouse Conservation Science Strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah Finch; Douglas Boyce; Jeanne Chambers; Chris Colt; Clint McCarthy; Stanley Kitchen; Bryce Richardson; Mary Rowland; Mark Rumble; Michael Schwartz; Monica Tomosy; Michael Wisdom

    2015-01-01

    Numerous federal and state agencies, research institutions and stakeholders have undertaken tremendous conservation and research efforts across 11 States in the western United States to reduce threats to Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and sagebrush (Artemisia spp) habitats. In 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined that the Greater...

  1. Differential influences of local subpopulations on regional diversity and differentiation for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Row, Jeffery R.; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Fedy, Brad C.

    2016-01-01

    The distribution of spatial genetic variation across a region can shape evolutionary dynamics and impact population persistence. Local population dynamics and among-population dispersal rates are strong drivers of this spatial genetic variation, yet for many species we lack a clear understanding of how these population processes interact in space to shape within-species genetic variation. Here, we used extensive genetic and demographic data from 10 subpopulations of greater sage-grouse to parameterize a simulated approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) model and (i) test for regional differences in population density and dispersal rates for greater sage-grouse subpopulations in Wyoming, and (ii) quantify how these differences impact subpopulation regional influence on genetic variation. We found a close match between observed and simulated data under our parameterized model and strong variation in density and dispersal rates across Wyoming. Sensitivity analyses suggested that changes in dispersal (via landscape resistance) had a greater influence on regional differentiation, whereas changes in density had a greater influence on mean diversity across all subpopulations. Local subpopulations, however, varied in their regional influence on genetic variation. Decreases in the size and dispersal rates of central populations with low overall and net immigration (i.e. population sources) had the greatest negative impact on genetic variation. Overall, our results provide insight into the interactions among demography, dispersal and genetic variation and highlight the potential of ABC to disentangle the complexity of regional population dynamics and project the genetic impact of changing conditions.

  2. Monitoring and research on the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Pine Nut Mountains, California and Nevada—Study progress report, 2011–15

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Andrle, Katie M.; Ziegler, Pilar T.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2016-09-29

    The Bi-State distinct population segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) that occurs along the Nevada–California border was proposed for listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in October 2013. However, in April 2015, the FWS determined that the Bi-State DPS no longer required protection under the ESA and withdrew the proposed rule to list the Bi-State DPS (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2015). The Bi-State DPS occupies portions of Alpine, Mono, and Inyo Counties in California, and Douglas, Esmeralda, Lyon, Carson City, and Mineral Counties in Nevada. Unique threats facing this population include geographic isolation, expansion of single-leaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla) and Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma), anthropogenic activities, and recent changes in predator communities. Estimating population vital rates, identifying seasonal habitat, quantifying threats, and identifying movement patterns are important first steps in developing effective sage-grouse management and conservation plans. During 2011–15, we radio- and Global Positioning System (GPS)-marked (2012–14 only) 44, 47, 17, 9, and 3 sage-grouse, respectively, for a total of 120, in the Pine Nut Mountains Population Management Unit (PMU). No change in lek attendance was detected at Mill Canyon (maximum=18 males) between 2011 and 2012; however, 1 male was observed in 2014 and no males were observed in 2013 and 2015. Males were observed near Bald Mountain in 2013, making it the first year this lek was observed to be active during the study period. Males were observed at a new site in the Buckskin Range in 2014 during trapping efforts and again observed during surveys in 2015. Findings indicate that pinyon-juniper is avoided by sage-grouse during every life stage. Nesting females selected increased sagebrush cover, sagebrush height, and understory horizontal cover, and brood-rearing females selected similar areas

  3. U.S. Geological Survey sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem research annual report for 2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanser, Steven E.

    2017-09-08

    The sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem extends across a large portion of the Western United States, and the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is one of the iconic species of this ecosystem. Greater sage-grouse populations occur in 11 States and are dependent on relatively large expanses of sagebrush-dominated habitat. Sage-grouse populations have been experiencing long-term declines owing to multiple stressors, including interactions among fire, exotic plant invasions, and human land uses, which have resulted in significant loss, fragmentation, and degradation of landscapes once dominated by sagebrush. In addition to the sage-grouse, over 350 species of plants and animals are dependent on the sagebrush ecosystem.Increasing knowledge about how these species and the sagebrush ecosystem respond to these stressors and to management actions can inform and improve strategies to maintain existing areas of intact sagebrush and restore degraded landscapes. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has a broad research program focused on providing the science needed to inform these strate-gies and to help land and resource managers at the Federal, State, Tribal, and local levels as they work towards sustainable sage-grouse populations and restored landscapes for the broad range of uses critical to stakeholders in the Western United States.USGS science has provided a foundation for major land and resource management decisions including those that precluded the need to list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act. The USGS is continuing to build on that foundation to inform science-based decisions to help support local economies and the continued conservation, management, and restoration of the sagebrush ecosystem.This report contains descriptions of USGS sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem research projects that are ongoing or were active during 2017 and is organized into five thematic areas: Fire, Invasive Species, Restoration, Sagebrush and Sage-Grouse

  4. Sage grouse on the Idaho National Environmental Research Park

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connelly, J.W.; Ball, I.J.

    1983-01-01

    A comprehensive study of sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) ecology was conducted on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) site between June 1977 and May 1981. Sage grouse used lawns surrounding INEL facilities for feeding and loafing throughot the summer. Mean summer home range was 406 ha for adult female sage grouse and 94 ha for juveniles. Radionuclide concentrations in grouse summering near a liquid radioactive waste disposal area (N = 29) were significantly higher than those in grouse summering near a solid radioactive waste disposal area (N = 14) or control areas (N = 20). Sage grouse moved from 2 to 83 km during seasonal migration. Fall movements from INEL facilities to winter range were slow and meandering. Spring movements of females from leks to summer range were also slow and meandering but male movements appeared rapid and direct. Sage grouse remained in segregated flocks during early summer but the number of mixed sex flocks increased in late summer. Sage grouse occurred in segregated flocks throughout the winter. Both flock type and habitat influenced winter sage grouse flock size. Mean flock size remained relatively constant as winter weather became more severe. Agricultural aras were an important component of sage grouse summer range and were preferred by all sage grouse sex and age classes. Sage grouse winter range was generally characterized by sagebrush stands with 11 to 30% canopy coverage

  5. Conserving the Greater Sage-grouse: A social-ecological systems case study from the California-Nevada region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duvall, Alison L; Metcalf, Alexander L.; Coates, Peter S.

    2016-01-01

    The Endangered Species Act (ESA) continues to serve as one of the most powerful and contested federal legislative mandates for conservation. In the midst of heated debates, researchers, policy makers, and conservation practitioners champion the importance of cooperative conservation and social-ecological systems approaches, which forge partnerships at multiple levels and scales to address complex ecosystem challenges. However, few real-world examples exist to demonstrate how multifaceted collaborations among stakeholders who share a common goal of conserving at-risk species may be nested within a systems framework to achieve social and ecological goals. Here, we present a case study of Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) conservation efforts in the “Bi-State” region of California and Nevada, United States. Using key-informant interviews, we explored dimensions and drivers of this landscape-scale conservation effort. Three themes emerged from the interviews, including 1) ESA action was transformed into opportunity for system-wide conservation; 2) a diverse, locally based partnership anchored collaboration and engagement across multiple levels and scales; and 3) best-available science combined with local knowledge led to “certainty of effectiveness and implementation”—the criteria used by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to evaluate conservation efforts when making listing decisions. Ultimately, collaborative conservation through multistakeholder engagement at various levels and scales led to proactive planning and implementation of conservation measures and precluded the need for an ESA listing of the Bi-State population of Greater Sage-grouse. This article presents a potent example of how a systems approach integrating policy, management, and learning can be used to successfully overcome the conflict-laden and “wicked” challenges that surround at-risk species conservation.

  6. Microhabitat Conditions in Wyoming's Sage-Grouse Core Areas: Effects on Nest Site Selection and Success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinkins, Jonathan B; Smith, Kurt T; Beck, Jeffrey L; Kirol, Christopher P; Pratt, Aaron C; Conover, Michael R

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of our study was to identify microhabitat characteristics of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) nest site selection and survival to determine the quality of sage-grouse habitat in 5 regions of central and southwest Wyoming associated with Wyoming's Core Area Policy. Wyoming's Core Area Policy was enacted in 2008 to reduce human disturbance near the greatest densities of sage-grouse. Our analyses aimed to assess sage-grouse nest selection and success at multiple micro-spatial scales. We obtained microhabitat data from 928 sage-grouse nest locations and 819 random microhabitat locations from 2008-2014. Nest success was estimated from 924 nests with survival data. Sage-grouse selected nests with greater sagebrush cover and height, visual obstruction, and number of small gaps between shrubs (gap size ≥0.5 m and sage-grouse were selecting different nest sites in Core Areas relative to areas outside of Core. The Kaplan-Meier nest success estimate for a 27-day incubation period was 42.0% (95% CI: 38.4-45.9%). Risk of nest failure was negatively associated with greater rock and more medium-sized gaps between shrubs (gap size ≥2.0 m and <3.0 m). Within our study areas, Wyoming's Core Areas did not have differing microhabitat quality compared to outside of Core Areas. The close proximity of our locations within and outside of Core Areas likely explained our lack of finding differences in microhabitat quality among locations within these landscapes. However, the Core Area Policy is most likely to conserve high quality habitat at larger spatial scales, which over decades may have cascading effects on microhabitat quality available between areas within and outside of Core Areas.

  7. Science framework for the conservation and restoration strategy of DOI secretarial order 3336: Utilizing resilience and resistance concepts to assess threats to sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse, prioritize conservation and restoration actions, and inform management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Campbell, Steve; Carlson, John; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Clause, Karen J.; Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Espinosa, Shawn; Griffin, Kathleen A.; Christiansen, Thomas J.; Crist, Michele R.; Hanser, Steven E.; Havlina, Douglas W.; Henke, Kenneth F.; Hennig, Jacob D.; Kurth, Laurie L.; Maestas, Jeremy D.; Mayer, Kenneth E.; Manning, Mary E.; Mealor, Brian A.; McCarthy, Clinton; Pellant, Mike; Prentice, Karen L.; Perea, Marco A.; Pyke, David A.; Wiechman , Lief A.; Wuenschel, Amarina

    2016-01-01

    The Science Framework for the Conservation and Restoration Strategy of the Department of the Interior, Secretarial Order 3336 (SO 3336), Rangeland Fire Prevention, Management and Restoration, provides a strategic, multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies across the sagebrush biome. The emphasis of this version is on sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse. The Science Framework uses a six step process in which sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative, invasive annual grasses is linked to species habitat information based on the distribution and abundance of focal species. The predominant ecosystem and anthropogenic threats are assessed, and a habitat matrix is developed that helps decision makers evaluate risks and determine appropriate management strategies at regional and local scales. Areas are prioritized for management action using a geospatial approach that overlays resilience and resistance, species habitat information, and predominant threats. Decision tools are discussed for determining the suitability of priority areas for management and the most appropriate management actions at regional to local scales. The Science Framework and geospatial crosscut are intended to complement the mitigation strategies associated with the Greater Sage-Grouse Land Use Plan amendments for the Department of the Interior Bureaus, such as the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service.

  8. Daily nest survival rates of Gunnison Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus minimus): assessing local- and landscape-scale drivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Thomas R.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Joanne Saher,; Theresa Childers,

    2015-01-01

    The Gunnison Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus minimus) is a species of conservation concern and is a candidate for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act because of substantial declines in populations from historic levels. It is thought that loss, fragmentation, and deterioration of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitat have contributed to the decline and isolation of this species into seven geographically distinct subpopulations. Nest survival is known to be a primary driver of demography of Greater Sage-Grouse (C. urophasianus), but no unbiased estimates of daily nest survival rates (hereafter nest survival) exist for Gunnison Sage-Grouse or published studies identifying factors that influence nest survival. We estimated nest survival of Gunnison Sage-Grouse for the western portion of Colorado's Gunnison Basin subpopulation, and assessed the effects and relative importance of local- and landscape-scale habitat characteristics on nest survival. Our top performing model was one that allowed variation in nest survival among areas, suggesting a larger landscape-area effect. Overall nest success during a 38-day nesting period (egg-laying plus incubation) was 50% (daily survival rate; SE  =  0.982 [0.003]), which is higher than previous estimates for Gunnison Sage-Grouse and generally higher than published for the closely related Greater Sage-Grouse. We did not find strong evidence that local-scale habitat variables were better predictors of nest survival than landscape-scale predictors, nor did we find strong evidence that any of the habitat variables we measured were good predictors of nest survival. Nest success of Gunnison Sage-Grouse in the western portion of the Gunnison Basin was higher than previously believed.

  9. Probability of lek collapse is lower inside sage-grouse Core Areas: Effectiveness of conservation policy for a landscape species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Suzuki Spence

    Full Text Available Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus occupy sagebrush (Artemisia spp. habitats in 11 western states and 2 Canadian provinces. In September 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the listing status for sage-grouse had changed from warranted but precluded to not warranted. The primary reason cited for this change of status was that the enactment of new regulatory mechanisms was sufficient to protect sage-grouse populations. One such plan is the 2008, Wyoming Sage Grouse Executive Order (SGEO, enacted by Governor Freudenthal. The SGEO identifies "Core Areas" that are to be protected by keeping them relatively free from further energy development and limiting other forms of anthropogenic disturbances near active sage-grouse leks. Using the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's sage-grouse lek count database and the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission database of oil and gas well locations, we investigated the effectiveness of Wyoming's Core Areas, specifically: 1 how well Core Areas encompass the distribution of sage-grouse in Wyoming, 2 whether Core Area leks have a reduced probability of lek collapse, and 3 what, if any, edge effects intensification of oil and gas development adjacent to Core Areas may be having on Core Area populations. Core Areas contained 77% of male sage-grouse attending leks and 64% of active leks. Using Bayesian binomial probability analysis, we found an average 10.9% probability of lek collapse in Core Areas and an average 20.4% probability of lek collapse outside Core Areas. Using linear regression, we found development density outside Core Areas was related to the probability of lek collapse inside Core Areas. Specifically, probability of collapse among leks >4.83 km from inside Core Area boundaries was significantly related to well density within 1.61 km (1-mi and 4.83 km (3-mi outside of Core Area boundaries. Collectively, these data suggest that the Wyoming Core Area Strategy has benefited

  10. Probability of lek collapse is lower inside sage-grouse Core Areas: Effectiveness of conservation policy for a landscape species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spence, Emma Suzuki; Beck, Jeffrey L; Gregory, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) occupy sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitats in 11 western states and 2 Canadian provinces. In September 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the listing status for sage-grouse had changed from warranted but precluded to not warranted. The primary reason cited for this change of status was that the enactment of new regulatory mechanisms was sufficient to protect sage-grouse populations. One such plan is the 2008, Wyoming Sage Grouse Executive Order (SGEO), enacted by Governor Freudenthal. The SGEO identifies "Core Areas" that are to be protected by keeping them relatively free from further energy development and limiting other forms of anthropogenic disturbances near active sage-grouse leks. Using the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's sage-grouse lek count database and the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission database of oil and gas well locations, we investigated the effectiveness of Wyoming's Core Areas, specifically: 1) how well Core Areas encompass the distribution of sage-grouse in Wyoming, 2) whether Core Area leks have a reduced probability of lek collapse, and 3) what, if any, edge effects intensification of oil and gas development adjacent to Core Areas may be having on Core Area populations. Core Areas contained 77% of male sage-grouse attending leks and 64% of active leks. Using Bayesian binomial probability analysis, we found an average 10.9% probability of lek collapse in Core Areas and an average 20.4% probability of lek collapse outside Core Areas. Using linear regression, we found development density outside Core Areas was related to the probability of lek collapse inside Core Areas. Specifically, probability of collapse among leks >4.83 km from inside Core Area boundaries was significantly related to well density within 1.61 km (1-mi) and 4.83 km (3-mi) outside of Core Area boundaries. Collectively, these data suggest that the Wyoming Core Area Strategy has benefited sage-grouse

  11. Landscape characteristics influencing the genetic structure of greater sage-grouse within the stronghold of their range: a holistic modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Row, Jeff R; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Fike, Jennifer; O'Donnell, Michael; Doherty, Kevin E.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Bowen, Zachary H.; Fedy, Brad C.

    2015-01-01

    Given the significance of animal dispersal to population dynamics and geographic variability, understanding how dispersal is impacted by landscape patterns has major ecological and conservation importance. Speaking to the importance of dispersal, the use of linear mixed models to compare genetic differentiation with pairwise resistance derived from landscape resistance surfaces has presented new opportunities to disentangle the menagerie of factors behind effective dispersal across a given landscape. Here, we combine these approaches with novel resistance surface parameterization to determine how the distribution of high- and low-quality seasonal habitat and individual landscape components shape patterns of gene flow for the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) across Wyoming. We found that pairwise resistance derived from the distribution of low-quality nesting and winter, but not summer, seasonal habitat had the strongest correlation with genetic differentiation. Although the patterns were not as strong as with habitat distribution, multivariate models with sagebrush cover and landscape ruggedness or forest cover and ruggedness similarly had a much stronger fit with genetic differentiation than an undifferentiated landscape. In most cases, landscape resistance surfaces transformed with 17.33-km-diameter moving windows were preferred, suggesting small-scale differences in habitat were unimportant at this large spatial extent. Despite the emergence of these overall patterns, there were differences in the selection of top models depending on the model selection criteria, suggesting research into the most appropriate criteria for landscape genetics is required. Overall, our results highlight the importance of differences in seasonal habitat preferences to patterns of gene flow and suggest the combination of habitat suitability modeling and linear mixed models with our resistance parameterization is a powerful approach to discerning the effects of landscape

  12. The historical distribution of Gunnison Sage-Grouse in Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, Clait E.; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Nehring, Jennifer A.; Commons, Michelle L.; Young, Jessica R.; Potter, Kim M.

    2014-01-01

    The historical distribution of Gunnison Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus minimus) in Colorado is described based on published literature, observations, museum specimens, and the known distribution of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.). Historically, Gunnison Sage-Grouse were widely but patchily distributed in up to 22 counties in south-central and southwestern Colorado. The historical distribution of this species was south of the Colorado-Eagle river drainages primarily west of the Continental Divide. Potential contact areas with Greater Sage-Grouse (C. urophasianus) were along the Colorado-Eagle river system in Mesa, Garfield, and Eagle counties, west of the Continental Divide. Gunnison Sage-Grouse historically occupied habitats that were naturally highly fragmented by forested mountains and plateaus/mesas, intermountain basins without robust species of sagebrush, and river systems. This species adapted to use areas with more deciduous shrubs (i.e., Quercus spp., Amelanchier spp., Prunus spp.) in conjunction with sagebrush. Most areas historically occupied were small, linear, and patchily distributed within the overall landscape matrix. The exception was the large intermountain basin in Gunnison, Hinsdale, and Saguache counties. The documented distribution east of the Continental Divide within the large expanse of the San Luis Valley (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, and Rio Grande counties) was minimal and mostly on the eastern, northern, and southern fringes. Many formerly occupied habitat patches were vacant by the mid 1940s with extirpations continuing to the late 1990s. Counties from which populations were recently extirpated include Archuleta and Pitkin (1960s), and Eagle, Garfield, Montezuma, and Ouray (1990s).

  13. Multi-species benefits of the proposed North American sage-grouse management plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clait E. Braun

    2005-01-01

    The population size and distribution of the two species of sage-grouse (Greater – Centrocercus urophasianus and Gunnison – C. minimus) populations have become greatly reduced throughout western North America because of habitat changes. Threats are ongoing to the remaining sagebrush (Artemisia ...

  14. Do artificial nests simulate nest success of greater sage-grouse?

    OpenAIRE

    Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Conover, Michael R.; Mabray, Scott T.

    2013-01-01

    Artificial nests have been used to study factors affecting nest success because researchers can manipulate them more than natural bird nests. Many researchers have questioned the validity of generalizing the results from artificial nests onto naturally occurring nests. Other studies have assessed the validity of artificial nest studies by simultaneously comparing overall depredation or daily survival rates, depredation timing, predator species, or habitat characteristics of artificial and nat...

  15. Microhabitat Conditions in Wyoming's Sage-Grouse Core Areas: Effects on Nest Site Selection and Success.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan B Dinkins

    Full Text Available The purpose of our study was to identify microhabitat characteristics of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus nest site selection and survival to determine the quality of sage-grouse habitat in 5 regions of central and southwest Wyoming associated with Wyoming's Core Area Policy. Wyoming's Core Area Policy was enacted in 2008 to reduce human disturbance near the greatest densities of sage-grouse. Our analyses aimed to assess sage-grouse nest selection and success at multiple micro-spatial scales. We obtained microhabitat data from 928 sage-grouse nest locations and 819 random microhabitat locations from 2008-2014. Nest success was estimated from 924 nests with survival data. Sage-grouse selected nests with greater sagebrush cover and height, visual obstruction, and number of small gaps between shrubs (gap size ≥0.5 m and <1.0 m, while selecting for less bare ground and rock. With the exception of more small gaps between shrubs, we did not find any differences in availability of these microhabitat characteristics between locations within and outside of Core Areas. In addition, we found little supporting evidence that sage-grouse were selecting different nest sites in Core Areas relative to areas outside of Core. The Kaplan-Meier nest success estimate for a 27-day incubation period was 42.0% (95% CI: 38.4-45.9%. Risk of nest failure was negatively associated with greater rock and more medium-sized gaps between shrubs (gap size ≥2.0 m and <3.0 m. Within our study areas, Wyoming's Core Areas did not have differing microhabitat quality compared to outside of Core Areas. The close proximity of our locations within and outside of Core Areas likely explained our lack of finding differences in microhabitat quality among locations within these landscapes. However, the Core Area Policy is most likely to conserve high quality habitat at larger spatial scales, which over decades may have cascading effects on microhabitat quality available

  16. Hierarchical population monitoring of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Nevada and California—Identifying populations for management at the appropriate spatial scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Prochazka, Brian G.; Ricca, Mark A.; Wann, Gregory T.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Hanser, Steven E.; Doherty, Kevin E.; O'Donnell, Michael S.; Edmunds, David R.; Espinosa, Shawn P.

    2017-08-10

    Population ecologists have long recognized the importance of ecological scale in understanding processes that guide observed demographic patterns for wildlife species. However, directly incorporating spatial and temporal scale into monitoring strategies that detect whether trajectories are driven by local or regional factors is challenging and rarely implemented. Identifying the appropriate scale is critical to the development of management actions that can attenuate or reverse population declines. We describe a novel example of a monitoring framework for estimating annual rates of population change for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) within a hierarchical and spatially nested structure. Specifically, we conducted Bayesian analyses on a 17-year dataset (2000–2016) of lek counts in Nevada and northeastern California to estimate annual rates of population change, and compared trends across nested spatial scales. We identified leks and larger scale populations in immediate need of management, based on the occurrence of two criteria: (1) crossing of a destabilizing threshold designed to identify significant rates of population decline at a particular nested scale; and (2) crossing of decoupling thresholds designed to identify rates of population decline at smaller scales that decouple from rates of population change at a larger spatial scale. This approach establishes how declines affected by local disturbances can be separated from those operating at larger scales (for example, broad-scale wildfire and region-wide drought). Given the threshold output from our analysis, this adaptive management framework can be implemented readily and annually to facilitate responsive and effective actions for sage-grouse populations in the Great Basin. The rules of the framework can also be modified to identify populations responding positively to management action or demonstrating strong resilience to disturbance. Similar hierarchical approaches might be beneficial

  17. Measuring the effectiveness of conservation: a novel framework to quantify the benefits of sage-grouse conservation policy and easements in Wyoming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly E Copeland

    Full Text Available Increasing energy and housing demands are impacting wildlife populations throughout western North America. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, a species known for its sensitivity to landscape-scale disturbance, inhabits the same low elevation sage-steppe in which much of this development is occurring. Wyoming has committed to maintain sage-grouse populations through conservation easements and policy changes that conserves high bird abundance "core" habitat and encourages development in less sensitive landscapes. In this study, we built new predictive models of oil and gas, wind, and residential development and applied build-out scenarios to simulate future development and measure the efficacy of conservation actions for maintaining sage-grouse populations. Our approach predicts sage-grouse population losses averted through conservation action and quantifies return on investment for different conservation strategies. We estimate that without conservation, sage-grouse populations in Wyoming will decrease under our long-term scenario by 14-29% (95% CI: 4-46%. However, a conservation strategy that includes the "core area" policy and $250 million in targeted easements could reduce these losses to 9-15% (95% CI: 3-32%, cutting anticipated losses by roughly half statewide and nearly two-thirds within sage-grouse core breeding areas. Core area policy is the single most important component, and targeted easements are complementary to the overall strategy. There is considerable uncertainty around the magnitude of our estimates; however, the relative benefit of different conservation scenarios remains comparable because potential biases and assumptions are consistently applied regardless of the strategy. There is early evidence based on a 40% reduction in leased hectares inside core areas that Wyoming policy is reducing potential for future fragmentation inside core areas. Our framework using build-out scenarios to anticipate species declines

  18. Ecology of sage grouse on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connelly, J.W.; Ball, I.J.

    1978-01-01

    A comprehensive study of the sage grouse ecology was initiated on the INEL Site in 1977. Objectives include documentation of radionuclide concentrations, population size, habitat use, and movement patterns of sage grouse on the Site. Sixteen grouse have been collected and radionuclide concentrations determined. Only part of the Site and surrounding area have been adequately searched for strutting grounds (leks), but 32 have been located to date. Trapping success has been strongly influenced by weather conditions and by the season; 121 sage grouse have been captured, banded, and color- and radio-marked

  19. 78 FR 79004 - Notice of Availability of the Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Land Use Plan Amendments and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-27

    ...-rearing and winter concentration areas. General Habitat--Areas of seasonal or year-round habitat outside of priority habitat. Connectivity Habitat--Areas identified as broader regions of connectivity... habitat identified by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department: Core Habitat--Areas identified as having the...

  20. The relative importance of intrinsic and extrinsic drivers to population growth vary among local populations of Greater Sage-Grouse: An integrated population modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Prochazka, Brian G.; Ricca, Mark A.; Halstead, Brian J.; Casazza, Michael L.; Blomberg, Erik J.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Wiechman, Lief; Tebbenkamp, Joel; Gardner, Scott C.; Reese, Kerry P.

    2018-01-01

    Consideration of ecological scale is fundamental to understanding and managing avian population growth and decline. Empirically driven models for population dynamics and demographic processes across multiple spatial scales can be powerful tools to help guide conservation actions. Integrated population models (IPMs) provide a framework for better parameter estimation by unifying multiple sources of data (e.g., count and demographic data). Hierarchical structure within such models that include random effects allow for varying degrees of data sharing across different spatiotemporal scales. We developed an IPM to investigate Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) on the border of California and Nevada, known as the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment. Our analysis integrated 13 years of lek count data (n > 2,000) and intensive telemetry (VHF and GPS; n > 350 individuals) data across 6 subpopulations. Specifically, we identified the most parsimonious models among varying random effects and density-dependent terms for each population vital rate (e.g., nest survival). Using a joint likelihood process, we integrated the lek count data with the demographic models to estimate apparent abundance and refine vital rate parameter estimates. To investigate effects of climatic conditions, we extended the model to fit a precipitation covariate for instantaneous rate of change (r). At a metapopulation extent (i.e. Bi-State), annual population rate of change λ (er) did not favor an overall increasing or decreasing trend through the time series. However, annual changes in λ were driven by changes in precipitation (one-year lag effect). At subpopulation extents, we identified substantial variation in λ and demographic rates. One subpopulation clearly decoupled from the trend at the metapopulation extent and exhibited relatively high risk of extinction as a result of low egg fertility. These findings can inform localized, targeted management actions for specific areas

  1. Conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse: An assessment of USDA Forest Service Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Douglas A. Boyce; Jeanne C. Chambers; Chris J. Colt; Kas Dumroese; Stanley G. Kitchen; Clinton McCarthy; Susan E. Meyer; Bryce A. Richardson; Mary M. Rowland; Mark A. Rumble; Michael K. Schwartz; Monica S. Tomosy; Michael J. Wisdom

    2016-01-01

    Sagebrush ecosystems are among the largest and most threatened ecosystems in North America. Greater sage-grouse has served as the bellwether for species conservation in these ecosystems and has been considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act eight times. In September 2015, the decision was made not to list greater sage-grouse, but to reevaluate its status...

  2. 78 FR 67186 - Notice of Availability of the Lewistown Field Office Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Land Use Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-08

    ... Habitat (PPH)--Areas identified as having the highest conservation value to maintaining sustainable GRSG... Federal Register to extend the scoping period until March 19, 2012. The BLM held a scoping open house on...

  3. Large-scale control site selection for population monitoring: an example assessing Sage-grouse trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedy, Bradley C.; O'Donnell, Michael; Bowen, Zachary H.

    2015-01-01

    Human impacts on wildlife populations are widespread and prolific and understanding wildlife responses to human impacts is a fundamental component of wildlife management. The first step to understanding wildlife responses is the documentation of changes in wildlife population parameters, such as population size. Meaningful assessment of population changes in potentially impacted sites requires the establishment of monitoring at similar, nonimpacted, control sites. However, it is often difficult to identify appropriate control sites in wildlife populations. We demonstrated use of Geographic Information System (GIS) data across large spatial scales to select biologically relevant control sites for population monitoring. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hearafter, sage-grouse) are negatively affected by energy development, and monitoring of sage-grouse population within energy development areas is necessary to detect population-level responses. Weused population data (1995–2012) from an energy development area in Wyoming, USA, the Atlantic Rim Project Area (ARPA), and GIS data to identify control sites that were not impacted by energy development for population monitoring. Control sites were surrounded by similar habitat and were within similar climate areas to the ARPA. We developed nonlinear trend models for both the ARPA and control sites and compared long-term trends from the 2 areas. We found little difference between the ARPA and control sites trends over time. This research demonstrated an approach for control site selection across large landscapes and can be used as a template for similar impact-monitoring studies. It is important to note that identification of changes in population parameters between control and treatment sites is only the first step in understanding the mechanisms that underlie those changes. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  4. Better living through conifer removal: A demographic analysis of sage-grouse vital rates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P Severson

    Full Text Available Sagebrush (Artemisia spp. obligate wildlife species such as the imperiled greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus face numerous threats including altered ecosystem processes that have led to conifer expansion into shrub-steppe. Conifer removal is accelerating despite a lack of empirical evidence on grouse population response. Using a before-after-control-impact design at the landscape scale, we evaluated effects of conifer removal on two important demographic parameters, annual survival of females and nest survival, by monitoring 219 female sage-grouse and 225 nests in the northern Great Basin from 2010 to 2014. Estimates from the best treatment models showed positive trends in the treatment area relative to the control area resulting in an increase of 6.6% annual female survival and 18.8% nest survival relative to the control area by 2014. Using stochastic simulations of our estimates and published demographics, we estimated a 25% increase in the population growth rate in the treatment area relative to the control area. This is the first study to link sage-grouse demographics with conifer removal and supports recommendations to actively manage conifer expansion for sage-grouse conservation. Sage-grouse have become a primary catalyst for conservation funding to address conifer expansion in the West, and these findings have important implications for other ecosystem services being generated on the wings of species conservation.

  5. Captive-rearing of Gunnison sage-grouse from egg collection to adulthood to foster proactive conservation and recovery of a conservation-reliant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apa, Anthony D; Wiechman, Lief A

    2015-01-01

    Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) are distributed across southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah, United States. Their distribution has decreased over the past century and the species has been listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Reduced genetic diversity, small population size, and isolation may affect Gunnison sage-grouse population persistence. Population augmentation can be used to counteract or mitigate these issues, but traditional translocation efforts have yielded mixed, and mostly unsuccessful, results. Captive-rearing is a viable, although much debated, conservation approach to bolster wild conservation-reliant species. Although there have been captive-rearing efforts with greater sage-grouse (C. urophasianus), to date, no information exists about captive-rearing methods for Gunnison sage-grouse. Therefore, we investigated techniques for egg collection, artificial incubation, hatch, and captive-rearing of chicks, juveniles, subadults, and adults for Gunnison sage-grouse. In 2009 we established a captive flock that produced viable eggs. From 2009-2011, we collected and artificially incubated 206 Gunnison sage-grouse eggs from 23 wild and 14 captive females. Our hatchability was 90%. Wild-produced eggs were heavier than captive-produced eggs and lost mass similarly during incubation. We produced 148 chicks in captivity and fed them a variety of food sources (e.g. invertebrates to commercial chow). Bacterial infections were the primary cause of chick mortality, but we successfully reduced the overall mortality rate during the course of our study. Conservationists and managers should consider the utility in developing a captive-rearing program or creating a captive population as part of a proactive conservation effort for the conservation-reliant Gunnison sage-grouse. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Quantifying functional connectivity: The role of breeding habitat, abundance, and landscape features on range-wide gene flow in sage-grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey R. Row; Kevin E. Doherty; Todd B. Cross; Michael K. Schwartz; Sara Oyler-McCance; Dave E. Naugle; Steven T. Knick; Bradley C. Fedy

    2018-01-01

    Functional connectivity, quantified using landscape genetics, can inform conservation through the identification of factors linking genetic structure to landscape mechanisms. We used breeding habitat metrics, landscape attributes and indices of grouse abundance, to compare fit between structural connectivity and genetic differentiation within five long‐established Sage...

  7. Emerging technology to measure habitat quality and behavior of grouse: Examples from studies of greater sage-grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennifer Sorensen Forbey; Gail L. Patricelli; Donna M. Delparte; Alan H. Krakauer; Peter J. Olsoy; Marcella R. Fremgen; Jordan D. Nobler; Lucas P. Spaete; Lisa A. Shipley; Janet L. Rachlow; Amy K. Dirksen; Anna Perry; Bryce A. Richardson; Nancy F. Glenn

    2017-01-01

    An increasing number of threats, both natural (e.g. fires, drought) and anthropogenic (e.g. agriculture, infrastructure development), are likely to affect both availability and quality of plants that grouse rely on for cover and food. As such, there is an increasing need to monitor plants and their use by grouse over space and time to better predict how changes in...

  8. 78 FR 2539 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Gunnison Sage...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-11

    ... Gunnison Sage-Grouse; Proposed Rule #0;#0;Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 8 / Friday, January 11, 2013...; Designation of Critical Habitat for Gunnison Sage-Grouse AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION... the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended...

  9. Can reliable sage-grouse lek counts be obtained using aerial infrared technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillette, Gifford L.; Coates, Peter S.; Petersen, Steven; Romero, John P.

    2013-01-01

    More effective methods for counting greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are needed to better assess population trends through enumeration or location of new leks. We describe an aerial infrared technique for conducting sage-grouse lek counts and compare this method with conventional ground-based lek count methods. During the breeding period in 2010 and 2011, we surveyed leks from fixed-winged aircraft using cryogenically cooled mid-wave infrared cameras and surveyed the same leks on the same day from the ground following a standard lek count protocol. We did not detect significant differences in lek counts between surveying techniques. These findings suggest that using a cryogenically cooled mid-wave infrared camera from an aerial platform to conduct lek surveys is an effective alternative technique to conventional ground-based methods, but further research is needed. We discuss multiple advantages to aerial infrared surveys, including counting in remote areas, representing greater spatial variation, and increasing the number of counted leks per season. Aerial infrared lek counts may be a valuable wildlife management tool that releases time and resources for other conservation efforts. Opportunities exist for wildlife professionals to refine and apply aerial infrared techniques to wildlife monitoring programs because of the increasing reliability and affordability of this technology.

  10. Restoring arid western habitats: Native plants maximize wildlife conservation effectiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kas Dumroese; Jeremy Pinto; Deborah M. Finch

    2016-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) and other pollinating insects have garnered a lot of attention recently from federal and state wildlife officials. These two species and pollinators share dwindling sagebrush habitat in the western United States that is putting their populations at risk. Sagebrush...

  11. Antelope, sage grouse, and neotropical migrants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reg. Rothwell

    1993-01-01

    The momentum this Partners in Flight initiative has developed is very impressive. I'm encouraged because, although it will have its costs, I see it as a potential aid to existing wildlife management efforts. Here, I will discuss some types of information that are routinely used by wildlife and habitat managers for other species. If this same information is made...

  12. 75 FR 59803 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination for the Gunnison Sage-grouse as a...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-28

    ... sage-grouse do not possess muscular gizzards and, therefore, lack the ability to grind and digest seeds...-grouse exhibit a polygamous mating system where a male mates with several females. Males perform...

  13. An integrated modeling approach to estimating Gunnison Sage-Grouse population dynamics: combining index and demographic data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Amy J.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Phillips, Michael L.; Doherty, Paul F.

    2014-01-01

    Evaluation of population dynamics for rare and declining species is often limited to data that are sparse and/or of poor quality. Frequently, the best data available for rare bird species are based on large-scale, population count data. These data are commonly based on sampling methods that lack consistent sampling effort, do not account for detectability, and are complicated by observer bias. For some species, short-term studies of demographic rates have been conducted as well, but the data from such studies are typically analyzed separately. To utilize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of these two data types, we developed a novel Bayesian integrated model that links population count data and population demographic data through population growth rate (λ) for Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus). The long-term population index data available for Gunnison sage-grouse are annual (years 1953–2012) male lek counts. An intensive demographic study was also conducted from years 2005 to 2010. We were able to reduce the variability in expected population growth rates across time, while correcting for potential small sample size bias in the demographic data. We found the population of Gunnison sage-grouse to be variable and slightly declining over the past 16 years.

  14. Empirical validation of landscape resistance models: insights from the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew J. Shirk; Michael A. Schroeder; Leslie A. Robb; Samuel A. Cushman

    2015-01-01

    The ability of landscapes to impede species’ movement or gene flow may be quantified by resistance models. Few studies have assessed the performance of resistance models parameterized by expert opinion. In addition, resistance models differ in terms of spatial and thematic resolution as well as their focus on the ecology of a particular species or more generally on the...

  15. Characterization of small microsatellite loci for use in non invasive sampling studies of Gunnison Sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; St. John, Judy

    2010-01-01

    Primers for 10 microsatellite loci were developed specifically to amplify low quantity and quality DNA for Gunnison Sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus), a species that has been petitioned for listing under the US Endangered Species Act. In a screen of 20 individuals from the largest population in the Gunnison Basin, Colorado, the 10 loci were found to have levels of variability ranging from two to seven alleles. No loci were found to be linked, although one locus revealed significant departures from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium. These microsatellite loci will be applicable for population genetic analyses and for use in mark recapture studies that utilize DNA collected non invasively from feathers and fecal pellets, which will ultimately aid in management efforts.

  16. A conservation paradox in the Great Basin—Altering sagebrush landscapes with fuel breaks to reduce habitat loss from wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinneman, Douglas J.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Coates, Peter S.; Germino, Matthew J.; Pilliod, David S.; Vaillant, Nicole M.

    2018-03-15

    Interactions between fire and nonnative, annual plant species (that is, “the grass/fire cycle”) represent one of the greatest threats to sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems and associated wildlife, including the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). In 2015, U.S. Department of the Interior called for a “science-based strategy to reduce the threat of large-scale rangeland fire to habitat for the greater sage-grouse and the sagebrush-steppe ecosystem.” An associated guidance document, the “Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy Actionable Science Plan,” identified fuel breaks as high priority areas for scientific research. Fuel breaks are intended to reduce fire size and frequency, and potentially they can compartmentalize wildfire spatial distribution in a landscape. Fuel breaks are designed to reduce flame length, fireline intensity, and rates of fire spread in order to enhance firefighter access, improve response times, and provide safe and strategic anchor points for wildland fire-fighting activities. To accomplish these objectives, fuel breaks disrupt fuel continuity, reduce fuel accumulation, and (or) increase plants with high moisture content through the removal or modification of vegetation in strategically placed strips or blocks of land.Fuel breaks are being newly constructed, enhanced, or proposed across large areas of the Great Basin to reduce wildfire risk and to protect remaining sagebrush ecosystems (including greater sage-grouse habitat). These projects are likely to result in thousands of linear miles of fuel breaks that will have direct ecological effects across hundreds of thousands of acres through habitat loss and conversion. These projects may also affect millions of acres indirectly because of edge effects and habitat fragmentation created by networks of fuel breaks. Hence, land managers are often faced with a potentially paradoxical situation: the need to substantially alter sagebrush habitats with fuel breaks

  17. 78 FR 65701 - Notice of Availability of the Nevada and Northeastern California Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Land...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    ... easements; minimize herbicide use; close ACECs to oil, gas and geothermal leasing; allow locatable and... within PPMA and PGMAs; close to oil, gas, geothermal leasing within PPMA and within 4 miles of active...) Ely RMP (2008) Shoshone-Eureka RMP (1986) Tonopah RMP (1997) Wells RMP (1985) Winnemucca RMP (revision...

  18. 78 FR 59713 - Notice of Availability of the North Dakota Greater Sage-Grouse Draft Resource Management Plan...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-27

    ...)--Areas identified as having the highest conservation value to maintaining sustainable GRSG populations... FR 77008), and ended on March 23, 2012. The BLM held one scoping open house in North Dakota in...

  19. Conservation of greater sage-grouse on public lands in the western U.S.: Implications of recovery and management policies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carl L. Wambolt; Aaron J. Harp; Bruce L. Welch; Nancy Shaw; John W. Connelly; Kerry P. Reese; Clait E. Braun; Donald A. Klebenow; E. Durant McArthur; James G. Thompson; L. Allen Torell; John A. Tanaka

    2002-01-01

    The role of the Policy Analysis Center for Western Public Lands is to provide integrated social, economic and ecological analyses of public land policies that affect communities in the West. Its mission is to help rural communities, policy makers, resource managers, resource users and others understand, analyze and engage effectively in the public-land policy process...

  20. Susceptibility and antibody response of Vesper Sparrows (Pooecetes gramineus) to West Nile virus: A potential amplification host in sagebrush-grassland habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Dusek, Robert J.; Fassbinder-Orth, Carol; Owen, Benjamin; Franson, J. Christian

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) spread to the US western plains states in 2003, when a significant mortality event attributed to WNV occurred in Greater Sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus ). The role of avian species inhabiting sagebrush in the amplification of WNV in arid and semiarid regions of the North America is unknown. We conducted an experimental WNV challenge study in Vesper Sparrows ( Pooecetes gramineus ), a species common to sagebrush and grassland habitats found throughout much of North America. We found Vesper Sparrows to be moderately susceptible to WNV, developing viremia considered sufficient to transmit WNV to feeding mosquitoes, but the majority of birds were capable of surviving infection and developing a humoral immune response to the WNV nonstructural 1 and envelope proteins. Despite clearance of viremia, after 6 mo, WNV was detected molecularly in three birds and cultured from one bird. Surviving Vesper Sparrows were resistant to reinfection 6 mo after the initial challenge. Vesper sparrows could play a role in the amplification of WNV in sagebrush habitat and other areas of their range, but rapid clearance of WNV may limit their importance as competent amplification hosts of WNV.

  1. 78 FR 65936 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Endangered Status for Gunnison Sage...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-04

    ... and Plants; Proposed Endangered Status for Gunnison Sage-Grouse and Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat for Gunnison Sage-Grouse AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule... rules to list the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus) as endangered and to designate critical...

  2. 78 FR 23782 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Gibellini Mine...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-22

    ... that could include loss of habitat for Greater sage-grouse and loss of acreage for livestock grazing...). Any information about historic and cultural resources within the area potentially affected by the... impacts on Indian trust assets and potential impacts to cultural resources, will be given due...

  3. Elk migration patterns and human activity influence wolf habitat use in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Abigail A; Kauffman, Matthew J; Middleton, Arthur D; Jimenez, Michael D; McWhirter, Douglas E; Barber, Jarrett; Gerow, Kenneth

    2012-12-01

    Identifying the ecological dynamics underlying human-wildlife conflicts is important for the management and conservation of wildlife populations. In landscapes still occupied by large carnivores, many ungulate prey species migrate seasonally, yet little empirical research has explored the relationship between carnivore distribution and ungulate migration strategy. In this study, we evaluate the influence of elk (Cervus elaphus) distribution and other landscape features on wolf (Canis lupus) habitat use in an area of chronic wolf-livestock conflict in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, USA. Using three years of fine-scale wolf (n = 14) and elk (n = 81) movement data, we compared the seasonal habitat use of wolves in an area dominated by migratory elk with that of wolves in an adjacent area dominated by resident elk. Most migratory elk vacate the associated winter wolf territories each summer via a 40-60 km migration, whereas resident elk remain accessible to wolves year-round. We used a generalized linear model to compare the relative probability of wolf use as a function of GIS-based habitat covariates in the migratory and resident elk areas. Although wolves in both areas used elk-rich habitat all year, elk density in summer had a weaker influence on the habitat use of wolves in the migratory elk area than the resident elk area. Wolves employed a number of alternative strategies to cope with the departure of migratory elk. Wolves in the two areas also differed in their disposition toward roads. In winter, wolves in the migratory elk area used habitat close to roads, while wolves in the resident elk area avoided roads. In summer, wolves in the migratory elk area were indifferent to roads, while wolves in resident elk areas strongly avoided roads, presumably due to the location of dens and summering elk combined with different traffic levels. Study results can help wildlife managers to anticipate the movements and establishment of wolf packs as they expand into areas

  4. Elk migration patterns and human activity influence wolf habitat use in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Abigail; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Middleton, Arthur D.; Jimenez, Mike; McWhirter, Douglas; Barber, Jarrett; Gerow, Ken

    2012-01-01

    Identifying the ecological dynamics underlying human–wildlife conflicts is important for the management and conservation of wildlife populations. In landscapes still occupied by large carnivores, many ungulate prey species migrate seasonally, yet little empirical research has explored the relationship between carnivore distribution and ungulate migration strategy. In this study, we evaluate the influence of elk (Cervus elaphus) distribution and other landscape features on wolf (Canis lupus) habitat use in an area of chronic wolf–livestock conflict in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, USA. Using three years of fine-scale wolf (n = 14) and elk (n = 81) movement data, we compared the seasonal habitat use of wolves in an area dominated by migratory elk with that of wolves in an adjacent area dominated by resident elk. Most migratory elk vacate the associated winter wolf territories each summer via a 40–60 km migration, whereas resident elk remain accessible to wolves year-round. We used a generalized linear model to compare the relative probability of wolf use as a function of GIS-based habitat covariates in the migratory and resident elk areas. Although wolves in both areas used elk-rich habitat all year, elk density in summer had a weaker influence on the habitat use of wolves in the migratory elk area than the resident elk area. Wolves employed a number of alternative strategies to cope with the departure of migratory elk. Wolves in the two areas also differed in their disposition toward roads. In winter, wolves in the migratory elk area used habitat close to roads, while wolves in the resident elk area avoided roads. In summer, wolves in the migratory elk area were indifferent to roads, while wolves in resident elk areas strongly avoided roads, presumably due to the location of dens and summering elk combined with different traffic levels. Study results can help wildlife managers to anticipate the movements and establishment of wolf packs as they expand into

  5. Lizard activity and abundance greater in burned habitat of a xeric montane forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouts, Kevin L.; Moore, Clinton; Johnson, Kristine D.; Maerz, John C.

    2017-01-01

    Restoring the natural or historical state of ecosystems is a common objective among resource managers, but determining whether desired system responses to management actions are occurring is often protracted and challenging. For wildlife, the integration of mechanistic habitat modeling with population monitoring may provide expedited measures of management effectiveness and improve understanding of how management actions succeed or fail to recover populations. Southern Appalachia is a region of high biodiversity that has undergone dramatic change as a result of human activities such as historic logging, exotic invasions, and alteration of disturbance regimes—including reduction in application of fire. Contemporary efforts to restore fire-maintained ecosystems within southern Appalachian forests require tools to assess the effects of fire management practices on individual animal fitness and relate them to corresponding influences on species abundance. Using automated sensing equipment, we investigated the effects of burned forests on reptile habitat suitability within the western portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. Specifically, we used microclimate measurements to model northern fence lizard Sceloporus undulatus hyacinthinus diurnal activity budgets in unburned and variable burn age (3–27-y) forest stands. We estimated northern fence lizard occurrence and abundance along transects through burned and unburned forests. Burned forest stands had microclimates that resulted in longer modeled daily activity periods under most conditions during summer. S. undulatus abundance was 4.75 times greater on burned stands compared to paired unburned stands, although the relationship between burn age and abundance was not well determined. Results suggest the more open habitat structure of burned areas within these xeric pine–oak forests may benefit S. undulatus.

  6. Influence of whitebark pine decline on fall habitat use and movements of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costello, Cecily M; van Manen, Frank T; Haroldson, Mark A; Ebinger, Michael R; Cain, Steven L; Gunther, Kerry A; Bjornlie, Daniel D

    2014-05-01

    When abundant, seeds of the high-elevation whitebark pine (WBP; Pinus albicaulis) are an important fall food for grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Rates of bear mortality and bear/human conflicts have been inversely associated with WBP productivity. Recently, mountain pine beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae) have killed many cone-producing WBP trees. We used fall (15 August-30 September) Global Positioning System locations from 89 bear years to investigate temporal changes in habitat use and movements during 2000-2011. We calculated Manly-Chesson (MC) indices for selectivity of WBP habitat and secure habitat (≥500 m from roads and human developments), determined dates of WBP use, and documented net daily movement distances and activity radii. To evaluate temporal trends, we used regression, model selection, and candidate model sets consisting of annual WBP production, sex, and year. One-third of sampled grizzly bears had fall ranges with little or no mapped WBP habitat. Most other bears (72%) had a MC index above 0.5, indicating selection for WBP habitats. From 2000 to 2011, mean MC index decreased and median date of WBP use shifted about 1 week later. We detected no trends in movement indices over time. Outside of national parks, there was no correlation between the MC indices for WBP habitat and secure habitat, and most bears (78%) selected for secure habitat. Nonetheless, mean MC index for secure habitat decreased over the study period during years of good WBP productivity. The wide diet breadth and foraging plasticity of grizzly bears likely allowed them to adjust to declining WBP. Bears reduced use of WBP stands without increasing movement rates, suggesting they obtained alternative fall foods within their local surroundings. However, the reduction in mortality risk historically associated with use of secure, high-elevation WBP habitat may be diminishing for bears residing in multiple-use areas.

  7. Influence of whitebark pine decline on fall habitat use and movements of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costello, Cecily M.; van Manen, Frank T.; Haroldson, Mark A.; Ebinger, Michael R.; Cain, Steven L.; Gunther, Kerry A.; Bjornlie, Daniel D.

    2014-01-01

    When abundant, seeds of the high-elevation whitebark pine (WBP; Pinus albicaulis) are an important fall food for grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Rates of bear mortality and bear/human conflicts have been inversely associated with WBP productivity. Recently, mountain pine beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae) have killed many cone-producing WBP trees. We used fall (15 August–30 September) Global Positioning System locations from 89 bear years to investigate temporal changes in habitat use and movements during 2000–2011. We calculated Manly–Chesson (MC) indices for selectivity of WBP habitat and secure habitat (≥500 m from roads and human developments), determined dates of WBP use, and documented net daily movement distances and activity radii. To evaluate temporal trends, we used regression, model selection, and candidate model sets consisting of annual WBP production, sex, and year. One-third of sampled grizzly bears had fall ranges with little or no mapped WBP habitat. Most other bears (72%) had a MC index above 0.5, indicating selection for WBP habitats. From 2000 to 2011, mean MC index decreased and median date of WBP use shifted about 1 week later. We detected no trends in movement indices over time. Outside of national parks, there was no correlation between the MC indices for WBP habitat and secure habitat, and most bears (78%) selected for secure habitat. Nonetheless, mean MC index for secure habitat decreased over the study period during years of good WBP productivity. The wide diet breadth and foraging plasticity of grizzly bears likely allowed them to adjust to declining WBP. Bears reduced use of WBP stands without increasing movement rates, suggesting they obtained alternative fall foods within their local surroundings. However, the reduction in mortality risk historically associated with use of secure, high-elevation WBP habitat may be diminishing for bears residing in multiple-use areas.

  8. Greater reproductive investment, but shorter lifespan, in agrosystem than in natural-habitat toads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Javier Zamora-Camacho

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Global amphibian decline is due to several factors: habitat loss, anthropization, pollution, emerging diseases, and global warming. Amphibians, with complex life cycles, are particularly susceptible to habitat alterations, and their survival may be impaired in anthropized habitats. Increased mortality is a well-known consequence of anthropization. Life-history theory predicts higher reproductive investment when mortality is increased. In this work, we compared age, body size, and different indicators of reproductive investment, as well as prey availability, in natterjack toads (Epidalea calamita from agrosystems and adjacent natural pine groves in Southwestern Spain. Mean age was lower in agrosystems than in pine groves, possibly as a consequence of increased mortality due to agrosystem environmental stressors. Remarkably, agrosystem toads were larger despite being younger, suggesting accelerated growth rate. Although we detected no differences in prey availability between habitats, artificial irrigation could shorten aestivation in agrosystems, thus increasing energy trade. Moreover, agrosystem toads exhibited increased indicators of reproductive investment. In the light of life-history theory, agrosystem toads might compensate for lesser reproductive events—due to shorter lives—with a higher reproductive investment in each attempt. Our results show that agrosystems may alter demography, which may have complex consequences on both individual fitness and population stability.

  9. Spatial mapping and attribution of Wyoming wind turbines

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Michael S.; Fancher, Tammy S.

    2010-01-01

    This Wyoming wind-turbine data set represents locations of wind turbines found within Wyoming as of August 1, 2009. Each wind turbine is assigned to a wind farm. For each turbine, this report contains information about the following: potential megawatt output, rotor diameter, hub height, rotor height, land ownership, county, wind farm power capacity, the number of units currently associated with its wind farm, the wind turbine manufacturer and model, the wind farm developer, the owner of the wind farm, the current purchaser of power from the wind farm, the year the wind farm went online, and the status of its operation. Some attributes are estimates based on information that was obtained through the American Wind Energy Association and miscellaneous online reports. The locations are derived from August 2009 true-color aerial photographs made by the National Agriculture Imagery Program; the photographs have a positional accuracy of approximately ?5 meters. The location of wind turbines under construction during the development of this data set will likely be less accurate than the location of turbines already completed. The original purpose for developing the data presented here was to evaluate the effect of wind energy development on seasonal habitat used by greater sage-grouse. Additionally, these data will provide a planning tool for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative Science Team and for other wildlife- and habitat-related projects underway at the U.S. Geological Survey's Fort Collins Science Center. Specifically, these data will be used to quantify disturbance of the landscape related to wind energy as well as quantifying indirect disturbances to flora and fauna. This data set was developed for the 2010 project 'Seasonal predictive habitat models for greater sage-grouse in Wyoming.' This project's spatially explicit seasonal distribution models of sage-grouse in Wyoming will provide resource managers with tools for conservation planning. These

  10. Cheatgrass percent cover change: Comparing recent estimates to climate change − Driven predictions in the Northern Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyte, Stephen P.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Major, Donald J.

    2016-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) is a highly invasive species in the Northern Great Basin that helps decrease fire return intervals. Fire fragments the shrub steppe and reduces its capacity to provide forage for livestock and wildlife and habitat critical to sagebrush obligates. Of particular interest is the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), an obligate whose populations have declined so severely due, in part, to increases in cheatgrass and fires that it was considered for inclusion as an endangered species. Remote sensing technologies and satellite archives help scientists monitor terrestrial vegetation globally, including cheatgrass in the Northern Great Basin. Along with geospatial analysis and advanced spatial modeling, these data and technologies can identify areas susceptible to increased cheatgrass cover and compare these with greater sage grouse priority areas for conservation (PAC). Future climate models forecast a warmer and wetter climate for the Northern Great Basin, which likely will force changing cheatgrass dynamics. Therefore, we examine potential climate-caused changes to cheatgrass. Our results indicate that future cheatgrass percent cover will remain stable over more than 80% of the study area when compared with recent estimates, and higher overall cheatgrass cover will occur with slightly more spatial variability. The land area projected to increase or decrease in cheatgrass cover equals 18% and 1%, respectively, making an increase in fire disturbances in greater sage grouse habitat likely. Relative susceptibility measures, created by integrating cheatgrass percent cover and temporal standard deviation datasets, show that potential increases in future cheatgrass cover match future projections. This discovery indicates that some greater sage grouse PACs for conservation could be at heightened risk of fire disturbance. Multiple factors will affect future cheatgrass cover including changes in precipitation timing and totals and

  11. Wind energy's subtle effect - habitat fragmentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pruett, Jay

    2011-07-01

    Full text: New wind energy production facilities are being built to accommodate demands for more, renewable, emission-free energy. This development is most often in windy, remote parts of the United States, so new transmission infrastructure capacity is also needed for shipment of energy from prairies, hilltops and shorelines to distant population centres. Well known environmental effects from wind energy development have included direct mortality to birds and bats. However, there is a more subtle effect also at play. 'Habitat fragmentation' is an impact caused by the siting and presence of infrastructure features on wildlife species. Instead of direct mortality, there is behavioural avoidance of such features because of activity, noise and even simply the presence of vertical structures that are different from the original nature of the habitat. This fragmentation threatens to make some of the last remaining habitat for declining species, especially grassland birds, unusable by them. Prairie grouse such as prairie chickens and sage grouse appear to be particularly susceptible to habitat fragmentation due to the presence of vertical structures. Other species such as the grasshopper sparrow have also been shown to avoid such features. It is believed that these species have evolved to avoid any vertical structure because it can serve as a perch for bird-eating raptors, including eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. Certain life cycle stages, such as nesting and chick rearing, appear to be most vulnerable to these fragmentation influences. Some of the research contributing to concern over habitat fragmentation, along with the mechanism of such fragmentation, will be presented. Solutions will also be offered for the siting of wind energy facilities and transmission lines to avoid this negative environmental impact. (Author)

  12. Land use planning: A potential force for retaining habitat connectivity in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and Beyond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig L. Shafer

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE is perceived to have been isolated from the population in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem for a century. Better land use planning is needed to thwart progressive intra- and inter-ecosystem habitat fragmentation, especially due to private land development. The dilemma of private lands being intermixed in large landscapes is addressed. This review attempts to identify some land use planning levels and tools which might facilitate dispersal by the grizzly bear and other large mammals. The planning levels discussed include national, regional, state, county and municipal, and federal land management agency. Specific potential federal tools mentioned include zoning, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, the Endangered Species Act, beyond boundary authority, land exchanges, less-than-fee acquisition and other incentives, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, and federal land annexation. Besides summarizing existing recommendations, some derived observations are offered.

  13. Differences in meiofauna communities with sediment depth are greater than habitat effects on the New Zealand continental margin: implications for vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norliana Rosli

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Studies of deep-sea benthic communities have largely focused on particular (macro habitats in isolation, with few studies considering multiple habitats simultaneously in a comparable manner. Compared to mega-epifauna and macrofauna, much less is known about habitat-related variation in meiofaunal community attributes (abundance, diversity and community structure. Here, we investigated meiofaunal community attributes in slope, canyon, seamount, and seep habitats in two regions on the continental slope of New Zealand (Hikurangi Margin and Bay of Plenty at four water depths (700, 1,000, 1,200 and 1,500 m. We found that patterns were not the same for each community attribute. Significant differences in abundance were consistent across regions, habitats, water and sediment depths, while diversity and community structure only differed between sediment depths. Abundance was higher in canyon and seep habitats compared with other habitats, while between sediment layer, abundance and diversity were higher at the sediment surface. Our findings suggest that meiofaunal community attributes are affected by environmental factors that operate on micro- (cm to meso- (0.1–10 km, and regional scales (> 100 km. We also found a weak, but significant, correlation between trawling intensity and surface sediment diversity. Overall, our results indicate that variability in meiofaunal communities was greater at small scale than at habitat or regional scale. These findings provide new insights into the factors controlling meiofauna in these deep-sea habitats and their potential vulnerability to anthropogenic activities.

  14. An analysis of the habitat of the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicorns (Mammalia: Perissodactyla: Rhinocerotidae at the Chitwan National Park, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Thapa

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS and landscape-level data obtained from remote sensing sources to build a habitat suitability index model (HSI for the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis. The model was based primarily on important habitat requisites of the modeled species, especially food and cover. We extracted food and cover from land cover map and ran focal statistics to determine their proportion in a neighborhood of 70x70 pixels that accounts for the animal’s average mean annual home range, which is ~4km2 = 400 ha = 70x70 pixels x 900 m2 = 4410000/10000 = 441 ha. We used two arbitrarily selected parameters a and Tc to observe the impacts of food and cover on the HSI. We performed sensitivity analysis by varying values of parameters around their nominal, which revealed that the HSI value of a pixel is changed with uncertainty with very low values of a fraction of the food or cover. We identified four habitat types from the HSI map. We used patch and class metrics of FRAGSTATS program to estimate the amount and fragmentation of each habitat type. The metrics provided composition and configuration status for all four habitat types. We found a presence of a total of 476 patches with 517.82km2 belonging to suitable habitat type. These areas can be targeted for management, monitoring and improvement to provide habitat for the target and sympatric species.

  15. Using object-based image analysis to conduct high-resolution conifer extraction at regional spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Gustafson, K. Benjamin; Roth, Cali L.; Chenaille, Michael P.; Ricca, Mark A.; Mauch, Kimberly; Sanchez-Chopitea, Erika; Kroger, Travis J.; Perry, William M.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2017-08-10

    The distribution and abundance of pinyon (Pinus monophylla) and juniper (Juniperus osteosperma, J. occidentalis) trees (hereinafter, "pinyon-juniper") in sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems of the Great Basin in the Western United States has increased substantially since the late 1800s. Distributional expansion and infill of pinyon-juniper into sagebrush ecosystems threatens the ecological function and economic viability of these ecosystems within the Great Basin, and is now a major contemporary challenge facing land and wildlife managers. Particularly, pinyon-juniper encroachment into intact sagebrush ecosystems has been identified as a primary threat facing populations of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereinafter, "sage-grouse"), which is a sagebrush obligate species. Even seemingly innocuous scatterings of isolated pinyon-juniper in an otherwise intact sagebrush landscape can negatively affect survival and reproduction of sage-grouse. Therefore, accurate and high-resolution maps of pinyon-juniper distribution and abundance (indexed by canopy cover) across broad geographic extents would help guide land management decisions that better target areas for pinyon-juniper removal projects (for example, fuel reduction, habitat improvement for sage-grouse, and other sagebrush species) and facilitate science that further quantifies ecological effects of pinyon-juniper encroachment on sage-grouse populations and sagebrush ecosystem processes. Hence, we mapped pinyon-juniper (referred to as conifers for actual mapping) at a 1 × 1-meter (m) high resolution across the entire range of previously mapped sage-grouse habitat in Nevada and northeastern California.We used digital orthophoto quad tiles from National Agriculture Imagery Program (2010, 2013) as base imagery, and then classified conifers using automated feature extraction methodology with the program Feature Analyst™. This method relies on machine learning algorithms that extract features from

  16. UT ARMPA Map 2.2 Biologically Significant Units

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — This data set was created to depict “biologically significant units” (BSU) from the BLM Greater Sage-Grouse Land Use Planning Strategy – Utah Sub-Region. This data...

  17. Influence of whitebark pine decline on fall habitat use and movements of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Costello, Cecily M; van Manen, Frank T; Haroldson, Mark A; Ebinger, Michael R; Cain, Steven L; Gunther, Kerry A; Bjornlie, Daniel D

    2014-01-01

    When abundant, seeds of the high-elevation whitebark pine (WBP; Pinus albicaulis) are an important fall food for grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Rates of bear mortality and bear/human conflicts have been inversely associated with WBP productivity. Recently, mountain pine beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae) have killed many cone-producing WBP trees. We used fall (15 August–30 September) Global Positioning System locations from 89 bear years to investigate tempo...

  18. Regional and sediment depth differences in nematode community structure greater than between habitats on the New Zealand margin: Implications for vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosli, Norliana; Leduc, Daniel; Rowden, Ashley A.; Probert, P. Keith; Clark, Malcolm R.

    2018-01-01

    Deep-sea community attributes vary at a range of spatial scales. However, identifying the scale at which environmental factors affect variability in deep-sea communities remains difficult, as few studies have been designed in such a way as to allow meaningful comparisons across more than two spatial scales. In the present study, we investigated nematode diversity, community structure and trophic structure at different spatial scales (sediment depth (cm), habitat (seamount, canyon, continental slope; 1-100 km), and geographic region (100-10000 km)), while accounting for the effects of water depth, in two regions on New Zealand's continental margin. The greatest variability in community attributes was found between sediment depth layers and between regions, which explained 2-4 times more variability than habitats. The effect of habitat was consistently stronger in the Hikurangi Margin than the Bay of Plenty for all community attributes, whereas the opposite pattern was found in the Bay of Plenty where effect of sediment depth was greater in Bay of Plenty. The different patterns at each scale in each region reflect the differences in the environmental variables between regions that control nematode community attributes. Analyses suggest that nematode communities are mostly influenced by sediment characteristics and food availability, but that disturbance (fishing activity and bioturbation) also accounts for some of the observed patterns. The results provide new insight on the relative importance of processes operating at different spatial scales in regulating nematode communities in the deep-sea, and indicate potential differences in vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbance.

  19. 78 FR 2485 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for Gunnison Sage-Grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-11

    ...; predation (often facilitated by human development or disturbance); genetic risks in the declining, smaller... plants, fire, and climate change, and the interaction of these three factors; fences; renewable and non-renewable energy development; pi[ntilde]on-juniper encroachment; water development; disease;, drought; and...

  20. Sage-Grouse and Coal-Bed Methane: Can They Coexist within the Powder River Basin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Michael B.

    2010-01-01

    Concerns are growing regarding the availability of sustainable energy sources due to a rapidly growing human population and a better understanding of climate change. In recent years, the United States has focused much attention on developing domestic energy sources, which include coal-bed methane (CBM). There are vast deposits of the natural gas…

  1. Monoterpenes as inhibitors of digestive enzymes and counter-adaptations in a specialist avian herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Kevin D; Pitman, Elizabeth; Robb, Brecken C; Connelly, John W; Dearing, M Denise; Forbey, Jennifer Sorensen

    2015-05-01

    Many plants produce plant secondary metabolites (PSM) that inhibit digestive enzymes of herbivores, thus limiting nutrient availability. In response, some specialist herbivores have evolved digestive enzymes that are resistant to inhibition. Monoterpenes, a class of PSMs, have not been investigated with respect to the interference of specific digestive enzymes, nor have such interactions been studied in avian herbivores. We investigated this interaction in the Greater Sage-Grouse (Phasianidae: Centrocercus urophasianus), which specializes on monoterpene-rich sagebrush species (Artemisia spp.). We first measured the monoterpene concentrations in gut contents of free-ranging sage-grouse. Next, we compared the ability of seven individual monoterpenes present in sagebrush to inhibit a protein-digesting enzyme, aminopeptidase-N. We also measured the inhibitory effects of PSM extracts from two sagebrush species. Inhibition of aminopeptidase-N in sage-grouse was compared to inhibition in chickens (Gallus gallus). We predicted that sage-grouse enzymes would retain higher activity when incubated with isolated monoterpenes or sagebrush extracts than chicken enzymes. We detected unchanged monoterpenes in the gut contents of free-ranging sage-grouse. We found that three isolated oxygenated monoterpenes (borneol, camphor, and 1,8-cineole) inhibited digestive enzymes of both bird species. Camphor and 1,8-cineole inhibited enzymes from chickens more than from sage-grouse. Extracts from both species of sagebrush had similar inhibition of chicken enzymes, but did not inhibit sage-grouse enzymes. These results suggest that specific monoterpenes may limit the protein digestibility of plant material by avian herbivores. Further, this work presents additional evidence that adaptations of digestive enzymes to plant defensive compounds may be a trait of specialist herbivores.

  2. Multiscale sagebrush rangeland habitat modeling in the Gunnison Basin of Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homer, Collin G.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Meyer, Debra K.; Schell, Spencer J.

    2013-01-01

    North American sagebrush-steppe ecosystems have decreased by about 50 percent since European settlement. As a result, sagebrush-steppe dependent species, such as the Gunnison sage-grouse, have experienced drastic range contractions and population declines. Coordinated ecosystem-wide research, integrated with monitoring and management activities, is needed to help maintain existing sagebrush habitats; however, products that accurately model and map sagebrush habitats in detail over the Gunnison Basin in Colorado are still unavailable. The goal of this project is to provide a rigorous large-area sagebrush habitat classification and inventory with statistically validated products and estimates of precision across the Gunnison Basin. This research employs a combination of methods, including (1) modeling sagebrush rangeland as a series of independent objective components that can be combined and customized by any user at multiple spatial scales; (2) collecting ground measured plot data on 2.4-meter QuickBird satellite imagery in the same season the imagery is acquired; (3) modeling of ground measured data on 2.4-meter imagery to maximize subsequent extrapolation; (4) acquiring multiple seasons (spring, summer, and fall) of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery (30-meter) for optimal modeling; (5) using regression tree classification technology that optimizes data mining of multiple image dates, ratios, and bands with ancillary data to extrapolate ground training data to coarser resolution Landsat Thematic Mapper; and 6) employing accuracy assessment of model predictions to enable users to understand their dependencies. Results include the prediction of four primary components including percent bare ground, percent herbaceous, percent shrub, and percent litter, and four secondary components including percent sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), percent big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), percent Wyoming sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis), and shrub height (centimeters

  3. Ecological influence and pathways of land use in sagebrush

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knick, Steven T.; Hanser, Steven E.; Miller, Richard F.; Pyke, David A.; Wisdom, Michael J.; Finn, Sean P.; Rinkes, E. Thomas; Henny, Charles J.; Knick, Steven T.; Connelly, John W.

    2011-01-01

    Land use in sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) landscapes influences all sage-grouse (Centrocer-cus spp.) populations in western North America. Croplands and the network of irrigation canals cover 230,000 km2 and indirectly influence up to 77% of the Sage-Grouse Conservation Area and 73% of sagebrush land cover by subsidizing synanthropic predators on sage-grouse. Urbanization and the demands of human population growth have created an extensive network of con-necting infrastructure that is expanding its influence on sagebrush landscapes. Over 2,500 km2 are now covered by interstate highways and paved roads; when secondary roads are included, 15% of the Sage-Grouse Conservation Area and 5% of existing sagebrush habitats are 2.5 km from roads. Density of secondary roads often exceeds 5 km/km2, resulting in widespread motorized access for recreation, creating extensive travel corridors for management actions and resource development, subsidizing predators adapted to human presence, and facilitating spread of exotic or invasive plants. Sagebrush lands also are being used for their wilderness and recreation values, including off highway vehicle use. Approximately 12,000,000 animal use months (AUM amount of forage to support one livestock unit per month) are permitted for grazing livestock on public lands in the western states. Direct effects of grazing on sage-grouse populations or sagebrush landscapes are not possible to assess from current data. However, management of lands grazed by livestock has influenced sagebrush ecosystems by vegetation treatments to increase forage and reduce sagebrush and other plant species unpalatable to livestock. Fences (2 km/km2 in some regions), roads, and water developments to manage livestock movements further modify the landscape. Oil and gas development influences 8% of the sagebrush habitats with the highest intensities occurring in the eastern range of sage-grouse; 20% of the sagebrush distribution is indirectly influenced in the Great

  4. Plant guide: Douglas' dusty-maiden (Chaenactic douglasii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derek Tilley; Dan Ogle; Loren St. John

    2010-01-01

    Douglas' dustymaiden can be used as part of a native forb component in wildland seedings to increase biodiversity, improve wildlife habitat, and provide food for numerous birds and mammals. Douglas' dustymaiden is readily visited by pollinators and other insect species. It is considered an important species for sage grouse during brood rearing because of its...

  5. 76 FR 20370 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Normally Pressured...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-12

    ... . Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the Pinedale Field Office and will be posted online... wildlife habitats and populations within the Project Area, including big game, raptors, and sage-grouse... water depletions and effects on downstream listed fish species; Impacts to lands with wilderness...

  6. Ecosystem water availability in juniper versus sagebrush snow-dominated rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Western Juniper (J. occidentalis Hook.) now dominates over 3.6 million ha of rangeland in the Intermountain Western US. Critical ecological relationships among snow distribution, water budgets, plant community transitions, and habitat requirements for wildlife, such as sage grouse, remain poorly und...

  7. A social-ecological impact assessment for public lands management: application of a conceptual and methodological framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda L. Bentley Brymer

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available According to the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA, federal action to manipulate habitat for species conservation requires an environmental impact statement, which should integrate natural, physical, economic, and social sciences in planning and decision making. Nonetheless, most impact assessments focus disproportionately on physical or ecological impacts rather than integrating ecological and socioeconomic components. We developed a participatory social-ecological impact assessment (SEIA that addresses the requirements of NEPA and integrates social and ecological concepts for impact assessments. We cooperated with the Bureau of Land Management in Idaho, USA on a project designed to restore habitat for the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus. We employed questionnaires, workshop dialogue, and participatory mapping exercises with stakeholders to identify potential environmental changes and subsequent impacts expected to result from the removal of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis. Via questionnaires and workshop dialogue, stakeholders identified 46 environmental changes and associated positive or negative impacts to people and communities in Owyhee County, Idaho. Results of the participatory mapping exercises showed that the spatial distribution of social, economic, and ecological values throughout Owyhee County are highly associated with the two main watersheds, wilderness areas, and the historic town of Silver City. Altogether, the SEIA process revealed that perceptions of project scale varied among participants, highlighting the need for specificity about spatial and temporal scales. Overall, the SEIA generated substantial information concerning potential impacts associated with habitat treatments for Greater Sage-Grouse. The SEIA is transferable to other land management and conservation contexts because it supports holistic understanding and framing of connections between humans and ecosystems. By applying

  8. Auxiliary VHF transmitter to aid recovery of solar Argos/GPS PTTs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher P. Hansen; Mark A. Rumble; R. Scott Gamo; Joshua J. Millspaugh

    2014-01-01

    While conducting greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) research, we found that solar-powered global positioning systems platform transmitter terminals (GPS PTTs) can be lost if the solar panel does not receive adequate sunlight. Thus, we developed 5-g (mortality sensor included; Prototype A) and 9.8-g (no mortality sensor; Prototype B) auxiliary very high...

  9. Fire rehabilitation effectiveness: a chronosequence approach for the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyke, David A.; Pilliod, David S.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Grace, James

    2009-01-01

    Federal land management agencies have invested heavily in seeding vegetation for emergency stabilization and rehabilitation (ES&R) of non-forested lands. ES&R projects are implemented to reduce post-fire dominance of non-native annual grasses, minimize probability of recurrent fire, quickly recover lost habitat for sensitive species, and ultimately result in plant communities with desirable characteristics including resistance to invasive species and resilience or ability to recover following disturbance. Land managers lack scientific evidence to verify whether seeding non-forested lands achieves their desired long-term ES&R objectives. The overall objective of our investigation is to determine if ES&R projects increase perennial plant cover, improve community composition, decrease invasive annual plant cover and result in a more desirable fuel structure relative to no treatment following fires while potentially providing habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse, a species of management concern. In addition, we provide the locations and baseline vegetation data for further studies relating to ES&R project impacts. We examined effects of seeding treatments (drill and broadcast) vs. no seeding on biotic and abiotic (bare ground and litter) variables for the dominant climate regimes and ecological types within the Great Basin. We attempted to determine seeding effectiveness to provide desired plant species cover while restricting non-native annual grass cover relative to post-treatment precipitation, post-treatment grazing level and time-since-seeding. Seedings were randomly sampled from all known post-fire seedings that occurred in the four-state area of Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. Sampling locations were stratified by major land resource area, precipitation, and loam-dominated soils to ensure an adequate spread of locations to provide inference of our findings to similar lands throughout the Great Basin. Nearly 100 sites were located that contained an ES&R project. Of

  10. A Regional Approach to Wildlife Monitoring Related to Energy Exploration and Development in Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotliar, Natasha B.; Bowen, Zachary H.; Ouren, Douglas S.; Farmer, Adrian H.

    2008-01-01

    : White River, Glenwood Springs, Kremmling, Grand Junction, and Little Snake. The overall study area was selected to encompass the primary distribution of sagebrush and greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Colorado and to provide a larger context for evaluating priority management issues of the White River and Glenwood Springs Field Offices. Within the study area, we selected an additional scale of analysis: the Roan Plateau, an area of increased energy development. We focused our demonstration project on the primary objectives identified by the BLM and other stakeholders: (1) How do we evaluate the cumulative effects of energy development and mitigation activities on species of management interest or concern? (2) How can cumulative effects, including direct and indirect effects, be quantified relative to natural variation? (3) How can we implement compliance and effectiveness monitoring to determine whether lease stipulations are met and restoration/mitigation goals are achieved? We targeted greater sage-grouse because this species was identified as a monitoring priority for the White River Field Office. We also evaluated landscape-level indices to address fragmentation resulting from surface disturbance. The primary purpose of this exercise was to highlight the types of analyses and approaches that could be used to evaluate energy development in an application of the three-phase framework. We provide examples of Phase I products that can be used to guide the refinement of management objectives, development of adaptive management and research frameworks, and planning activities in Phase II. Finally, we report on the BLM's National Sage-Grouse Habitat Conservation Strategy as an example of Phase III activities. The development of an effective monitoring program is a daunting task, and will be difficult to implement by the BLM independently due to the current work load of staff. However, the scientific expertise and experience for developing cr

  11. Wolverine in Greater Yellowstone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerry Murphy; Jason Wilmot; Jeff Copeland; Dan Tyers; John. Squires

    2011-01-01

    The wolverine is one of the least studied carnivores in North America, particularly in the contiguous United States where it occurs at the southern extent of its range. This project documented the distribution of wolverines in the eastern portion of Yellowstone National Park and adjoining areas of national forest and their population characteristics, habitat...

  12. Progress Report: Stratton Ecological Research Site - An Experimental Approach to Assess Effects of Various Grazing Treatments on Vegetation and Wildlife Communities Across Managed Burns and Habitat Controls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Heidi J.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Hobbs, N. Thompson

    2009-01-01

    Understanding how management practices affect wildlife is fundamental to wise decisions for conservation of public lands. Prescribed fire and grazing timing are two management tools frequently used within publicly owned sagebrush ecosystems. We conducted a variety of surveys in order to assess the impacts of grazing timing strategies (early summer before peak green-up, mid-summer at peak green-up, and late summer after peak green-up) in conjunction with prescribed fire on avian and small mammal populations in a high-elevation sagebrush ecosystem. Avian surveys resulted in a large detection sample size for three bird species: Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri), horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), and vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus). Brewer's sparrows had the lowest number of detections within the mid-summer grazing treatment compared to early and late summer grazing treatments, while horned larks and vesper sparrows had higher detection frequencies within the late summer grazing treatment. Summer and fall sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) pellet counts revealed that the greatest over-winter and over-summer use by sage-grouse occurred within the early summer grazing treatment with minimal use of burn treatment areas across all grazing treatments. Deer-mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) represented approximately 90 percent of small mammals captured and were most prevalent within the mid-summer grazing treatment. Sagebrush cover was greatest within the mid-summer grazing treatment. We monitored 50 and 103 nests in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The apparent success rate for shrub-obligate nesting species was 58 percent in 2007 and 63 percent in 2008. This research will support management of sagebrush ecosystems by providing public land managers with direct comparisons of wildlife response to management regimes.

  13. Greater autonomy at work

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Houtman, I.L.D.

    2004-01-01

    In the past 10 years, workers in the Netherlands increasingly report more decision-making power in their work. This is important for an economy in recession and where workers face greater work demands. It makes work more interesting, creates a healthier work environment, and provides opportunities

  14. Greater-confinement disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trevorrow, L.E.; Schubert, J.P.

    1989-01-01

    Greater-confinement disposal (GCD) is a general term for low-level waste (LLW) disposal technologies that employ natural and/or engineered barriers and provide a degree of confinement greater than that of shallow-land burial (SLB) but possibly less than that of a geologic repository. Thus GCD is associated with lower risk/hazard ratios than SLB. Although any number of disposal technologies might satisfy the definition of GCD, eight have been selected for consideration in this discussion. These technologies include: (1) earth-covered tumuli, (2) concrete structures, both above and below grade, (3) deep trenches, (4) augered shafts, (5) rock cavities, (6) abandoned mines, (7) high-integrity containers, and (8) hydrofracture. Each of these technologies employ several operations that are mature,however, some are at more advanced stages of development and demonstration than others. Each is defined and further described by information on design, advantages and disadvantages, special equipment requirements, and characteristic operations such as construction, waste emplacement, and closure

  15. More features, greater connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Sarah

    2015-09-01

    Changes in our political infrastructure, the continuing frailties of our economy, and a stark growth in population, have greatly impacted upon the perceived stability of the NHS. Healthcare teams have had to adapt to these changes, and so too have the technologies upon which they rely to deliver first-class patient care. Here Sarah Hunt, marketing co-ordinator at Aid Call, assesses how the changing healthcare environment has affected one of its fundamental technologies - the nurse call system, argues the case for wireless such systems in terms of what the company claims is greater adaptability to changing needs, and considers the ever-wider range of features and functions available from today's nurse call equipment, particularly via connectivity with both mobile devices, and ancillaries ranging from enuresis sensors to staff attack alert 'badges'.

  16. Greater oil investment opportunities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arenas, Ismael Enrique

    1997-01-01

    Geologically speaking, Colombia is a very attractive country for the world oil community. According to this philosophy new and important steps are being taken to reinforce the oil sector: Expansion of the exploratory frontier by including a larger number of sedimentary areas, and the adoption of innovative contracting instruments. Colombia has to offer, Greater economic incentives for the exploration of new areas to expand the exploratory frontier, stimulation of exploration in areas with prospectivity for small fields. Companies may offer Ecopetrol a participation in production over and above royalties, without it's participating in the investments and costs of these fields, more favorable conditions for natural gas seeking projects, in comparison with those governing the terms for oil

  17. The Habitat Connection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Consists of activities which address the causes of habitat destruction and the effects of habitat loss on animals and plants. Identifies habitat loss as the major reason for the endangerment and extinction of plant and animal species. (ML)

  18. Avian wildlife as sentinels of ecosystem health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smits, Judit E G; Fernie, Kimberly J

    2013-05-01

    Birds have been widely used as sentinels of ecosystem health reflecting changes in habitat quality, increased incidence of disease, and exposure to and effects of chemical contaminants. Numerous studies addressing these issues focus on the breeding period, since hormonal, behavioural, reproductive, and developmental aspects of the health can be observed over a relatively short time-span. Many body systems within individuals are tightly integrated and interdependent, and can be affected by contaminant chemicals, disease, and habitat changes in complex ways. Animals higher in the food web will reflect cumulative effects of multiple stressors. Such features make birds ideal indicators for assessing environmental health in areas of environmental concern. Five case studies are presented, highlighting the use of different species which have provided insight into ecosystem sustainability, including (i) the consequences of anthropogenic disturbances of sagebrush habitat on the greater northern sage grouse Centrocercus urophasianus; (ii) the high prevalence of disease in very specific passerine species in the Canary Islands closely paralleling deterioration of formerly productive desert habitat and ensuing interspecific stressors; (iii) fractures, abnormal bone structure, and associated biochemical aberrations in nestling storks exposed to acidic tailings mud from a dyke rupture at an iron pyrite mine near Sevilla, Spain; (iv) newly presented data demonstrating biochemical changes in nestling peregrine falcons Falco peregrinus and associations with exposure to major chemical classes in the Great Lakes Basin of Canada; and (v) the variability in responses of tree swallows Tachycineta bicolor to contaminants, biological and meteorological challenges when breeding in the Athabasca oil sands. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Science framework for conservation and restoration of the sagebrush biome: Linking the Department of the Interior’s Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy to long-term strategic conservation actions, Part 1. Science basis and applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Bradford, John B.; Bybee, Jared; Campbell, Steve; Carlson, John; Christiansen, Thomas J; Clause, Karen J.; Collins, Gail; Crist, Michele R.; Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Edwards, Fred; Espinosa, Shawn; Griffin, Kathleen A.; Griffin, Paul; Haas, Jessica R.; Hanser, Steven E.; Havlina, Douglas W.; Henke, Kenneth F.; Hennig, Jacob D.; Joyce, Linda A; Kilkenny, Francis F.; Kulpa, Sarah M; Kurth, Laurie L; Maestas, Jeremy D; Manning, Mary E.; Mayer, Kenneth E.; Mealor, Brian A.; McCarthy, Clinton; Pellant, Mike; Perea, Marco A.; Prentice, Karen L.; Pyke, David A.; Wiechman , Lief A.; Wuenschel, Amarina

    2017-01-01

    The Science Framework is intended to link the Department of the Interior’s Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy with long-term strategic conservation actions in the sagebrush biome. The Science Framework provides a multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies within the sagebrush biome. The emphasis is on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems and Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). The approach provided in the Science Framework links sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative, invasive plant species to species habitat information based on the distribution and abundance of focal species. A geospatial process is presented that overlays information on ecosystem resilience and resistance, species habitats, and predominant threats and that can be used at the mid-scale to prioritize areas for management. A resilience and resistance habitat matrix is provided that can help decisionmakers evaluate risks and determine appropriate management strategies. Prioritized areas and management strategies can be refined by managers and stakeholders at the local scale based on higher resolution data and local knowledge. Decision tools are discussed for determining appropriate management actions for areas that are prioritized for management. Geospatial data, maps, and models are provided through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) ScienceBase and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Landscape Approach Data Portal. The Science Framework is intended to be adaptive and will be updated as additional data become available on other values and species at risk. It is anticipated that the Science Framework will be widely used to: (1) inform emerging strategies to conserve sagebrush ecosystems, sagebrush dependent species, and human uses of the sagebrush system, and (2) assist managers in prioritizing and planning on-the-ground restoration and mitigation actions across the sagebrush biome.

  20. Latent spatial models and sampling design for landscape genetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanks, Ephraim M.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Knick, Steven T.; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Fike, Jennifer A.; Cross, Todd B.; Schwartz, Michael K.

    2016-01-01

    We propose a spatially-explicit approach for modeling genetic variation across space and illustrate how this approach can be used to optimize spatial prediction and sampling design for landscape genetic data. We propose a multinomial data model for categorical microsatellite allele data commonly used in landscape genetic studies, and introduce a latent spatial random effect to allow for spatial correlation between genetic observations. We illustrate how modern dimension reduction approaches to spatial statistics can allow for efficient computation in landscape genetic statistical models covering large spatial domains. We apply our approach to propose a retrospective spatial sampling design for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) population genetics in the western United States.

  1. Wildfire and invasive species in the west: challenges that hinder current and future management and protection of the sagebrush-steppe ecosystem: a Gap Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Kenneth F.; Anderson, Pete; Chambers, Jeanne; Boyd, Chad; Christiansen, Tom; Davis, Dawn; Espinosa, Shawn; Havlina, Doug; Ielmini, Michael; Kemner, Don; Kurth, Laurie; Maestas, Jeremy; Mealor, Brian; Milesneck, Ted; Niell, Lara; Pellant, Mike; Pyke, David A.; Tague, Joe; Vernon, Jason

    2013-01-01

    The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) to satisfy the 45-day report requirement identified in Cooperative Agreement (F13AC00353) between WAFWA and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) submit this “Gap Report”. This report summarizes the policy, fiscal and science challenges that land managers encounter related to the control and reduction of the invasive plant/fire complex, especially as it relates to the threaten or endangered species listing status of the Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus).

  2. Coastal Critical Habitat Designations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires the Federal government to designate critical habitat, areas of habitat essential to the species' conservation, for ESA...

  3. California Condor Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — These Data identify (in general) the areas where critical habitat for the California Condor occur. Critical habitat for the species consists of the following 10...

  4. Indicators: Physical Habitat Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Physical habitat complexity measures the amount and variety of all types of cove at the water’s edge in lakes. In general, dense and varied shoreline habitat is able to support more diverse communities of aquatic life.

  5. Habitat-related specialization of lateral-line system morphology in a habitat-generalist and a habitat-specialist New Zealand eleotrid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderpham, J P; Nakagawa, S; Senior, A M; Closs, G P

    2016-04-01

    An investigation of intraspecific habitat-related patterns of variation in oculoscapular lateral-line superficial neuromasts (SN) identified a decrease in the ratio of total SNs to pores, and a trend towards decreased asymmetry in SNs in the habitat-generalist common bully Gobiomorphus cotidianus from fluvial habitats compared to lacustrine habitats, suggesting habitat-related phenotypic variability. A greater ratio of pores to SNs, as well as less variation in the total number and asymmetry of SNs observed in the fluvial habitat-specialist redfin bully Gobiomorphus huttoni may provide further evidence of variations in the oculoscapular lateral-line morphology of fluvial habitat G. cotidianus individuals serving as adaptations to more turbulent environments. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  6. Loss and modification of habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemckert, Francis; Hecnar, Stephen; Pilliod, David S.; Wilkinson, John W.; Heatwole, Harold

    2012-01-01

    Amphibians live in a wide variety of habitats around the world, many of which have been modified or destroyed by human activities. Most species have unique life history characteristics adapted to specific climates, habitats (e.g., lentic, lotic, terrestrial, arboreal, fossorial, amphibious), and local conditions that provide suitable areas for reproduction, development and growth, shelter from environmental extremes, and predation, as well as connectivity to other populations or habitats. Although some species are entirely aquatic or terrestrial, most amphibians, as their name implies, lead a dual life and require a mosaic of habitats in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. With over 6 billion people on Earth, most species are now persisting in habitats that have been directly or indirectly influenced by human activities. Some species have disappeared where their habitats have been completely destroyed, reduced, or rendered unsuitable. Habitat loss and degradation are widely considered by most researchers as the most important causes of amphibian population decline globally (Barinaga 1990; Wake and Morowitz 1991; Alford and Richards 1999). In this chapter, a background on the diverse habitat requirements of amphibians is provided, followed by a discussion of the effects of urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, timber production and harvesting, fire and hazardous fuel management, and roads on amphibians and their habitats. Also briefly discussed is the influence on amphibian habitats of natural disturbances, such as extreme weather events and climate change, given the potential for human activities to impact climate in the longer term. For amphibians in general, microhabitats are of greater importance than for other vertebrates. As ectotherms with a skin that is permeable to water and with naked gelatinous eggs, amphibians are physiologically constrained to be active during environmental conditions that provide appropriate body temperatures and adequate

  7. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crooks, Kevin R; Burdett, Christopher L; Theobald, David M; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-09-27

    Although mammalian carnivores are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and require landscape connectivity, their global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity have not been examined. We use recently developed high-resolution habitat suitability models to conduct comparative analyses and to identify global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity for the world's terrestrial carnivores. Species with less fragmentation (i.e. more interior high-quality habitat) had larger geographical ranges, a greater proportion of habitat within their range, greater habitat connectivity and a lower risk of extinction. Species with higher connectivity (i.e. less habitat isolation) also had a greater proportion of high-quality habitat, but had smaller, not larger, ranges, probably reflecting shorter distances between habitat patches for species with restricted distributions; such species were also more threatened, as would be expected given the negative relationship between range size and extinction risk. Fragmentation and connectivity did not differ among Carnivora families, and body mass was associated with connectivity but not fragmentation. On average, only 54.3 per cent of a species' geographical range comprised high-quality habitat, and more troubling, only 5.2 per cent of the range comprised such habitat within protected areas. Identification of global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity will help guide strategic priorities for carnivore conservation.

  8. Riverine habitat dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, R.B.

    2013-01-01

    The physical habitat template is a fundamental influence on riverine ecosystem structure and function. Habitat dynamics refers to the variation in habitat through space and time as the result of varying discharge and varying geomorphology. Habitat dynamics can be assessed at spatial scales ranging from the grain (the smallest resolution at which an organism relates to its environment) to the extent (the broadest resolution inclusive of all space occupied during its life cycle). In addition to a potentially broad range of spatial scales, assessments of habitat dynamics may include dynamics of both occupied and nonoccupied habitat patches because of process interactions among patches. Temporal aspects of riverine habitat dynamics can be categorized into hydrodynamics and morphodynamics. Hydrodynamics refers to habitat variation that results from changes in discharge in the absence of significant change of channel morphology and at generally low sediment-transport rates. Hydrodynamic assessments are useful in cases of relatively high flow exceedance (percent of time a flow is equaled or exceeded) or high critical shear stress, conditions that are applicable in many studies of instream flows. Morphodynamics refers to habitat variation resulting from changes to substrate conditions or channel/floodplain morphology. Morphodynamic assessments are necessary when channel and floodplain boundary conditions have been significantly changed, generally by relatively rare flood events or in rivers with low critical shear stress. Morphodynamic habitat variation can be particularly important as disturbance mechanisms that mediate population growth or for providing conditions needed for reproduction, such as channel-migration events that erode cutbanks and provide new pointbar surfaces for germination of riparian trees. Understanding of habitat dynamics is increasing in importance as societal goals shift toward restoration of riverine ecosystems. Effective investment in restoration

  9. Wildlife mitigation and monitoring report Gunnison, Colorado, site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-04-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project is administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); its purpose is to cleanup uranium mill tailings and other contaminated material at 24 UMTRA Project sites in 10 states. This report summarizes the wildlife mitigation and monitoring program under way at the Gunnison UMTRA Project, Gunnison, Colorado. Remedial action at the Gunnison site was completed in December 1995 and is described in detail in the Gunnison completion report. The impacts of this activity were analyzed in the Gunnison environmental assessment (EA). These impacts included two important game species: the pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americans) and sage grouse (Wentrocerus urophasianus). Haul truck traffic was predicted to limit antelope access to water sources north of the Tenderfoot Mountain haul road and that truck traffic along this and other haul roads could result in antelope road kills. Clearing land at the disposal cell, haul road and borrow site activities, and the associated human activities also were predicted to negatively impact (directly and indirectly) sage grouse breeding, nesting, loafing, and wintering habitat. As a result, an extensive mitigation and monitoring plan began in 1992. Most of the monitoring studies are complete and the results of these studies, written by different authors, appear in numerous reports. This report will: (1) Analyze existing impacts and compare them to predicted impacts. (2) Summarize mitigation measures. (3) Summarize all existing monitoring data in one report. (4) Analyze the effectiveness of the mitigation measures

  10. Stratification of habitats for identifying habitat selection by Merriam's turkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1992-01-01

    Habitat selection patterns of Merriam’s Turkeys were compared in hierarchical analyses of three levels of habitat stratification. Habitat descriptions in first-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation. Habitat descriptions in second-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation and overstory canopy cover. Habitat descriptions in third-...

  11. Surface Habitat Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.

    2009-01-01

    The Surface Habitat Systems (SHS) Focused Investment Group (FIG) is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) effort to provide a focused direction and funding to the various projects that are working on human surface habitat designs and technologies for the planetary exploration missions. The overall SHS-FIG effort focuses on directing and guiding those projects that: 1) develop and demonstrate new surface habitat system concepts, innovations, and technologies to support human exploration missions, 2) improve environmental systems that interact with human habitats, 3) handle and emplace human surface habitats, and 4) focus on supporting humans living and working in habitats on planetary surfaces. The activity areas of the SHS FIG described herein are focused on the surface habitat project near-term objectives as described in this document. The SHS-FIG effort focuses on mitigating surface habitat risks (as identified by the Lunar Surface Systems Project Office (LSSPO) Surface Habitat Element Team; and concentrates on developing surface habitat technologies as identified in the FY08 gap analysis. The surface habitat gap assessment will be updated annually as the surface architecture and surface habitat definition continues to mature. These technologies are mapped to the SHS-FIG Strategic Development Roadmap. The Roadmap will bring to light the areas where additional innovative efforts are needed to support the development of habitat concepts and designs and the development of new technologies to support of the LSSPO Habitation Element development plan. Three specific areas of development that address Lunar Architecture Team (LAT)-2 and Constellation Architecture Team (CxAT) Lunar habitat design issues or risks will be focused on by the SHS-FIG. The SHS-FIG will establish four areas of development that will help the projects prepare in their planning for surface habitat systems development. Those development areas are

  12. Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Handbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, Edward L., Jr.; Benson, Delwin E.

    The National 4-H Wildlife Invitational is a competitive event to teach youth about the fundamentals of wildlife management. Youth learn that management for wildlife means management of wildlife habitat and providing for the needs of wildlife. This handbook provides information about wildlife habitat management concepts in both urban and rural…

  13. Wildlife habitat considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helen Y. Smith

    2000-01-01

    Fire, insects, disease, harvesting, and precommercial thinning all create mosaics on Northern Rocky Mountain landscapes. These mosaics are important for faunal habitat. Consequently, changes such as created openings or an increase in heavily stocked areas affect the water, cover, and food of forest habitats. The “no action” alternative in ecosystem management of low...

  14. Critical Habitat :: NOAA Fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    occupied by the species at the time of listing, if they contain physical or biological features essential essential for conservation. Critical Habitat Maps NOTE: The critical habitat maps provided here are for Data Leatherback Turtle (U.S. West Coast) » Biological Report » Economic Report 2012 77 FR 4170 Go to

  15. Habitat Blocks and Wildlife Corridors

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — Habitat blocks are areas of contiguous forest and other natural habitats that are unfragmented by roads, development, or agriculture. Vermonts habitat blocks are...

  16. 75 FR 59899 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Proposed Rulemaking To Designate Critical Habitat...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-28

    ... designation, including supporting information on black abalone biology, distribution, and habitat use, and the..., habitat, biology, and threats to habitat for black abalone. In preparing this rule, we reviewed and..., and sedimentary) that contain channels with macro- and micro-crevices or large boulders (greater than...

  17. Designated Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — Critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining populations of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as...

  18. VT Wildlife Linkage Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — (Link to Metadata) The Wildlife Linkage Habitat Analysis uses landscape scale data to identify or predict the location of potentially significant wildlife linkage...

  19. Deep Space Habitat Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Deep Space Habitat was closed out at the end of Fiscal Year 2013 (September 30, 2013). Results and select content have been incorporated into the new Exploration...

  20. Smalltooth Sawfish Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinatat) as designated by 74 FR 45353, September 2, 2009, Rules and Regulations.

  1. Right Whale Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Right Whale as designated by Federal Register Vol. 59, No. 28805, May 19, 1993, Rules and Regulations.

  2. Johnsons Seagrass Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Johnson's Seagrass as designated by Federal Register Vol. 65, No. 66, Wednesday, April 5, 2000, Rules and Regulations.

  3. Green Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for green turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations.

  4. Habitat Mapping Camera (HABCAM)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset entails imagery collected using the HabCam towed underwater vehicle and annotated data on objects or habitats in the images and notes on image...

  5. [Autoerotic fatalities in Greater Dusseldorf].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartung, Benno; Hellen, Florence; Borchard, Nora; Huckenbeck, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Autoerotic fatalities in the Greater Dusseldorf area correspond to the relevant medicolegal literature. Our results included exclusively young to middle-aged, usually single men who were found dead in their city apartments. Clothing and devices used showed a great variety. Women's or fetish clothing and complex shackling or hanging devices were disproportionately frequent. In most cases, death occurred due to hanging or ligature strangulation. There was no increased incidence of underlying psychiatric disorders. In most of the deceased no or at least no remarkable alcohol intoxication was found. Occasionally, it may be difficult to reliably differentiate autoerotic accidents, accidents occurring in connection with practices of bondage & discipline, dominance & submission (BDSM) from natural death, suicide or homicide.

  6. Planning for greater confinement disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gilbert, T.L.; Luner, C.; Meshkov, N.K.; Trevorrow, L.E.; Yu, C.

    1985-01-01

    A report that provides guidance for planning for greater-confinement disposal (GCD) of low-level radioactive waste is being prepared. The report addresses procedures for selecting a GCD technology and provides information for implementing these procedures. The focus is on GCD; planning aspects common to GCD and shallow-land burial are covered by reference. Planning procedure topics covered include regulatory requirements, waste characterization, benefit-cost-risk assessment and pathway analysis methodologies, determination of need, waste-acceptance criteria, performance objectives, and comparative assessment of attributes that support these objectives. The major technologies covered include augered shafts, deep trenches, engineered structures, hydrofracture, improved waste forms, and high-integrity containers. Descriptive information is provided, and attributes that are relevant for risk assessment and operational requirements are given. 10 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs

  7. Partitioning mechanisms of predator interference in different habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-01-01

    Prey are often consumed by multiple predator species. Predation rates on shared prey species measured in isolation often do not combine additively due to interference or facilitation among the predator species. Furthermore, the strength of predator interactions and resulting prey mortality may change with habitat type. We experimentally examined predation on amphipods in rock and algal habitats by two species of intertidal crabs, Hemigrapsus sanguineus (top predators) and Carcinus maenas (intermediate predators). Algae provided a safer habitat for amphipods when they were exposed to only a single predator species. When both predator species were present, mortality of amphipods was less than additive in both habitats. However, amphipod mortality was reduced more in rock than algal habitat because intermediate predators were less protected in rock habitat and were increasingly targeted by omnivorous top predators. We found that prey mortality in general was reduced by (1) altered foraging behavior of intermediate predators in the presence of top predators, (2) top predators switching to foraging on intermediate predators rather than shared prey, and (3) density reduction of intermediate predators. The relative importance of these three mechanisms was the same in both habitats; however, the magnitude of each was greater in rock habitat. Our study demonstrates that the strength of specific mechanisms of interference between top and intermediate predators can be quantified but cautions that these results may be habitat specific.

  8. Waste management in Greater Vancouver

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carrusca, K. [Greater Vancouver Regional District, Burnaby, BC (Canada); Richter, R. [Montenay Inc., Vancouver, BC (Canada)]|[Veolia Environmental Services, Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    An outline of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) waste-to-energy program was presented. The GVRD has an annual budget for solid waste management of $90 million. Energy recovery revenues from solid waste currently exceed $10 million. Over 1,660,00 tonnes of GVRD waste is recycled, and another 280,000 tonnes is converted from waste to energy. The GVRD waste-to-energy facility combines state-of-the-art combustion and air pollution control, and has processed over 5 million tonnes of municipal solid waste since it opened in 1988. Its central location minimizes haul distance, and it was originally sited to utilize steam through sales to a recycle paper mill. The facility has won several awards, including the Solid Waste Association of North America award for best facility in 1990. The facility focuses on continual improvement, and has installed a carbon injection system; an ammonia injection system; a flyash stabilization system; and heat capacity upgrades in addition to conducting continuous waste composition studies. Continuous air emissions monitoring is also conducted at the plant, which produces a very small percentage of the total air emissions in metropolitan Vancouver. The GVRD is now seeking options for the management of a further 500,000 tonnes per year of solid waste, and has received 23 submissions from a range of waste energy technologies which are now being evaluated. It was concluded that waste-to-energy plants can be located in densely populated metropolitan areas and provide a local disposal solution as well as a source of renewable energy. Other GVRD waste reduction policies were also reviewed. refs., tabs., figs.

  9. Scale-dependent seasonal pool habitat use by sympatric Wild Brook Trout and Brown Trout populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Lori A.; Wagner, Tyler

    2016-01-01

    Sympatric populations of native Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis and naturalized Brown Trout Salmo truttaexist throughout the eastern USA. An understanding of habitat use by sympatric populations is of importance for fisheries management agencies because of the close association between habitat and population dynamics. Moreover, habitat use by stream-dwelling salmonids may be further complicated by several factors, including the potential for fish to display scale-dependent habitat use. Discrete-choice models were used to (1) evaluate fall and early winter daytime habitat use by sympatric Brook Trout and Brown Trout populations based on available residual pool habitat within a stream network and (2) assess the sensitivity of inferred habitat use to changes in the spatial scale of the assumed available habitat. Trout exhibited an overall preference for pool habitats over nonpool habitats; however, the use of pools was nonlinear over time. Brook Trout displayed a greater preference for deep residual pool habitats than for shallow pool and nonpool habitats, whereas Brown Trout selected for all pool habitat categories similarly. Habitat use by both species was found to be scale dependent. At the smallest spatial scale (50 m), habitat use was primarily related to the time of year and fish weight. However, at larger spatial scales (250 and 450 m), habitat use varied over time according to the study stream in which a fish was located. Scale-dependent relationships in seasonal habitat use by Brook Trout and Brown Trout highlight the importance of considering scale when attempting to make inferences about habitat use; fisheries managers may want to consider identifying the appropriate spatial scale when devising actions to restore and protect Brook Trout populations and their habitats.

  10. U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2016 annual report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Zachary H.; Aikens, Ellen; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Anderson, Patrick J.; Assal, Timothy J.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Chong, Geneva W.; Eddy-Miller, Cheryl; Garman, Steven L.; Germaine, Stephen S.; Homer, Collin G.; Johnston, Aaron; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Manier, Daniel J.; Melcher, Cynthia P.; Miller, Kirk A.; Walters, Annika W.; Wheeler, Jerrod D.; Wieferich, Daniel; Wilson, Anna B.; Wyckoff, Teal B.; Zeigenfuss, Linda C.

    2018-05-10

    was in review at the end of the fiscal year, and seven projects monitoring water and vegetation (including changes in sagebrush cover and patterns of sagebrush mortality) continued through the year. USGS scientists continued many projects in FY2016 that evaluate the effectiveness of habitat conservation actions (including sagebrush, cheatgrass, and aspen habitat treatments) and provide tools in support of mechanistic studies of wildlife. In FY2016, USGS scientists, along with university and State partners, continued work on five focal wildlife species/communities (pygmy rabbits [Brachylagus idahoensis], greater sage grouse , mule deer, sagebrush songbirds, and native fish). In FY2016, the USGS Information Management Team presented information to WLCI scientists on how USGS tools and resources can be used to fulfill the requirements of new USGS policies regarding data release, data management, and data visualization.

  11. Behavioural cues surpass habitat factors in explaining prebreeding resource selection by a migratory diving duck

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neil, Shawn T.; Warren, Jeffrey M.; Takekawa, John Y.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Cutting, Kyle A.; Parker, Michael W.; Yee, Julie L.

    2014-01-01

    Prebreeding habitat selection in birds can often be explained in part by habitat characteristics. However, females may also select habitats on the basis of fidelity to areas of previous reproductive success or use by conspecifics. The relative influences of sociobehavioural attributes versus habitat characteristics in habitat selection has been primarily investigated in songbirds, while less is known about how these factors affect habitat selection processes in migratory waterfowl. Animal resource selection models often exhibit much unexplained variation; spatial patterns driven by social and behavioural characteristics may account for some of this. We radiomarked female lesser scaup, Aythya affinis, in the southwestern extent of their breeding range to explore hypotheses regarding relative roles of habitat quality, site fidelity and conspecific density in prebreeding habitat selection. We used linear mixed-effects models to relate intensity of use within female home ranges to habitat features, distance to areas of reproductive success during the previous breeding season and conspecific density. Home range habitats included shallow water (≤118 cm), moderate to high densities of flooded emergent vegetation/open water edge and open water areas with submerged aquatic vegetation. Compared with habitat features, conspecific female density and proximity to successful nesting habitats from the previous breeding season had greater influences on habitat use within home ranges. Fidelity and conspecific attraction are behavioural characteristics in some waterfowl species that may exert a greater influence than habitat features in influencing prebreeding space use and habitat selection within home ranges, particularly where quality habitat is abundant. These processes may be of critical importance to a better understanding of habitat selection in breeding birds.

  12. Public access management as an adaptive wildlife management tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouren, Douglas S.; Watts, Raymond D.

    2005-01-01

    Wildlife populations across the United States are benefiting from improved wildlife management techniques. However, these benefits also create new challenges including overpopulation, disease, increased winter kill, and forage degradation. These issues have become the challenges for natural resource managers and landowners. Specifically, elk (Cervus elaphus) populations in the Gunnison River Valley of Colorado are growing and causing increased resource damage on public and private lands. On public lands elk threaten sage grouse habitat and compete with domestic livestock for available forage; on private lands they diminish available livestock forage. Management of elk and elk habitat in this area is a shared responsibility of the NPS (Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area), BLM (Uncompahgre Field Office), USFS (Gunnison National Forest), and the CDOW (Colorado Division of Wildlife). All of these agencies participate in this research and adaptive management project.

  13. Plant Guide: Tapertip hawksbeard (Crepis acuminata Nutt.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derek Tilley; Scott Jensen; Loren St. John

    2012-01-01

    Tapertip hawksbeard leaves are consumed by pre-laying sage grouse hens and make up a large portion of their diet (Barnett and Crawford, 1994). Sage grouse chicks also feed on tapertip hawksbeard leaves in addition to the insects attracted by the flowers (Drut and others, 1994; Klebenow and Gray, 1968).

  14. Saproxylic Hemiptera Habitat Associations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael D. Ulyshen; James L. Hanula; Robert L. Blinn; Gene. Kritsky

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the habitat requirements of organisms associated with dead wood is important in order to conserve them in managed forests. Unfortunately, many of the less diverse saproxylic taxa, including Hemiptera, remain largely unstudied. An effort to rear insects from dead wood taken from two forest types (an upland pine-dominated and a bottomland mixed hardwood),...

  15. Colonization of subterranean habitats by spiders in Central Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vlastimil Růžička

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Using data from the Czech Republic, we studied the distribution of spiders in soils, crevice systems, scree and caves, i.e. subterranean habitats at depths spanning from 10 cm to 100 m. In total, we found 161 species. The number of species declines with increasing habitat depth, with a major drop in species richness at the depth of 10 meters. Thirteen species exhibit morphological adaptations to life in subterranean habitats. At depths greater than 10 meters, spider assemblages are almost exclusively composed of troglomorphic species. We propose a hypothesis of evolution of troglomorphisms at spiders during Quaternary climatic cycles.

  16. NEPR Benthic Habitat Map 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This benthic habitat map was created from a semi-automated habitat mapping process, using a combination of bathymetry, satellite imagery, aerial imagery and...

  17. NORTHWOODS Wildlife Habitat Data Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark D. Nelson; Janine M. Benyus; Richard R. Buech

    1992-01-01

    Wildlife habitat data from seven Great Lakes National Forests were combined into a wildlife-habitat matrix named NORTHWOODS. Several electronic file formats of NORTHWOODS data base and documentation are available on floppy disks for microcomputers.

  18. The value of carbon sequestration and storage in coastal habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaumont, N. J.; Jones, L.; Garbutt, A.; Hansom, J. D.; Toberman, M.

    2014-01-01

    Coastal margin habitats are globally significant in terms of their capacity to sequester and store carbon, but their continuing decline, due to environmental change and human land use decisions, is reducing their capacity to provide this ecosystem service. In this paper the UK is used as a case study area to develop methodologies to quantify and value the ecosystem service of blue carbon sequestration and storage in coastal margin habitats. Changes in UK coastal habitat area between 1900 and 2060 are documented, the long term stocks of carbon stored by these habitats are calculated, and the capacity of these habitats to sequester CO2 is detailed. Changes in value of the carbon sequestration service of coastal habitats are then projected for 2000-2060 under two scenarios, the maintenance of the current state of the habitat and the continuation of current trends of habitat loss. If coastal habitats are maintained at their current extent, their sequestration capacity over the period 2000-2060 is valued to be in the region of £1 billion UK sterling (3.5% discount rate). However, if current trends of habitat loss continue, the capacity of the coastal habitats both to sequester and store CO2 will be significantly reduced, with a reduction in value of around £0.25 billion UK sterling (2000-2060; 3.5% discount rate). If loss-trends due to sea level rise or land reclamation worsen, this loss in value will be greater. This case study provides valuable site specific information, but also highlights global issues regarding the quantification and valuation of carbon sequestration and storage. Whilst our ability to value ecosystem services is improving, considerable uncertainty remains. If such ecosystem valuations are to be incorporated with confidence into national and global policy and legislative frameworks, it is necessary to address this uncertainty. Recommendations to achieve this are outlined.

  19. Sound solutions for habitat monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary M. Rowland; Lowell H. Suring; Christina D. Vojta

    2015-01-01

    For agencies and organizations to effectively manage wildlife, knowledge about the status and trend of wildlife habitat is critical. Traditional wildlife monitoring, however, has focused on populations rather than habitat, because ultimately population status drives long-term species viability. Still, habitat loss has contributed to the decline of nearly all at-risk...

  20. Habitat Use Database - Groundfish Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Habitat Use Database (HUD)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Habitat Use Database (HUD) was specifically designed to address the need for habitat-use analyses in support of groundfish EFH, HAPCs, and fishing and nonfishing...

  1. Loss and modification of habitat: Chapter 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemckert, Francis; Hecnar, Stephen; Pilliod, David S.

    2012-01-01

    Amphibians live in a wide variety of habitats around the world, many of which have been modified or destroyed by human activities. Most species have unique life history characteristics adapted to specific climates, habitats (e.g., lentic, lotic, terrestrial, arboreal, fossorial, amphibious), and local conditions that provide suitable areas for reproduction, development and growth, shelter from environmental extremes, and predation, as well as connectivity to other populations or habitats. Although some species are entirely aquatic or terrestrial, most amphibians, as their name implies, lead a dual life and require a mosaic of habitats in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. With over 6 billion people on Earth, most species are now persisting in habitats that have been directly or indirectly influenced by human activities. Some species have disappeared where their habitats have been completely destroyed, reduced, or rendered unsuitable. Habitat loss and degradation are widely considered by most researchers as the most important causes of amphibian population decline globally (Barinaga 1990; Wake and Morowitz 1991; Alford and Richards 1999). In this chapter, a background on the diverse habitat requirements of amphibians is provided, followed by a discussion of the effects of urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, timber production and harvesting, fire and hazardous fuel management, and roads on amphibians and their habitats. Also briefly discussed is the influence on amphibian habitats of natural disturbances, such as extreme weather events and climate change, given the potential for human activities to impact climate in the longer term. For amphibians in general, microhabitats are of greater importance than for other vertebrates. As ectotherms with a skin that is permeable to water and with naked gelatinous eggs, amphibians are physiologically constrained to be active during environmental conditions that provide appropriate body temperatures and adequate

  2. A meta-analysis of lesser prairie-chicken nesting and brood-rearing habitats: implications for habitat management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Christian A.; Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.

    2013-01-01

    The distribution and range of lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has been reduced by >90% since European settlement of the Great Plains of North America. Currently, lesser prairie-chickens occupy 3 general vegetation communities: sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia), sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii), and mixed-grass prairies juxtaposed with Conservation Reserve Program grasslands. As a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act, there is a need for a synthesis that characterizes habitat structure rangewide. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis of vegetation characteristics at nest sites and brood habitats to determine whether there was an overall effect (Hedges' d) of habitat selection and to estimate average (95% CI) habitat characteristics at use sites. We estimated effect sizes (di) from the difference between use (nests and brood sites) and random sampling sites for each study (n = 14), and derived an overall effect size (d++). There was a general effect for habitat selection as evidenced by low levels of variation in effect sizes across studies and regions. There was a small to medium effect (d++) = 0.20-0.82) of selection for greater vertical structure (visual obstruction) by nesting females in both vegetation communities, and selection against bare ground (d++ = 0.20-0.58). Females with broods exhibited less selectivity for habitat components except for vertical structure. The variation of d++ was greater during nesting than brooding periods, signifying a seasonal shift in habitat use, and perhaps a greater range of tolerance for brood-rearing habitat. The overall estimates of vegetation cover were consistent with those provided in management guidelines for the species.

  3. The micro-habitat methodology. Application protocols

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabaton, C; Valentin, S; Souchon, Y

    1995-06-01

    A strong need has been felt for guidelines to help various entities in applying the micro-habitat methodology, particularly in impact studies on hydroelectric installations. CEMAGREF and Electricite de France have developed separately two protocols with five major steps: reconnaissance of the river, selection of representative units to be studied in greater depth, morpho-dynamic measurements at one or more rates of discharge and hydraulic modeling, coupling of hydraulic and biological models, calculation of habitat-quality scores for fish, analysis of results. The two approaches give very comparable results and are essentially differentiated by the hydraulic model used. CEMAGREF uses a one-dimensional model requiring measurements at only one discharge rate. Electricite de France uses a simplified model based on measurements at several rates of discharge. This approach is possible when discharge can be controlled in the study area during data acquisition, as is generally the case downstream of hydroelectric installations. The micro-habitat methodology is now a fully operational tool with which to study changes in fish habitat quality in relation to varying discharge. It provides an element of assessment pertinent to the choice of instreaming flow to be maintained downstream of a hydroelectric installation; this information is essential when the flow characteristics (velocity, depth) and the nature of the river bed are the preponderant factors governing habitat suitability for trout or salmon. The ultimate decision must nonetheless take into account any other potentially limiting factors for the biocenoses on the one hand, and the target water use objectives on the other. In many cases, compromises must be found among different uses, different species and different stages in the fish development cycle. (Abstract Truncated)

  4. U.S. Geological Survey Science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative - 2008 Annual Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Zachary H.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Anderson, Patrick J.; Assal, Timothy J.; Baer, Lori Anne; Bristol, R. Sky; Carr, Natasha B.; Chong, Geneva W.; Diffendorfer, Jay E.; Fedy, Bradley C.; Garman, Steven L.; Germaine, Stephen S.; Grauch, Richard I.; Homer, Collin G.; Manier, Daniel J.; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Latysh, Natalie; Melcher, Cynthia P.; Miller, Kirk A.; Montag, Jessica; Nutt, Constance J.; Potter, Christopher; Sawyer, Hall; Smith, David B.; Sweat, Michael J.; Wilson, Anna B.

    2009-01-01

    for terrestrial indicators, and evaluations of alternative monitoring designs are underway. Initial models and map products have been developed for assessing vegetation, surface disturbance, oil and gas resources, mineral resources, surficial geology, invasive species, aspen treatments, ungulate migration corridors, greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis), and songbirds, and data were collected or compiled to validate and refine the models. Coordination and collaboration among partners has led to the production of several documents addressing WLCI objectives, strategies, and guiding principles, and has facilitated implementation of on-the-ground habitat treatments.

  5. Transient habitats limit development time for periodical cicadas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karban, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) mature in 13 or 17 years, the longest development times for any non-diapausing insects. Selection may favor prolonged development since nymphs experience little mortality and individuals taking 17 years have been shown to have greater fecundity than those taking 13 years. Why don't periodical cicadas take even longer to develop? Nymphs feed on root xylem fluid and move little. Ovipositing females prefer fast-growing trees at forest edges. I hypothesized that (1) adults emerging at edges would be heavier than those from forest interiors and (2) habitat changes could limit development time. I collected newly eclosed females that had neither fed as adults nor moved from their site of development. For M. septendecim, females from edges were 4.9% heavier than those from the interior. I assumed that emergence density indicated habitat quality and measured density at eight sites in 1979, 1996, and 2013. Over three generations, variation in densities was great; densities at two sites crashed, and at one site they exploded to 579/m2 Habitat transience may limit development time because only adults can reassess habitats and reposition offspring. In conclusion, cicadas are affected by habitat characteristics, habitats change over 17 years, and cicadas may emerge, mate, and redistribute their offspring to track habitat dynamics.

  6. Plant Habitat (PH)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onate, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    The International Space Station (ISS) will soon have a platform for conducting fundamental research of Large Plants. Plant Habitat (PH) is designed to be a fully controllable environment for high-quality plant physiological research. PH will control light quality, level, and timing, temperature, CO2, relative humidity, and irrigation, while scrubbing ethylene. Additional capabilities include leaf temperature and root zone moisture and oxygen sensing. The light cap will have red (630 nm), blue (450 nm), green (525 nm), far red (730 nm) and broad spectrum white LEDs. There will be several internal cameras (visible and IR) to monitor and record plant growth and operations.

  7. Encroachment of oriental bittersweet into Pitcher’s thistle habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leicht-Young, Stacey A.; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2012-01-01

    Common invasive species and rare endemic species can grow and interact at the ecotone between forested and non-forested dune habitats. To investigate these interactions, a comparison of the proximity and community associates of a sympatric invasive (Celastrus orbiculatus; oriental bittersweet) and native (C. scandens; American bittersweet) liana species to federally threatened Cirsium pitcheri (Pitcher's thistle) in the dunes habitats of Lake Michigan was conducted. Overall, the density of the invasive liana species was significantly greater in proximity to C. pitcheri than the native species. On the basis of composition, the three focal species occurred in both foredune and blowout habitats. The plant communities associated with the three focal species overlapped in ordination space, but there were significant differences in composition. The ability of C. orbiculatus to rapidly grow and change the ecological dynamics of invasion sites adds an additional threat to the successional habitats of C. pitcheri.

  8. The impacts of intensity of human use on grizzly bear habitat selection

    OpenAIRE

    Ouren, Douglas S.; Garrott, Robert A.; Watts, Raymond D.; Lukins, William J.

    2003-01-01

    Problem Statement One of the major challenges to grizzly bear preservation in the greater Yellowstone area is the impact on grizzly bear habitat selection by various types and intensities of human activities. The most prevalent of these human activities is the presence and intensity of use of motorized transportation systems. These transportation systems provide increased access into grizzly bear habitat and thus increase the risk of mortality and dilute the effectiveness of their habitat (Br...

  9. Vacant habitats in the Universe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S

    2011-02-01

    The search for life on other planets usually makes the assumption that where there is a habitat, it will contain life. On the present-day Earth, uninhabited habitats (or vacant habitats) are rare, but might occur, for example, in subsurface oils or impact craters that have been thermally sterilized in the past. Beyond Earth, vacant habitats might similarly exist on inhabited planets or on uninhabited planets, for example on a habitable planet where life never originated. The hypothesis that vacant habitats are abundant in the Universe is testable by studying other planets. In this review, I discuss how the study of vacant habitats might ultimately inform an understanding of how life has influenced geochemical conditions on Earth. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Habitat segregation in fish assemblages

    OpenAIRE

    Ibbotson, A.T.

    1990-01-01

    The segregation of habitats of fish assemblages found in the chalk streams and rivers within the Wessex, South West and Southern Water Authority boundaries in southern England have been examined. Habitat segregation is the most frequent type of resource partitioning in natural communities. The habitat of individual fish species will be defined in order to determine the following: (1) the requirements of each species in terms of depth, current velocity, substrate, cover etc.; (2) identify the ...

  11. Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Assess Vegetative Cover in Sagebrush Steppe Ecosytstems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robert P. Breckenridge

    2005-09-01

    The Idaho National Laboratory (INL), in conjunction with the University of Idaho, is evaluating novel approaches for using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as a quicker and safer method for monitoring biotic resources. Evaluating vegetative cover is an important factor in understanding the sustainability of many ecosystems. In assessing vegetative cover, methods that improve accuracy and cost efficiency could revolutionize how biotic resources are monitored on western federal lands. Sagebrush steppe ecosystems provide important habitat for a variety of species, some of which are important indicator species (e.g., sage grouse). Improved methods are needed to support monitoring these habitats because there are not enough resource specialists or funds available for comprehensive ground evaluation of these ecosystems. In this project, two types of UAV platforms (fixed wing and helicopter) were used to collect still-frame imagery to assess cover in sagebrush steppe ecosystems. This paper discusses the process for collecting and analyzing imagery from the UAVs to (1) estimate total percent cover, (2) estimate percent cover for six different types of vegetation, and (3) locate sage grouse based on representative decoys. The field plots were located on the INL site west of Idaho Falls, Idaho, in areas with varying amounts and types of vegetative cover. A software program called SamplePoint developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) was used to evaluate the imagery for percent cover for the six vegetation types (bare ground, litter, shrubs, dead shrubs, grasses, and forbs). Results were compared against standard field measurements to assess accuracy.

  12. Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Assess Vegetative Cover and Identify Biotic Resources in Sagebrush Steppe Ecosystems: Preliminary Evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robert P. Breckenridge

    2006-04-01

    The Idaho National Laboratory (INL), in conjunction with the University of Idaho, is evaluating novel approaches for using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as a quicker and safer method for monitoring biotic resources. Evaluating vegetative cover is an important factor in understanding the sustainability of many ecosystems. In assessing vegetative cover, methods that improve accuracy and cost efficiency could revolutionize how biotic resources are monitored on western federal lands. Sagebrush steppe ecosystems provide important habitat for a variety of species, some of which are important indicator species (e.g., sage grouse). Improved methods are needed to support monitoring these habitats because there are not enough resource specialists or funds available for comprehensive ground evaluation of these ecosystems. In this project, two types of UAV platforms (fixed wing and helicopter) were used to collect still-frame imagery to assess cover in sagebrush steppe ecosystems. This paper discusses the process for collecting and analyzing imagery from the UAVs to (1) estimate total percent cover, (2) estimate percent cover for six different types of vegetation, and (3) locate sage grouse based on representative decoys. The field plots were located on the INL site west of Idaho Falls, Idaho, in areas with varying amounts and types of vegetative cover. A software program called SamplePoint developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service was used to evaluate the imagery for percent cover for the six vegetation types (bare ground, litter, shrubs, dead shrubs, grasses, and forbs). Results were compared against standard field measurements to assess accuracy.

  13. Diet composition of age-0 fishes in created habitats of the Lower Missouri River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starks, Trevor A.; Long, James M.

    2017-01-01

    Channelization of the Missouri River has greatly reduced the availability of shallow water habitats used by many larval and juvenile fishes and contributed to imperilment of floodplain-dependent biota. Creation of small side channels, or chutes, is being used to restore shallow water habitat and reverse negative environmental effects associated with channelization. In the summer of 2012, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers collected early life stages of fishes from constructed chutes and nearby unrestored shallow habitats at six sites on the Missouri River between Rulo, Nebraska and St. Louis, Missouri. We compared the diets of two abundant species of fishes to test the hypothesis that created shallow chutes provided better foraging habitat for early life stages than nearby unrestored shallow habitats. Graphical analysis of feeding patterns of freshwater drum indicated specialization on chironomid larvae, which were consumed in greater numbers in unrestored mainstem reaches compared to chutes. Hiodon spp. were more generalist feeders with no differences in prey use between habitat types. Significantly greater numbers of individuals with empty stomachs were observed in chute shallow-water habitats, indicating poor foraging habitat. For these two species, constructed chute shallow-water habitat does not appear to provide the hypothesized benefits of higher quality foraging habitat.

  14. Landscape evaluation of female black bear habitat effectiveness and capability in the North Cascades, Washington.

    Science.gov (United States)

    William L. Gaines; Andrea L. Lyons; John F. Lehmkuhl; Kenneth J. Raedeke

    2005-01-01

    We used logistic regression to derive scaled resource selection functions (RSFs) for female black bears at two study areas in the North Cascades Mountains. We tested the hypothesis that the influence of roads would result in potential habitat effectiveness (RSFs without the influence of roads) being greater than realized habitat effectiveness (RSFs with roads). Roads...

  15. European red list of habitats. Part 1: Marine habitats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gubbay, S.; Sanders, N.; Haynes, T.; Janssen, J.A.M.; Rodwell, J.R.; Nieto, A.; Garcia Criado, M.; Beal, S.; Borg, J.

    2016-01-01

    The European Red List of Habitats provides an overview of the risk
    of collapse (degree of endangerment) of marine, terrestrial and
    freshwater habitats in the European Union (EU28) and adjacent
    regions (EU28+), based on a consistent set of categories and
    criteria, and detailed data

  16. Headwater Stream Management Dichotomies: Local Amphibian Habitat vs. Downstream Fish Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, C. R.

    2002-12-01

    Small headwater streams in mountainous areas of the Pacific Northwest often do not harbor fish populations because of low water depth and high gradients. Rather, these streams provide habitat for dense assemblages of stream-dwelling amphibians. A variety of management goals have been suggested for such streams such as encouraging large woody debris recruitment to assist in sediment trapping and valley floor formation, encouraging large woody debris recruitment to provide downstream wood when debris flows occur, providing continuous linear stream buffers within forest harvest areas to provide shade and bank stability, etc. A basic problem with analying the geomorphic or biotic benefits of any of these strategies is the lack of explicit management goals for such streams. Should managers strive to optimize downstream fish habitat, local amphibian habitat, or both? Through observational data and theoretical considerations, it will be shown that these biotic goals will lead to very different geomorphic management recommendations. For instance, woody debris greater than 60 cm diameter may assist in valley floor development, but it is likely to create subsurface channel flow of unknown value to amphibians. Trapping and retention of fine sediments within headwater streams may improve downstream spawning gravels, but degrades stream-dwelling amphibian habitat. In response to the need for descriptive information on habitat and channel morphology specific to small, non-fish-bearing streams in the Pacific Northwest, morphologies and wood frequencies in forty-two first- and second-order forested streams less than four meters wide were surveyed. Frequencies and size distributions of woody debris were compared between small streams and larger fish-bearing streams as well as between second-growth and virgin timber streams. Statistical models were developed to explore dominant factors affecting channel morphology and habitat. Findings suggest geomorphological relationships

  17. Our cosmic habitat

    CERN Document Server

    Rees, Martin

    2001-01-01

    Our universe seems strangely 'biophilic,' or hospitable to life. Is this providence or coincidence? According to Martin Rees, the answer depends on the answer to another question, the one posed by Einstein's famous remark: 'What interests me most is whether God could have made the world differently.' This highly engaging book centres on the fascinating consequences of the answer being 'yes'. Rees explores the notion that our universe is just part of a vast 'multiverse,' or ensemble of universes, in which most of the other universes are lifeless. What we call the laws of nature would then be local by laws, imposed in the aftermath of our own Big Bang. In this scenario, our cosmic habitat would be a special, possibly unique universe where the prevailing laws of physics allowed life to emerge.

  18. Clay Animals and Their Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamson, Kay

    2010-01-01

    Creating clay animals and their habitats with second-grade students has long been one of the author's favorite classroom activities. Students love working with clay and they also enjoy drawing animal homes. In this article, the author describes how the students created a diorama instead of drawing their clay animal's habitat. This gave students…

  19. Habitat modeling for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot

    2006-01-01

    Habitat models address only 1 component of biodiversity but can be useful in addressing and managing single or multiple species and ecosystem functions, for projecting disturbance regimes, and in supporting decisions. I review categories and examples of habitat models, their utility for biodiversity conservation, and their roles in making conservation decisions. I...

  20. Habitat specialization through germination cueing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ten Brink, Dirk-Jan; Hendriksma, Harmen; Bruun, Hans Henrik

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the adaptive association between seed germination ecology and specialization to either forest or open habitats across a range of evolutionary lineages of seed plants, in order to test the hypotheses that (1) species' specialization to open vs. shaded habitats is consistently...

  1. Food technology in space habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karel, M.

    1979-01-01

    The research required to develop a system that will provide for acceptable, nutritious, and safe diets for man during extended space missions is discussed. The development of a food technology system for space habitats capable of converting raw materials produced in the space habitats into acceptable food is examined.

  2. Greater trochanteric pain syndrome diagnosis and treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallow, Michael; Nazarian, Levon N

    2014-05-01

    Lateral hip pain, or greater trochanteric pain syndrome, is a commonly seen condition; in this article, the relevant anatomy, epidemiology, and evaluation strategies of greater trochanteric pain syndrome are reviewed. Specific attention is focused on imaging of this syndrome and treatment techniques, including ultrasound-guided interventions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Quantification of habitat fragmentation reveals extinction risk in terrestrial mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crooks, Kevin R.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Theobald, David M.; King, Sarah R. B.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2017-01-01

    Although habitat fragmentation is often assumed to be a primary driver of extinction, global patterns of fragmentation and its relationship to extinction risk have not been consistently quantified for any major animal taxon. We developed high-resolution habitat fragmentation models and used phylogenetic comparative methods to quantify the effects of habitat fragmentation on the world’s terrestrial mammals, including 4,018 species across 26 taxonomic Orders. Results demonstrate that species with more fragmentation are at greater risk of extinction, even after accounting for the effects of key macroecological predictors, such as body size and geographic range size. Species with higher fragmentation had smaller ranges and a lower proportion of high-suitability habitat within their range, and most high-suitability habitat occurred outside of protected areas, further elevating extinction risk. Our models provide a quantitative evaluation of extinction risk assessments for species, allow for identification of emerging threats in species not classified as threatened, and provide maps of global hotspots of fragmentation for the world’s terrestrial mammals. Quantification of habitat fragmentation will help guide threat assessment and strategic priorities for global mammal conservation. PMID:28673992

  4. Habitats and Species Covered by the EEC Habitats Directive

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pihl, S.; Søgaard, B.; Ejrnæs, R.

    of Conservation (SAC's), Natura 2000. The designations are based upon the presence of 60 of the natural habitat types listed in Annex I of the Directive and approx. 44 of the species listed in Annex II which occur within the territory of Denmark and for the conservation of which the Community has a special...... and the Danish county authorities have initiated a co-operative programme to provide and compile the data necessary to assess the conservation status of the natural habitat types and species concerned. The purpose of this report is to present the conservation status of the habitats and species in Denmark...

  5. Habitat Fragmentation and Native Bees: a Premature Verdict?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James H. Cane

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Few studies directly address the consequences of habitat fragmentation for communities of pollinating insects, particularly for the key pollinator group, bees (Hymenoptera: Apiformes. Bees typically live in habitats where nesting substrates and bloom are patchily distributed and spatially dissociated. Bee studies have all defined habitat fragments as remnant patches of floral hosts or forests, overlooking the nesting needs of bees. Several authors conclude that habitat fragmentation is broadly deleterious, but their own data show that some native species proliferate in sampled fragments. Other studies report greater densities and comparable diversities of native bees at flowers in some fragment size classes relative to undisrupted habitats, but find dramatic shifts in species composition. Insightful studies of habitat fragmentation and bees will consider fragmentation, alteration, and loss of nesting habitats, not just patches of forage plants, as well as the permeability of the surrounding matrix to interpatch movement. Inasmuch as the floral associations and nesting habits of bees are often attributes of species or subgenera, ecological interpretations hinge on authoritative identifications. Study designs must accommodate statistical problems associated with bee community samples, especially non-normal data and frequent zero values. The spatial scale of fragmentation must be appreciated: bees of medium body size can regularly fly 1-2 km from nest site to forage patch. Overall, evidence for prolonged persistence of substantial diversity and abundances of native bee communities in habitat fragments of modest size promises practical solutions for maintaining bee populations. Provided that reserve selection, design, and management can address the foraging and nesting needs of bees, networks of even small reserves may hold hope for sustaining considerable pollinator diversity and the ecological services pollinators provide.

  6. Crop type influences edge effects on the reproduction of songbirds in sagebrush habitat near agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elly C. Knight

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Extensive fragmentation of the sagebrush shrubsteppe of western North America could be contributing to observed population declines of songbirds in sagebrush habitat. We examined whether habitat fragmentation impacts the reproduction of songbirds in sagebrush edge habitat near agriculture, and if potential impacts vary depending on the adjacent crop type. Specifically, we evaluated whether nest abundance and nest survival varied between orchard edge habitat, vineyard edge habitat, and interior habitat. We then examined whether the local nest predator community and vegetation could explain the differences detected. We detected fewer nests in edge than interior habitat. Nest abundance per songbird was also lower in edge than interior habitat, although only adjacent to vineyards. Nest predation was more frequent in orchard edge habitat than vineyard edge or interior habitat. Predators identified with nest cameras were primarily snakes, however, reduced nest survival in orchard edge habitat was not explained by differences in the abundance of snakes or any other predator species identified. Information theoretic analysis of daily survival rates showed that greater study plot shrub cover and lower grass height at nests were partially responsible for the lower rate of predation-specific daily nest survival rate (PDSR observed in orchard edge habitat, but additional factors are likely important. Results of this study suggest that different crop types have different edge effects on songbirds nesting in sagebrush shrubsteppe, and that these reproductive edge effects may contribute to observed declines of these species. Habitat managers should avoid the creation of new orchard-sagebrush habitat edges to avoid further impacts on already declining songbird populations.

  7. Steelhead Critical Habitat, Coast - NOAA [ds122

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — This layer depicts areas designated for Steelhead Critical Habitat as well as habitat type and quality in the Coastal California Steelhead ESUs (evolutionarily...

  8. Riparian Habitat - Product of 2 riparian habitat workshops

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — In two riparian habitat workshops held between 2001 and 2002, scientists and managers identified the need for determining the scope of a consistent and acceptable...

  9. Long-term effects of seeding after wildfire on vegetation in Great Basin shrubland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, Kevin C.; Pyke, David A.; Wirth, Troy A.; Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Grace, James B.

    2014-01-01

    1. Invasive annual grasses alter fire regimes in shrubland ecosystems of the western USA, threatening ecosystem function and fragmenting habitats necessary for shrub-obligate species such as greater sage-grouse. Post-fire stabilization and rehabilitation treatments have been administered to stabilize soils, reduce invasive species spread and restore or establish sustainable ecosystems in which native species are well represented. Long-term effectiveness of these treatments has rarely been evaluated. 2. We studied vegetation at 88 sites where aerial or drill seeding was implemented following fires between 1990 and 2003 in Great Basin (USA) shrublands. We examined sites on loamy soils that burned only once since 1970 to eliminate confounding effects of recurrent fire and to assess soils most conducive to establishment of seeded species. We evaluated whether seeding provided greater cover of perennial seeded species than burned–unseeded and unburned–unseeded sites, while also accounting for environmental variation. 3. Post-fire seeding of native perennial grasses generally did not increase cover relative to burned–unseeded areas. Native perennial grass cover did, however, increase after drill seeding when competitive non-natives were not included in mixes. Seeding non-native perennial grasses and the shrub Bassia prostrata resulted in more vegetative cover in aerial and drill seeding, with non-native perennial grass cover increasing with annual precipitation. Seeding native shrubs, particularly Artemisia tridentata, did not increase shrub cover or density in burned areas. Cover of undesirable, non-native annual grasses was lower in drill seeded relative to unseeded areas, but only at higher elevations. 4. Synthesis and applications. Management objectives are more likely to be met in high-elevation or precipitation locations where establishment of perennial grasses occurred. On lower and drier sites, management objectives are unlikely to be met with seeding alone

  10. Habitat use by larval fishes in a temperate South African surf zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watt-Pringle, Peter; Strydom, Nadine A.

    2003-12-01

    Larval fishes were sampled in the Kwaaihoek surf zone on the south east coast of South Africa. On six occasions between February and May 2002, larval fishes were collected in two habitat types identified in the inner surf zone using a modified beach-seine net. The surf zone habitats were classified as either sheltered trough areas or adjacent exposed surf areas. Temperature, depth and current measurements were taken at all sites. Trough habitats consisted of a depression in surf topography characterised by reduced current velocities and greater average depth than adjacent surf areas. In total, 325 larval fishes were collected. Of these, 229 were collected in trough and 96 in surf habitats. At least 22 families and 37 species were represented in the catch. Dominant families were the Mugilidae, Sparidae, Atherinidae, and Engraulidae. Dominant species included Liza tricuspidens and Liza richardsonii (Mugilidae), Rhabdosargus holubi and Sarpa salpa (Sparidae), Atherina breviceps (Atherinidae) and Engraulis japonicus (Engraulide). Mean CPUE of postflexion larvae of estuary-dependent species was significantly greater in trough areas. The proportion of postflexion larval fishes in trough habitat was significantly greater than that of preflexion stages, a result that was not apparent in surf habitat sampled. CPUE of postflexion larvae of estuary-dependent fishes was negatively correlated with current magnitude and positively correlated with habitat depth. Mean body length of larval fishes was significantly greater in trough than in surf habitats. These results provide evidence that the CPUE of postflexion larvae of estuary-dependent fishes is higher in trough habitat in the surf zone and this may be indicative of active habitat selection for areas of reduced current velocity/wave action. The implications of this behaviour for estuarine recruitment processes are discussed.

  11. Life on the rocks: habitat use drives morphological and performance evolution in lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Brett A; Miles, Donald B; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2008-12-01

    As a group, lizards occupy a vast array of habitats worldwide, yet there remain relatively few cases where habitat use (ecology), morphology, and thus, performance, are clearly related. The best known examples include: increased limb length in response to increased arboreal perch diameter in anoles and increased limb length in response to increased habitat openness for some skinks. Rocky habitats impose strong natural selection on specific morphological characteristics, which differs from that imposed on terrestrial species, because moving about on inclined substrates of irregular sizes and shapes constrains locomotor performance in predictable ways. We quantified habitat use, morphology, and performance of 19 species of lizards (family Scincidae, subfamily Lygosominae) from 23 populations in tropical Australia. These species use habitats with considerable variation in rock availability. Comparative phylogenetic analyses revealed that occupation of rock-dominated habitats correlated with the evolution of increased limb length, compared to species from forest habitats that predominantly occupied leaf litter. Moreover, increased limb length directly affected performance, with species from rocky habitats having greater sprinting, climbing, and clinging ability than their relatives from less rocky habitats. Thus, we found that the degree of rock use is correlated with both morphological and performance evolution in this group of tropical lizards.

  12. Effects of sexual dimorphism and landscape composition on the trophic behavior of Greater Prairie-Chicken.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz Blanco-Fontao

    Full Text Available Partitioning of ecological niche is expected in lekking species that show marked sexual size dimorphism as a consequence of sex-specific ecological constraints. However, niche partitioning is uncertain in species with moderate sexual dimorphism. In addition, the ecological niche of a species may also be affected by landscape composition; particularly, agricultural fragmentation may greatly influence the trophic behavior of herbivores. We studied trophic niche variation in Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido, a grouse species that shows moderate sex-dimorphism. Greater Prairie-Chickens are native to tallgrass prairies of North America, although populations persist in less natural mosaics of cropland and native habitats. We used stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen in blood, claws and feathers to assess seasonal differences in trophic niche breadth and individual specialization between male and female Greater Prairie-Chickens, and between birds living in continuous and fragmented landscapes. We found that females showed broader niches and higher individual specialization than males, especially in winter and autumn. However, differences between females and males were smaller in spring when birds converge at leks, suggesting that females and males may exhibit similar feeding behaviors during the lekking period. In addition, we found that birds living in native prairies showed greater annual trophic variability than conspecifics in agricultural mosaic landscapes. Native habitats may provide greater dietary diversity, resulting in greater diversity of feeding strategies.

  13. Riparian Habitat - San Joaquin River

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The immediate focus of this study is to identify, describe and map the extent and diversity of riparian habitats found along the main stem of the San Joaquin River,...

  14. Tidal Creek Sentinel Habitat Database

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Ecological Research, Assessment and Prediction's Tidal Creeks: Sentinel Habitat Database was developed to support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

  15. Deep Space Habitat Concept Demonstrator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bookout, Paul S.; Smitherman, David

    2015-01-01

    This project will develop, integrate, test, and evaluate Habitation Systems that will be utilized as technology testbeds and will advance NASA's understanding of alternative deep space mission architectures, requirements, and operations concepts. Rapid prototyping and existing hardware will be utilized to develop full-scale habitat demonstrators. FY 2014 focused on the development of a large volume Space Launch System (SLS) class habitat (Skylab Gen 2) based on the SLS hydrogen tank components. Similar to the original Skylab, a tank section of the SLS rocket can be outfitted with a deep space habitat configuration and launched as a payload on an SLS rocket. This concept can be used to support extended stay at the Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit to support the Asteroid Retrieval Mission and provide a habitat suitable for human missions to Mars.

  16. Leatherback Sea Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for leatherback turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 44, No. 17711, March 23, 1979, Rules and Regulations....

  17. Hawksbill Sea Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for hawksbill turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations....

  18. Endangered Species Act Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Critical habitat (CH) is designated for the survival and recovery of species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Critical...

  19. Simultaneous bilateral isolated greater trochanter fracture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maruti Kambali

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A 48-year-old woman sustained simultaneous isolated bilateral greater trochanteric fracture, following a road traffic accident. The patient presented to us 1 month after the injury. She presented with complaints of pain in the left hip and inability to walk. Roentgenograms revealed displaced comminuted bilateral greater trochanter fractures. The fracture of the left greater trochanter was reduced and fixed internally using the tension band wiring technique. The greater trochanter fracture on the right side was asymptomatic and was managed conservatively. The patient regained full range of motion and use of her hips after a postoperative follow-up of 6 months. Isolated fractures of the greater trochanter are unusual injuries. Because of their relative rarity and the unsettled controversy regarding their etiology and pathogenesis, several methods of treatment have been advocated. Furthermore, the reports of this particular type of injury are not plentiful and the average textbook coverage afforded to this entity is limited. In our study we discuss the mechanism of injury and the various treatment options available.

  20. Integration of genetic and demographic data to assess population risk in a continuously distributed species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedy, Bradley C.; Row, Jeffery R.; Oyler-McCance, Sara J.

    2017-01-01

    The identification and demographic assessment of biologically meaningful populations is fundamental to species’ ecology and management. Although genetic tools are used frequently to identify populations, studies often do not incorporate demographic data to understand their respective population trends. We used genetic data to define subpopulations in a continuously distributed species. We assessed demographic independence and variation in population trends across the distribution. Additionally, we identified potential barriers to gene flow among subpopulations. We sampled greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) leks from across their range (≈175,000 Km2) in Wyoming and amplified DNA at 14 microsatellite loci for 1761 samples. Subsequently, we assessed population structure in unrelated individuals (n = 872) by integrating results from multiple Bayesian clustering approaches and used the boundaries to inform our assessment of long-term population trends and lek activity over the period of 1995–2013. We identified four genetic clusters of which two northern ones showed demographic independence from the others. Trends in population size for the northwest subpopulation were statistically different from the other three genetic clusters and the northeast and southwest subpopulations demonstrated a general trend of increasing proportion of inactive leks over time. Population change from 1996 to 2012 suggested population growth in the southern subpopulations and decline, or neutral, change in the northern subpopulations. We suggest that sage-grouse subpopulations in northern Wyoming are at greater risk of extirpation than the southern subpopulations due to smaller census and effective population sizes and higher variability within subpopulations. Our research is an example of incorporating genetic and demographic data and provides guidance on the identification of subpopulations of conservation concern.

  1. Equine Grazing in Managed Subalpine Wetlands: Effects on Arthropods and Plant Structure as a Function of Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmquist, Jeffrey G.; Schmidt-Gengenbach, Jutta; Haultain, Sylvia A.

    2013-12-01

    Grazing management necessarily emphasizes the most spatially extensive vegetation assemblages, but landscapes are mosaics, often with more mesic vegetation types embedded within a matrix of drier vegetation. Our primary objective was to contrast effects of equine grazing on both subalpine vegetation structure and associated arthropods in a drier reed grass ( Calamagrostis muiriana) dominated habitat versus a wetter, more productive sedge habitat ( Carex utriculata). A second objective was to compare reed grass and sedge as habitats for fauna, irrespective of grazing. All work was done in Sequoia National Park (CA, USA), where detailed, long-term records of stock management were available. We sampled paired grazed and control wet meadows that contained both habitats. There were moderate negative effects of grazing on vegetation, and effects were greater in sedge than in reed grass. Conversely, negative grazing effects on arthropods, albeit limited, were greater in the drier reed grass, possibly due to microhabitat differences. The differing effects on plants and animals as a function of habitat emphasize the importance of considering both flora and fauna, as well as multiple habitat types, when making management decisions. Sedge supported twice the overall arthropod abundance of reed grass as well as greater diversity; hemipteran and dipteran taxa were particularly abundant in sedge. Given the greater grazing effects on sedge vegetation, greater habitat provision for terrestrial arthropods, and value as aquatic arthropod habitat, the wetter sedge assemblage is worthy of additional consideration by managers when planning for grazing and other aspects of land usage.

  2. New England wildlife: management forested habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard M. DeGraaf; Mariko Yamasaki; William B. Leak; John W. Lanier

    1992-01-01

    Presents silvicultural treatments for six major cover-type groups in New England to produce stand conditions that provide habitat opportunities for a wide range of wildlife species. Includes matrices for species occurrence and utilization by forested and nonforested habitats, habitat breadth and size class, and structural habitat features for the 338 wildlife species...

  3. A NEW HABITAT CLASSIFICATION AND MANUAL FOR STANDARDIZED HABITAT MAPPING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. KUN

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Today the documentation of natural heritage with scientific methods but for conservation practice – like mapping of actual vegetation – becomes more and more important. For this purpose mapping guides containing only the names and descriptions of vegetation types are not sufficient. Instead, new, mapping-oriented vegetation classification systems and handbooks are needed. There are different standardised systems fitted to the characteristics of a region already published and used successfully for surveying large territories. However, detailed documentation of the aims and steps of their elaboration is still missing. Here we present a habitat-classification method developed specifically for mapping and the steps of its development. Habitat categories and descriptions reflect site conditions, physiognomy and species composition as well. However, for species composition much lower role was given deliberately than in the phytosociological systems. Recognition and mapping of vegetation types in the field is highly supported by a definition, list of subtypes and list of ‘types not belonging to this habitat category’. Our system is two-dimensional: the first dimension is habitat type, the other is naturalness based habitat quality. The development of the system was conducted in two steps, over 200 mappers already tested it over 7000 field days in different projects.

  4. Greater trochanteric fracture with occult intertrochanteric extension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, Michael; O'Brien, Seth D; Bui-Mansfield, Liem T; Alderete, Joseph

    2013-10-01

    Proximal femoral fractures are frequently encountered in the emergency department (ED). Prompt diagnosis is paramount as delay will exacerbate the already poor outcomes associated with these injuries. In cases where radiography is negative but clinical suspicion remains high, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the study of choice as it has the capability to depict fractures which are occult on other imaging modalities. Awareness of a particular subset of proximal femoral fractures, namely greater trochanteric fractures, is vital for both radiologists and clinicians since it has been well documented that they invariably have an intertrochanteric component which may require surgical management. The detection of intertrochanteric or cervical extension of greater trochanteric fractures has been described utilizing MRI but is underestimated with both computed tomography (CT) and bone scan. Therefore, if MRI is unavailable or contraindicated, the diagnosis of an isolated greater trochanteric fracture should be met with caution. The importance of avoiding this potential pitfall is demonstrated in the following case of an elderly woman with hip pain and CT demonstrating an isolated greater trochanteric fracture who subsequently returned to the ED with a displaced intertrochanteric fracture.

  5. Butterfly valves: greater use in power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCoy, M.

    1975-01-01

    Improvements in butterfly valves, particularly in the areas of automatic control and leak tightness are described. The use of butterfly valves in nuclear power plants is discussed. These uses include service in component cooling, containment cooling, and containment isolation. The outlook for further improvements and greater uses is examined. (U.S.)

  6. Greater Somalia, the never-ending dream?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zoppi, Marco

    2015-01-01

    This paper provides an historical analysis of the concept of Greater Somalia, the nationalist project that advocates the political union of all Somali-speaking people, including those inhabiting areas in current Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya. The Somali territorial unification project of “lost...

  7. Simulated big sagebrush regeneration supports predicted changes at the trailing and leading edges of distribution shifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Taylor, Kyle A.; Pennington, Victoria E.; Nelson, Kellen N.; Martin, Trace E.; Rottler, Caitlin M.; Lauenroth, William K.; Bradford, John B.

    2015-01-01

    Many semi-arid plant communities in western North America are dominated by big sagebrush. These ecosystems are being reduced in extent and quality due to economic development, invasive species, and climate change. These pervasive modifications have generated concern about the long-term viability of sagebrush habitat and sagebrush-obligate wildlife species (notably greater sage-grouse), highlighting the need for better understanding of the future big sagebrush distribution, particularly at the species' range margins. These leading and trailing edges of potential climate-driven sagebrush distribution shifts are likely to be areas most sensitive to climate change. We used a process-based regeneration model for big sagebrush, which simulates potential germination and seedling survival in response to climatic and edaphic conditions and tested expectations about current and future regeneration responses at trailing and leading edges that were previously identified using traditional species distribution models. Our results confirmed expectations of increased probability of regeneration at the leading edge and decreased probability of regeneration at the trailing edge below current levels. Our simulations indicated that soil water dynamics at the leading edge became more similar to the typical seasonal ecohydrological conditions observed within the current range of big sagebrush ecosystems. At the trailing edge, an increased winter and spring dryness represented a departure from conditions typically supportive of big sagebrush. Our results highlighted that minimum and maximum daily temperatures as well as soil water recharge and summer dry periods are important constraints for big sagebrush regeneration. Overall, our results confirmed previous predictions, i.e., we see consistent changes in areas identified as trailing and leading edges; however, we also identified potential local refugia within the trailing edge, mostly at sites at higher elevation. Decreasing

  8. The effects of wetland habitat structure on Florida apple snail density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karunaratne, L.B.; Darby, P.C.; Bennetts, R.E.

    2006-01-01

    Wetlands often support a variety of juxtaposed habitat patches (e.g., grass-, shrub- or tree-dominated) differentially suited to support the inhabiting fauna. The proportion of available habitat types has been affected by human activity and consequently has contributed to degrading habitat quality for some species. The Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) has drawn attention as a critical prey item for wetlands wildlife and as an indicator of wetlands restoration success in peninsular Florida, USA. An apparent contradiction has evolved wherein this species appears intolerant of drying events, but these disturbances may be necessary to maintain suitable habitat structure for apple snails. We recently reported that assertions regarding intolerance to dry downs in this species were inaccurate. Here, we compared snail density in habitats with (wet prairie) and without (slough) emergent macrophytes, as well as evaluating the effects of structural attributes within the broad wet prairie habitat type. Snail densities were greater in prairies relative to sloughs (??2= 12.90, df=1, P=0.0003), often by a factor of two to three. Within wet prairie habitats, we found greater snail densities in Panicum hemitomon as compared to Eleocharis cellulosa (??2=31.45, df=1, P=0.0001). Significantly fewer snails were found in dense E. cellulosa as compared to habitats with lower stem density (??2= 10.73, df=1, P=0.011). Our results indicate that wet prairie habitat supports greater snail densities than nymphaea-dominatd slough. Our results have implications for wetlands water management in that continuous inundation has been shown to convert wet prairie to slough habitat, and we suggest this should be avoided in support of apple snails and their predators. ?? 2006, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  9. Spatial, temporal, and density-dependent components of habitat quality for a desert owl.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron D Flesch

    Full Text Available Spatial variation in resources is a fundamental driver of habitat quality but the realized value of resources at any point in space may depend on the effects of conspecifics and stochastic factors, such as weather, which vary through time. We evaluated the relative and combined effects of habitat resources, weather, and conspecifics on habitat quality for ferruginous pygmy-owls (Glaucidium brasilianum in the Sonoran Desert of northwest Mexico by monitoring reproductive output and conspecific abundance over 10 years in and around 107 territory patches. Variation in reproductive output was much greater across space than time, and although habitat resources explained a much greater proportion of that variation (0.70 than weather (0.17 or conspecifics (0.13, evidence for interactions among each of these components of the environment was strong. Relative to habitat that was persistently low in quality, high-quality habitat buffered the negative effects of conspecifics and amplified the benefits of favorable weather, but did not buffer the disadvantages of harsh weather. Moreover, the positive effects of favorable weather at low conspecific densities were offset by intraspecific competition at high densities. Although realized habitat quality declined with increasing conspecific density suggesting interference mechanisms associated with an Ideal Free Distribution, broad spatial heterogeneity in habitat quality persisted. Factors linked to food resources had positive effects on reproductive output but only where nest cavities were sufficiently abundant to mitigate the negative effects of heterospecific enemies. Annual precipitation and brooding-season temperature had strong multiplicative effects on reproductive output, which declined at increasing rates as drought and temperature increased, reflecting conditions predicted to become more frequent with climate change. Because the collective environment influences habitat quality in complex ways

  10. Ghost of habitat past: historic habitat affects the contemporary distribution of giant garter snakes in a modified landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halstead, Brian J.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2014-01-01

    Historic habitat conditions can affect contemporary communities and populations, but most studies of historic habitat are based on the reduction in habitat extent or connectivity. Little is known about the effects of historic habitat on contemporary species distributions when historic habitat has been nearly completely removed, but species persist in a highly altered landscape. More than 93% of the historic wetlands in the Central Valley of California, USA, have been drained and converted to agricultural and other uses, but agricultural wetlands, such as rice and its supporting infrastructure of canals, allow some species to persist. Little is known about the distribution of giant garter snakes Thamnophis gigas, a rare aquatic snake species inhabiting this predominantly agricultural landscape, or the variables that affect where this species occurs. We used occupancy modeling to examine the distribution of giant garter snakes at the landscape scale in the Sacramento Valley (northern portion of the Central Valley) of California, with an emphasis on the relative strength of historic and contemporary variables (landscape-scale habitat, local microhabitat, vegetation composition and relative prey counts) for predicting giant garter snake occurrence. Proximity to historic marsh best explained variation in the probability of occurrence of giant garter snakes at the landscape scale, with greater probability of occurrence near historic marsh. We suspect that the importance of distance to historic marsh represents dispersal limitations of giant garter snakes. These results suggest that preserving and restoring areas near historic marsh, and minimizing activities that reduce the extent of marsh or marsh-like (e.g. rice agriculture, canal) habitats near historic marsh may be advantageous to giant garter snakes.

  11. Distribution of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, 2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, C.C.; Haroldson, M.A.; Gunther, K.; Moody, D.

    2006-01-01

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed delisting the Yellowstone grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) in November 2005. Part of that process required knowledge of the most current distribution of the species. Here, we update an earlier estimate of occupied range (1990–2000) with data through 2004. We used kernel estimators to develop distribution maps of occupied habitats based on initial sightings of unduplicated females (n = 481) with cubs of the year, locations of radiomarked bears (n = 170), and spatially unique locations of conflicts, confrontations, and mortalities (n = 1,075). Although each data set was constrained by potential sampling bias, together they provided insight into areas in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) currently occupied by grizzly bears. The current distribution of 37,258 km2 (1990–2004) extends beyond the distribution map generated with data from 1990–2000 (34,416 km2 ). Range expansion is particularly evident in parts of the Caribou–Targhee National Forest in Idaho and north of Spanish Peaks on the Gallatin National Forest in Montana.

  12. Predicting Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek Site Suitability to Inform Conservation Actions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torre J Hovick

    Full Text Available The demands of a growing human population dictates that expansion of energy infrastructure, roads, and other development frequently takes place in native rangelands. Particularly, transmission lines and roads commonly divide rural landscapes and increase fragmentation. This has direct and indirect consequences on native wildlife that can be mitigated through thoughtful planning and proactive approaches to identifying areas of high conservation priority. We used nine years (2003-2011 of Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido lek locations totaling 870 unique leks sites in Kansas and seven geographic information system (GIS layers describing land cover, topography, and anthropogenic structures to model habitat suitability across the state. The models obtained had low omission rates (0.81, indicating high model performance and reliability of predicted habitat suitability for Greater Prairie-Chickens. We found that elevation was the most influential in predicting lek locations, contributing three times more predictive power than any other variable. However, models were improved by the addition of land cover and anthropogenic features (transmission lines, roads, and oil and gas structures. Overall, our analysis provides a hierarchal understanding of Greater Prairie-Chicken habitat suitability that is broadly based on geomorphological features followed by land cover suitability. We found that when land features and vegetation cover are suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens, fragmentation by anthropogenic sources such as roadways and transmission lines are a concern. Therefore, it is our recommendation that future human development in Kansas avoid areas that our models identified as highly suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens and focus development on land cover types that are of lower conservation concern.

  13. Utilization of wind energy in greater Hanover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahling, U.

    1993-01-01

    Since the beginning of the Eighties, the association of communities of Greater Hanover has dealt intensively with energy and ecopolitical questions in the scope of regional planning. Renewable energy sources play a dominant role in this context. This brochure is the third contribution to the subject ''Energy policy and environmental protection''. Experts as well as possibly interested parties are addressed especially. For all 8 contributions contained, separate entries have been recorded in this database. (BWI) [de

  14. Small cities face greater impact from automation

    OpenAIRE

    Frank, Morgan R.; Sun, Lijun; Cebrian, Manuel; Youn, Hyejin; Rahwan, Iyad

    2017-01-01

    The city has proven to be the most successful form of human agglomeration and provides wide employment opportunities for its dwellers. As advances in robotics and artificial intelligence revive concerns about the impact of automation on jobs, a question looms: How will automation affect employment in cities? Here, we provide a comparative picture of the impact of automation across U.S. urban areas. Small cities will undertake greater adjustments, such as worker displacement and job content su...

  15. The Greater Sekhukhune-CAPABILITY outreach project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregersen, Nerine; Lampret, Julie; Lane, Tony; Christianson, Arnold

    2013-07-01

    The Greater Sekhukhune-CAPABILITY Outreach Project was undertaken in a rural district in Limpopo, South Africa, as part of the European Union-funded CAPABILITY programme to investigate approaches for capacity building for the translation of genetic knowledge into care and prevention of congenital disorders. Based on previous experience of a clinical genetic outreach programme in Limpopo, it aimed to initiate a district clinical genetic service in Greater Sekhukhune to gain knowledge and experience to assist in the implementation and development of medical genetic services in South Africa. Implementing the service in Greater Sekhukhune was impeded by a developing staff shortage in the province and pressure on the health service from the existing HIV/AIDS and TB epidemics. This situation underscores the need for health needs assessment for developing services for the care and prevention of congenital disorders in middle- and low-income countries. However, these impediments stimulated the pioneering of innovate ways to offer medical genetic services in these circumstances, including tele-teaching of nurses and doctors, using cellular phones to enhance clinical care and adapting and assessing the clinical utility of a laboratory test, QF-PCR, for use in the local circumstances.

  16. Operational technology for greater confinement disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dickman, P.T.; Vollmer, A.T.; Hunter, P.H.

    1984-12-01

    Procedures and methods for the design and operation of a greater confinement disposal facility using large-diameter boreholes are discussed. It is assumed that the facility would be located at an operating low-level waste disposal site and that only a small portion of the wastes received at the site would require greater confinement disposal. The document is organized into sections addressing: facility planning process; facility construction; waste loading and handling; radiological safety planning; operations procedures; and engineering cost studies. While primarily written for low-level waste management site operators and managers, a detailed economic assessment section is included that should assist planners in performing cost analyses. Economic assessments for both commercial and US government greater confinement disposal facilities are included. The estimated disposal costs range from $27 to $104 per cubic foot for a commercial facility and from $17 to $60 per cubic foot for a government facility. These costs are based on average site preparation, construction, and waste loading costs for both contact- and remote-handled wastes. 14 figures, 22 tables

  17. Trapping Triatominae in Silvatic Habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noireau François

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Large-scale trials of a trapping system designed to collect silvatic Triatominae are reported. Live-baited adhesive traps were tested in various ecosystems and different triatomine habitats (arboreal and terrestrial. The trials were always successful, with a rate of positive habitats generally over 20% and reaching 48.4% for palm trees of the Amazon basin. Eleven species of Triatominae belonging to the three genera of public health importance (Triatoma, Rhodnius and Panstrongylus were captured. This trapping system provides an effective way to detect the presence of triatomines in terrestrial and arboreal silvatic habitats and represents a promising tool for ecological studies. Various lines of research are contemplated to improve the performance of this trapping system.

  18. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands—the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon: manmade habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Maser; Jack Ward Thomas; Ira David Luman; Ralph. Anderson

    1979-01-01

    Manmade structures on rangelands provide specialized habitats for some species. These habitats and how they function as specialized habitat features are examined in this publication. The relationships of the wildlife of the Great Basin to such structures are detailed.

  19. Geomorphology and Sustainable Subsistence Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, A. C.; Kruger, L. E.

    2016-02-01

    Climatic, tectonic, and human-related impacts are changing the distribution of shoreline habitats and associated species used as food resources. There is a need to summarize current and future shoreline geomorphic - biotic relationships and better understand potential impacts to native customary and traditional gathering patterns. By strategically integrating Native knowledge and observations, we create an inclusive vulnerability assessment strategy resulting in a win-win opportunity for resource users and research scientists alike. We merged the NOAA ShoreZone database with results from over sixty student intern discussions in six southeast Alaska Native communities. Changes in shore width and unit length were derived using near shore bathymetry depths and available isostatic rebound, tectonic movement, and rates of sea level rise. Physical attributes including slope, substrate, and exposure were associated with presence and abundance of specific species. Student interns, selected by Tribes and Tribal associations, conducted resource-based discussions with community members to summarize species use, characteristics of species habitat, transportation used to access collection areas, and potential threats to habitats. Geomorphic trends and community observations were summarized to assess potential threats within a spatial context. Given current measured rates of uplift and sea level rise, 2.4 to 0 m of uplift along with 0.20 m of sea level rise is expected in the next 100 years. Coastlines of southeast Alaska will be subject to both drowning (primarily to the south) and emergence (primarily to the north). We predict decreases in estuary and sediment-dominated shoreline length and an increase in rocky habitats. These geomorphic changes, combined with resident's concerns, highlight six major interrelated coastal vulnerabilities including: (1) reduction of clam and clam habitat quantity and quality, (2) reduction in chiton quality and quantity, (3) harmful expansion of

  20. Habitat classification modelling with incomplete data: Pushing the habitat envelope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phoebe L. Zarnetske; Thomas C. Edwards; Gretchen G. Moisen

    2007-01-01

    Habitat classification models (HCMs) are invaluable tools for species conservation, land-use planning, reserve design, and metapopulation assessments, particularly at broad spatial scales. However, species occurrence data are often lacking and typically limited to presence points at broad scales. This lack of absence data precludes the use of many statistical...

  1. Habitat constraints on the distribution of passerine residents and neotropical migrants in Latin America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, C.S.; Dowell, B.A.; Dawson, D.K.

    1994-01-01

    With continuing tropical deforestation, there is increased concern for birds that depend on forest habitats in Latin America. During the past 10 northern winters, we have conducted quantitative studies of habitat use by wintering migrant songbirds and by residents in the Greater Antilles, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Many migrants, but few residents, winter in forest fragments and in certain arboreal agricultural habitats (citrus, cacao, shade coffee). Many other agricultural habitats (sun coffee, mango, commercial banana plantations, and heavily grazed pasture) are avoided by most birds. Some species, such as thrushes and ground-feeding warblers, depend on closed-canopy forest. Some, such as Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis) and Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea), winter primarily in mangroves or other swamp forests. The majority of neotropical migrant passerines winter in forest fragments and certain agricultural habitats, as well as mature forest; but many resident species, especially suboscines (Furnariidae, Dendrocolaptidae, Formicariidae, Papridae), are heavily impacted by loss and fragmentation of the forest.

  2. Biodiversity and Habitat Markets—Policy, Economic, and Ecological implications of Market-Based Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pindilli, Emily J.; Casey, Frank

    2015-10-26

    This report is a primer on market-like and market-based mechanisms designed to conserve biodiversity and habitat. The types of markets and market-based approaches that were implemented or are emerging to benefit biodiversity and habitat in the United States are examined. The central approaches considered in this report include payments for ecosystem services, conservation banks, habitat exchanges, and eco-labels. Based on literature reviews and input from experts and practitioners, the report characterizes each market-based approach including policy context and structure; the theoretical basis for applying market-based approaches; the ecological effectiveness of practices and tools for measuring performance; and the future outlook for biodiversity and habitat markets. This report draws from previous research and serves as a summary of pertinent information associated with biodiversity and habitat markets while providing references to materials that go into greater detail on specific topics.

  3. Habitat differences in deep-sea megafaunal communities off New Zealand: implications for vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbance and management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley Alun Rowden

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Research on benthic communities in the deep sea has focused largely on habitats in isolation, with few studies considering multiple habitats simultaneously in a comparable manner. The present study aimed to determine the structural differences in benthic communities of continental slope, seamount, canyon, vent, and seep habitats, and assess their relative vulnerabilities to disturbance from bottom trawling and potential seabed mining. Megafaunal invertebrate communities of these habitats were sampled in two regions off New Zealand, in four depth strata between 700 and 1500 m, using an epibenthic sled and a beam trawl. Patterns of community and trophic structure, and the potential influence of environmental variables, were determined using multivariate analyses. The difference in community structure between regions was greater than among habitats and depth strata. Levels of food availability may explain regional differences in community structure, although some influence of fishing disturbance is also possible. Differences in community and trophic structure were most pronounced between the chemosynthetic vent and seep habitats, and other habitats. Differences among these other habitats within a region were inconsistent, except that canyon and slope communities always differed from each other. Community and trophic structural patterns were partly explained by the environmental differences observed among habitats. The relative vulnerabilities of benthic communities to human disturbance in the two regions were determined based on patterns of abundance and feeding mode of the megafauna. Communities of vent and seep habitats were assessed to be more vulnerable to disturbance than those of the other habitats based on a number of habitat-related attributes. However, the relative vulnerability of megafaunal communities at slope, canyon, and seamount habitats could not confidently be assessed on a habitat basis alone. The results of the present study have

  4. Greater happiness for a greater number: Is that possible in Austria?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. Veenhoven (Ruut)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractWhat is the final goal of public policy? Jeremy Bentham (1789) would say: greater happiness for a greater number. He thought of happiness as subjective enjoyment of life; in his words as “the sum of pleasures and pains”. In his time the happiness of the great number could not be measured

  5. Greater happiness for a greater number: Is that possible? If so how? (Arabic)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. Veenhoven (Ruut); E. Samuel (Emad)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractWhat is the final goal of public policy? Jeremy Bentham (1789) would say: greater happiness for a greater number. He thought of happiness as subjective enjoyment of life; in his words as “the sum of pleasures and pains”. In his time, the happiness of the great number could not be

  6. Greater happiness for a greater number: Is that possible in Germany?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. Veenhoven (Ruut)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractWhat is the final goal of public policy? Jeremy Bentham (1789) would say: greater happiness for a greater number. He thought of happiness as subjective enjoyment of life; in his words as “the sum of pleasures and pains”. In his time the Happiness of the great number could not be measured

  7. Effects of wind energy development on nesting ecology of greater prairie-chickens in fragmented grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-08-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before-after control-impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = -1.2-1.3) or nest survival (β = -0.3, 95% CI = -0.6-0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  8. Search for greater stability in nuclear regulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asselstine, J.K.

    1985-01-01

    The need for greater stability in nuclear regulation is discussed. Two possible approaches for dealing with the problems of new and rapidly changing regulatory requirements are discussed. The first approach relies on the more traditional licensing reform initiatives that have been considered off and on for the past decade. The second approach considers a new regulator philosophy aimed at the root causes of the proliferation of new safety requirements that have been imposed in recent years. For the past few years, the concepts of deregulation and regulatory reform have been in fashion in Washington, and the commercial nuclear power program has not remained unaffected. Many look to these concepts to provide greater stability in the regulatory program. The NRC, the nuclear industry and the administration have all been avidly pursuing regulatory reform initiatives, which take the form of both legislative and administrative proposals. Many of these proposals look to the future, and, if adopted, would have little impact on currently operating nuclear power plants or plants now under construction

  9. Greater Sudbury fuel efficient driving handbook

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-12-15

    Reducing the amount of fuel that people use for personal driving saves money, improves local air quality, and reduces personal contributions to climate change. This handbook was developed to be used as a tool for a fuel efficient driving pilot program in Greater Sudbury in 2009-2010. Specifically, the purpose of the handbook was to provide greater Sudbury drivers with information on how to drive and maintain their personal vehicles in order to maximize fuel efficiency. The handbook also provides tips for purchasing fuel efficient vehicles. It outlines the benefits of fuel maximization, with particular reference to reducing contributions to climate change; reducing emissions of air pollutants; safe driving; and money savings. Some tips for efficient driving are to avoid aggressive driving; use cruise control; plan trips; and remove excess weight. Tips for efficient winter driving are to avoid idling to warm up the engine; use a block heater; remove snow and ice; use snow tires; and check tire pressure. The importance of car maintenance and tire pressure was emphasized. The handbook also explains how fuel consumption ratings are developed by vehicle manufacturers. refs., figs.

  10. Women at greater risk of HIV infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahathir, M

    1997-04-01

    Although many people believe that mainly men get infected with HIV/AIDS, women are actually getting infected at a faster rate than men, especially in developing countries, and suffer more from the adverse impact of AIDS. As of mid-1996, the Joint UN Program on AIDS estimated that more than 10 million of the 25 million adults infected with HIV since the beginning of the epidemic are women. The proportion of HIV-positive women is growing, with almost half of the 7500 new infections daily occurring among women. 90% of HIV-positive women live in a developing country. In Asia-Pacific, 1.4 million women have been infected with HIV out of an estimated total 3.08 million adults from the late 1970s until late 1994. Biologically, women are more vulnerable than men to infection because of the greater mucus area exposed to HIV during penile penetration. Women under age 17 years are at even greater risk because they have an underdeveloped cervix and low vaginal mucus production. Concurrent sexually transmitted diseases increase the risk of HIV transmission. Women's risk is also related to their exposure to gender inequalities in society. The social and economic pressures of poverty exacerbate women's risk. Prevention programs are discussed.

  11. Instream Physical Habitat Modelling Types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conallin, John; Boegh, Eva; Krogsgaard, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

    The introduction of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) is providing member state water resource managers with significant challenges in relation to meeting the deadline for 'Good Ecological Status' by 2015. Overall, instream physical habitat modelling approaches have advantages and disadvanta......The introduction of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) is providing member state water resource managers with significant challenges in relation to meeting the deadline for 'Good Ecological Status' by 2015. Overall, instream physical habitat modelling approaches have advantages...... suit their situations. This paper analyses the potential of different methods available for water managers to assess hydrological and geomorphological impacts on the habitats of stream biota, as requested by the WFD. The review considers both conventional and new advanced research-based instream...... physical habitat models. In parametric and non-parametric regression models, model assumptions are often not satisfied and the models are difficult to transfer to other regions. Research-based methods such as the artificial neural networks and individual-based modelling have promising potential as water...

  12. Habitats: staging life and art

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Peter Bøgh

    2004-01-01

    The paper presents the concept of habitat. It is a bounded chunk of space/time that isdesigned to accommodate a delimited set of activities. It accommodates the activities by in-cludingphysical artefacts that can be used in the activities and signs that offer activity-relevantinformation. The hab...

  13. Oak woodlands as wildlife habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Tietje; K. Purcell; S. Drill

    2005-01-01

    This chapter provides local planners and policymakers with information on the diversity and abundance of oak woodland wildlife, wildlife habitat needs, and how local planning activities can influence wildlife abundance and diversity. Federal and state laws, particularly the federal and California Endangered Species Act and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA...

  14. Macrofaunal communities associated with chemosynthetic habitats from the U.S. Atlantic margin: A comparison among depth and habitat types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourque, Jill R.; Robertson, Craig M.; Brooke, Sandra; Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.

    2016-01-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps support distinct benthic communities capable of tolerating extreme environmental conditions and utilizing reduced chemical compounds for nutrition. In recent years, several locations of methane seepage have been mapped along the U.S. Atlantic continental slope. In 2012 and 2013, two newly discovered seeps were investigated in this region: a shallow site near Baltimore Canyon (BCS, 366–412 m) and a deep site near Norfolk Canyon (NCS, 1467–1602 m), with both sites containing extensive chemosynthetic mussel bed and microbial mat habitats. Sediment push cores, suction samples, and Ekman box cores were collected to quantify the abundance, diversity, and community structure of benthic macrofauna (>300 μm) in mussel beds, mats, and slope habitats at both sites. Community data from the deep site were also assessed in relation to the associated sediment environment (organic carbon and nitrogen, stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, grain size, and depth). Infaunal assemblages and densities differed both between depths and among habitat types. Macrofaunal densities in microbial mats were four times greater than those present in mussel beds and slope sediments and were dominated by the annelid families Dorvilleidae, Capitellidae, and Tubificidae, while mussel habitats had higher proportions of crustaceans. Diversity was lower in BCS microbial mat habitats, but higher in mussel and slope sediments compared to NCS habitats. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed specific sediment properties as important for distinguishing the macrofaunal communities, including larger grain sizes present within NCS microbial mat habitats and depleted stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) in sediments present at mussel beds. These results suggest that habitat differences in the quality and source of organic matter are driving the observed patterns in the infaunal assemblages, including high β diversity and high variability in the macrofaunal community composition. This

  15. Habitat factors influencing the distribution of Cymbopogon validus in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Habitat factors influencing the distribution of Cymbopogon validus in Mkambati Game Reserve, Transkei. ... disturbance; game reserve; grassland; grasslands; habitat conditions; habitat factors; mkambati game ... AJOL African Journals Online.

  16. Small cities face greater impact from automation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Morgan R; Sun, Lijun; Cebrian, Manuel; Youn, Hyejin; Rahwan, Iyad

    2018-02-01

    The city has proved to be the most successful form of human agglomeration and provides wide employment opportunities for its dwellers. As advances in robotics and artificial intelligence revive concerns about the impact of automation on jobs, a question looms: how will automation affect employment in cities? Here, we provide a comparative picture of the impact of automation across US urban areas. Small cities will undertake greater adjustments, such as worker displacement and job content substitutions. We demonstrate that large cities exhibit increased occupational and skill specialization due to increased abundance of managerial and technical professions. These occupations are not easily automatable, and, thus, reduce the potential impact of automation in large cities. Our results pass several robustness checks including potential errors in the estimation of occupational automation and subsampling of occupations. Our study provides the first empirical law connecting two societal forces: urban agglomeration and automation's impact on employment. © 2018 The Authors.

  17. Small cities face greater impact from automation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Lijun; Cebrian, Manuel; Rahwan, Iyad

    2018-01-01

    The city has proved to be the most successful form of human agglomeration and provides wide employment opportunities for its dwellers. As advances in robotics and artificial intelligence revive concerns about the impact of automation on jobs, a question looms: how will automation affect employment in cities? Here, we provide a comparative picture of the impact of automation across US urban areas. Small cities will undertake greater adjustments, such as worker displacement and job content substitutions. We demonstrate that large cities exhibit increased occupational and skill specialization due to increased abundance of managerial and technical professions. These occupations are not easily automatable, and, thus, reduce the potential impact of automation in large cities. Our results pass several robustness checks including potential errors in the estimation of occupational automation and subsampling of occupations. Our study provides the first empirical law connecting two societal forces: urban agglomeration and automation's impact on employment. PMID:29436514

  18. Planning for greater-confinement disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gilbert, T.L.; Luner, C.; Meshkov, N.K.; Trevorrow, L.E.; Yu, C.

    1984-01-01

    This contribution is a progress report for preparation of a document that will summarize procedures and technical information needed to plan for and implement greater-confinement disposal (GCD) of low-level radioactive waste. Selection of a site and a facility design (Phase I), and construction, operation, and extended care (Phase II) will be covered in the document. This progress report is limited to Phase I. Phase I includes determination of the need for GCD, design alternatives, and selection of a site and facility design. Alternative designs considered are augered shafts, deep trenches, engineered structures, high-integrity containers, hydrofracture, and improved waste form. Design considerations and specifications, performance elements, cost elements, and comparative advantages and disadvantages of the different designs are covered. Procedures are discussed for establishing overall performance objectives and waste-acceptance criteria, and for comparative assessment of the performance and cost of the different alternatives. 16 references

  19. Greater confinement disposal of radioactive wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trevorrow, L.E.; Gilbert, T.L.; Luner, C.; Merry-Libby, P.A.; Meshkov, N.K.; Yu, C.

    1985-01-01

    Low-level radioactive waste (LLW) includes a broad spectrum of different radionuclide concentrations, half-lives, and hazards. Standard shallow-land burial practice can provide adequate protection of public health and safety for most LLW. A small volume fraction (approx. 1%) containing most of the activity inventory (approx. 90%) requires specific measures known as greater-confinement disposal (GCD). Different site characteristics and different waste characteristics - such as high radionuclide concentrations, long radionuclide half-lives, high radionuclide mobility, and physical or chemical characteristics that present exceptional hazards - lead to different GCD facility design requirements. Facility design alternatives considered for GCD include the augered shaft, deep trench, engineered structure, hydrofracture, improved waste form, and high-integrity container. Selection of an appropriate design must also consider the interplay between basic risk limits for protection of public health and safety, performance characteristics and objectives, costs, waste-acceptance criteria, waste characteristics, and site characteristics

  20. Planning for greater-confinement disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gilbert, T.L.; Luner, C.; Meshkov, N.K.; Trevorrow, L.E.; Yu, C.

    1984-01-01

    This contribution is a progress report for preparation of a document that will summarize procedures and technical information needed to plan for and implement greater-confinement disposal (GCD) of low-level radioactive waste. Selection of a site and a facility design (Phase I), and construction, operation, and extended care (Phase II) will be covered in the document. This progress report is limited to Phase I. Phase I includes determination of the need for GCD, design alternatives, and selection of a site and facility design. Alternative designs considered are augered shafts, deep trenches, engineered structures, high-integrity containers, hydrofracture, and improved waste form. Design considerations and specifications, performance elements, cost elements, and comparative advantages and disadvantages of the different designs are covered. Procedures are discussed for establishing overall performance objecties and waste-acceptance criteria, and for comparative assessment of the performance and cost of the different alternatives. 16 refs

  1. Stream Habitat Reach Summary - NCWAP [ds158

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The Stream Habitat - NCWAP - Reach Summary [ds158] shapefile contains in-stream habitat survey data summarized to the stream reach level. It is a derivative of the...

  2. Chinook Critical Habitat, Coast - NOAA [ds124

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — This layer depicts areas designated for Chinook Critical Habitat as well as habitat type and quality in the California Coastal Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU -...

  3. A Conceptual Approach to Recreation Habitat Analysis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hamilton, H. R

    1996-01-01

    .... The Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) is a commonly used technique for assessing human impacts on the vigor of wildlife species, and serves as the model for the Recreation Habitat Analysis Method (RHAM...

  4. Beaked Whale Habitat Characterization and Prediction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ward, Jessica A; Mitchell, Glenn H; Farak, Amy M; Keane, Ellen P

    2005-01-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize known beaked whale habitat and create a predictive beaked whale habitat model of the Gulf of Mexico and east coast of the United States using available...

  5. Pacific Northwest Salmon Habitat Project Database

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In the Pacific Northwest Salmon Habitat Project Database Across the Pacific Northwest, both public and private agents are working to improve riverine habitat for a...

  6. Threats to agriculture at the extensive and intensive margins : economic analyses of selected land-use issues in the U.S. West and British Columbia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eagle, A.J.

    2009-01-01

    Key Words Agriculture-environment interactions, economic modelling, sage grouse, yellow starthistle, urban-rural fringe, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), farmland conservation, direct marketing Agricultural land uses are frequently challenged by competing land demands for urban uses and for

  7. 78 FR 42798 - Notice of Public Meeting, Northwest Colorado Resource Advisory Council Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-17

    ... telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1- 800-877-8339... Sage-Grouse Planning Strategy, working group reports, recreation, fire management, land use planning...

  8. The relative influence of road characteristics and habitat on adjacent lizard populations in arid shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Kaylan A.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Gerow, Kenneth G.

    2016-01-01

    As road networks continue to expand globally, indirect impacts to adjacent wildlife populations remain largely unknown. Simultaneously, reptile populations are declining worldwide and anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are frequently cited causes. We evaluated the relative influence of three different road characteristics (surface treatment, width, and traffic volume) and habitat features on adjacent populations of Northern Sagebrush Lizards (Sceloporus graciosus graciosus), Plateau Fence Lizards (S. tristichus), and Greater Short-Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma hernandesi) in mixed arid shrubland habitats in southwest Wyoming. Neither odds of lizard presence nor relative abundance was significantly related to any of the assessed road characteristics, although there was a trend for higher Sceloporus spp. abundance adjacent to paved roads. Sceloporus spp. relative abundance did not vary systematically with distance to the nearest road. Rather, both Sceloporus spp. and Greater Short-Horned Lizards were associated strongly with particular habitat characteristics adjacent to roads. Sceloporus spp. presence and relative abundance increased with rock cover, relative abundance was associated positively with shrub cover, and presence was associated negatively with grass cover. Greater Short-Horned Lizard presence increased with bare ground and decreased marginally with shrub cover. Our results suggest that habitat attributes are stronger correlates of lizard presence and relative abundance than individual characteristics of adjacent roads, at least in our system. Therefore, an effective conservation approach for these species may be to consider the landscape through which new roads and their associated development would occur, and the impact that placement could have on fragment size and key habitat elements.

  9. Polar bears and sea ice habitat change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Butterworth, Andy

    2017-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is an obligate apex predator of Arctic sea ice and as such can be affected by climate warming-induced changes in the extent and composition of pack ice and its impacts on their seal prey. Sea ice declines have negatively impacted some polar bear subpopulations through reduced energy input because of loss of hunting habitats, higher energy costs due to greater ice drift, ice fracturing and open water, and ultimately greater challenges to recruit young. Projections made from the output of global climate models suggest that polar bears in peripheral Arctic and sub-Arctic seas will be reduced in numbers or become extirpated by the end of the twenty-first century if the rate of climate warming continues on its present trajectory. The same projections also suggest that polar bears may persist in the high-latitude Arctic where heavy multiyear sea ice that has been typical in that region is being replaced by thinner annual ice. Underlying physical and biological oceanography provides clues as to why polar bear in some regions are negatively impacted, while bears in other regions have shown no apparent changes. However, continued declines in sea ice will eventually challenge the survival of polar bears and efforts to conserve them in all regions of the Arctic.

  10. The spatial structure of habitat selection: A caribou's-eye-view

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor, Stephen J.; Schaefer, James A.; Schneider, David C.; Mahoney, Shane P.

    2009-03-01

    Greater understanding of habitat selection requires investigation at the scales at which organisms perceive and respond to their environment. Such knowledge could reveal the relative importance of factors limiting populations and the extent of response to habitat changes, and so guide conservation initiatives. We conducted a novel, spatially explicit analysis of winter habitat selection by caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) in Newfoundland, Canada, to elucidate the spatial scales of habitat selection. We combined conventional hierarchical habitat analysis with a newly developed geospatial approach that quantifies selection across scales as the difference in variance between available and used sites. We used both ordination and univariate analyses of lichen and plant cover, snow hardness and depth. This represents the first use of ordination with geostatistics for the assessment of habitat selection. Caribou habitat selection was driven by shallow, soft snow and high cover of Cladina lichens and was strongest at feeding microsites (craters) and broader feeding areas. Habitat selection was most evident at distance lags of up to 15 km, perhaps an indication of the perceptual abilities of caribou.

  11. Mechanisms Affecting Population Density in Fragmented Habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lutz Tischendorf

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a factorial simulation experiment to analyze the relative importance of movement pattern, boundary-crossing probability, and mortality in habitat and matrix on population density, and its dependency on habitat fragmentation, as well as inter-patch distance. We also examined how the initial response of a species to a fragmentation event may affect our observations of population density in post-fragmentation experiments. We found that the boundary-crossing probability from habitat to matrix, which partly determines the emigration rate, is the most important determinant for population density within habitat patches. The probability of crossing a boundary from matrix to habitat had a weaker, but positive, effect on population density. Movement behavior in habitat had a stronger effect on population density than movement behavior in matrix. Habitat fragmentation and inter-patch distance may have a positive or negative effect on population density. The direction of both effects depends on two factors. First, when the boundary-crossing probability from habitat to matrix is high, population density may decline with increasing habitat fragmentation. Conversely, for species with a high matrix-to-habitat boundary-crossing probability, population density may increase with increasing habitat fragmentation. Second, the initial distribution of individuals across the landscape: we found that habitat fragmentation and inter-patch distance were positively correlated with population density when individuals were distributed across matrix and habitat at the beginning of our simulation experiments. The direction of these relationships changed to negative when individuals were initially distributed across habitat only. Our findings imply that the speed of the initial response of organisms to habitat fragmentation events may determine the direction of observed relationships between habitat fragmentation and population density. The time scale of post

  12. 3.10. Habitat restoration and creation

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    1.12.1 Terrestrial habitat Based on the collated evidence, what is the current assessment of the effectiveness of interventions for terrestrial habitat restoration and creation? Beneficial ● Replant vegetation Likely to be beneficial ● Clear vegetation● Create artificial hibernacula or aestivation sites● Create refuges● Restore habitat connectivity Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence) ● Change mowing regime No evidence found (no assessment) ● Create habitat connectivity Beneficial Repla...

  13. Dietary breadth of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunther, Kerry A.; Shoemaker, Rebecca; Frey, Kevin L.; Haroldson, Mark A.; Cain, Steven L.; van Manen, Frank T.; Fortin, Jennifer K.

    2014-01-01

    Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) are opportunistic omnivores that eat a great diversity of plant and animal species. Changes in climate may affect regional vegetation, hydrology, insects, and fire regimes, likely influencing the abundance, range, and elevational distribution of the plants and animals consumed by GYE grizzly bears. Determining the dietary breadth of grizzly bears is important to document future changes in food resources and how those changes may affect the nutritional ecology of grizzlies. However, no synthesis exists of all foods consumed by grizzly bears in the GYE. We conducted a review of available literature and compiled a list of species consumed by grizzly bears in the GYE. We documented >266 species within 200 genera from 4 kingdoms, including 175 plant, 37 invertebrate, 34 mammal, 7 fungi, 7 bird, 4 fish, 1 amphibian, and 1 algae species as well as 1 soil type consumed by grizzly bears. The average energy values of the ungulates (6.8 kcal/g), trout (Oncorhynchus spp., 6.1 kcal/g), and small mammals (4.5 kcal/g) eaten by grizzlies were higher than those of the plants (3.0 kcal/g) and invertebrates (2.7 kcal/g) they consumed. The most frequently detected diet items were graminoids, ants (Formicidae), whitebark pine seeds (Pinus albicaulis), clover (Trifolium spp.), and dandelion (Taraxacum spp.). The most consistently used foods on a temporal basis were graminoids, ants, whitebark pine seeds, clover, elk (Cervus elaphus), thistle (Cirsium spp.), and horsetail (Equisetum spp.). Historically, garbage was a significant diet item for grizzlies until refuse dumps were closed. Use of forbs increased after garbage was no longer readily available. The list of foods we compiled will help managers of grizzly bears and their habitat document future changes in grizzly bear food habits and how bears respond to changing food resources.

  14. A technical guide for monitoring wildlife habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.M. Rowland; C.D. Vojta

    2013-01-01

    Information about status and trend of wildlife habitat is important for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service to accomplish its mission and meet its legal requirements. As the steward of 193 million acres (ac) of Federal land, the Forest Service needs to evaluate the status of wildlife habitat and how it compares with desired conditions. Habitat monitoring...

  15. Habitat preference of Roan Antelope (Hippotragus equinus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Key words: Habitat Preference, Roan Antelope, Seasons. INTRODUCTION. Habitat quality and quantity have been identified as the primary limiting factors that influence animal population dynamics. (Jansen et al., 2001). Habitat influences the presence, abundance, distribution, movement and behavior of game animals.

  16. Creating complex habitats for restoration and reconciliation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loke, L.H.L.; Ladle, R.J.; Bouma, T.J.; Todd, P.A.

    2015-01-01

    Simplification of natural habitats has become a major conservation challenge and there is a growing consensus that incorporating and enhancing habitat complexity is likely to be critical for future restoration efforts. Habitat complexity is often ascribed an important role in controlling species

  17. 50 CFR 17.94 - Critical habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... habitats. (a) The areas listed in § 17.95 (fish and wildlife) and § 17.96 (plants) and referred to in the... physical constituent elements within the defined area of Critical Habitat that are essential to the... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitats. 17.94 Section 17.94...

  18. 75 FR 34975 - Notice of Estuary Habitat Restoration Council's Intent to Revise its Estuary Habitat Restoration...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-21

    ... Estuary Habitat Restoration Council's Intent to Revise its Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy; Request... interagency Estuary Habitat Restoration Council, is providing notice of the Council's intent to revise the ''Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy'' and requesting public comments to guide its revision. DATES...

  19. Habitat assessment of non-wadeable rivers in Michigan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Jennifer G O; Allan, J David; Wessell, Kelly J; Merritt, Richard W; Cummins, Kenneth W

    2005-10-01

    excellent (1). Habitat variables retained in the NWHI differ from several used in wadeable streams, and place greater emphasis on known characteristic features of larger rivers.

  20. Temporal variation in the arthropod community of desert riparian habitats with varying amounts of saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durst, S.L.; Theimer, T.C.; Paxton, E.H.; Sogge, M.K.

    2008-01-01

    We used Malaise traps to examine the aerial arthropod community in riparian habitats dominated by native willow, exotic saltcedar, or a mixture of these two tree species in central Arizona, USA. Over the course of three sampling periods per year in 2003 and 2004, native habitats had significantly greater diversity (Shannon-Wiener) and supported different arthropod communities compared to exotic habitats, while mixed habitats were intermediate in terms of diversity and supported an arthropod community statistically indistinguishable from the exotic site. The composition of arthropod communities varied significantly between the two years, and there was an approximately two-fold difference in richness and diversity. Overall, we documented complex interactions indicating that differences among the arthropod communities of riparian habitats may be driven not only by the composition of native and exotic tree species making up these habitats, but also by year and season of arthropod sampling.

  1. Urban acid deposition in Greater Manchester

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, D.S.; Longhurst, J.W.S.; Gee, D.R.; Hare, S.E. (Manchester Polytechnic, Manchester (UK). Acid Rain Information Centre)

    1989-08-01

    Data are presented from a monitoring network of 18 bulk precipitation collectors and one wet-only collector in the urban area of Greater Manchester, in the north west of England. Weekly samples were analysed for all the major ions in precipitation along with gaseous nitrogen dioxide concentrations from diffusion tubes. Statistical analysis of the data shows significant spatial variation of non marine sulphate, nitrate, ammonium, acidity and calcium concentrations, and nitrogen dioxide concentrations. Calcium is thought to be responsible for the buffering of acidity and is of local origin. Wet deposition is the likely removal process for calcium in the atmosphere and probably by below cloud scavenging. Nitrate and ammonium concentrations and depositions show close spatial, temporal and statistical association. Examination of high simultaneous episodes of nitrate and ammonium deposition shows that these depositions cannot be explained in terms of trajectories and it is suggested that UK emissions of ammonia may be important. Statistical analysis of the relationships between nitrate and ammonium depositions, concentrations and precipitation amount suggest that ammonia from mesoscale sources reacts reversibly with nitric acid aerosol and is removed by below cloud scavenging. High episodes of the deposition of non marine sulphate are difficult to explain by trajectory analysis alone, perhaps suggesting local sources. In a comparison between wet deposition and bulk deposition, it was shown that only 15.2% of the non marine sulphur was dry deposited to the bulk precipitation collector. 63 refs., 86 figs., 31 tabs.

  2. Subsurface microbial habitats on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, P. J.; Mckay, C. P.

    1991-01-01

    We developed scenarios for shallow and deep subsurface cryptic niches for microbial life on Mars. Such habitats could have considerably prolonged the persistence of life on Mars as surface conditions became increasingly inhospitable. The scenarios rely on geothermal hot spots existing below the near or deep subsurface of Mars. Recent advances in the comparatively new field of deep subsurface microbiology have revealed previously unsuspected rich aerobic and anaerobic microbal communities far below the surface of the Earth. Such habitats, protected from the grim surface conditions on Mars, could receive warmth from below and maintain water in its liquid state. In addition, geothermally or volcanically reduced gases percolating from below through a microbiologically active zone could provide the reducing power needed for a closed or semi-closed microbial ecosystem to thrive.

  3. Sex- and habitat-specific movement of an omnivorous semi-terrestrial crab controls habitat connectivity and subsidies: a multi-parameter approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hübner, Lena; Pennings, Steven C; Zimmer, Martin

    2015-08-01

    differed significantly between sexes, but habitat effects were greater than sex effects. By combining multiple measures of feeding ecology, we demonstrate that Armases exhibits sex-specific habitat choice and food preference. By using both coastal forest and saltmarsh habitats, but feeding predominantly in the latter, they possibly act as a key biotic vector of spatial subsidies across habitat borders. The degree of contributing to fluxes of matter, nutrients and energy, however, depends on their sex, indicating that changes in population structure would likely have profound effects on ecosystem connectivity and functioning.

  4. Caribou nursery site habitat characteristics in two northern Ontario parks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natasha L. Carr

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available To prevent further range recession, habitat features essential to the life-history requisites of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou such as calving and nursery sites need to be protected for the persistence of the species. Woodland caribou may minimize predation risk during calving by either spacing out or spacing away from predators in the forest to calve on islands, wetlands, or shorelines. Our objective was to determine the characteristics of shoreline habitats used as calving and nursery sites by female woodland caribou in northern Ontario. Detailed vegetation and other site characteristics were measured at nursery sites used by cow-calf pairs in Wabakimi and Woodland Caribou Provincial Parks for comparison with shoreline sites that were not used by caribou within each park. Differences in habitat variables selected by female caribou in the two study areas reflect broad ecoregional differences in vegetation and topography. In Wabakimi Provincial Park, understorey tree density and ground detection distance played key roles in distinguishing nursery sites from sites that were not used. In Woodland Caribou Provincial Park, groundcover vegetation and shrub density were important in the selection of nursery sites by female caribou. Generally, female caribou in both parks selected nursery sites with greater slope, lower shrub density but thicker groundcover vegetation, including greater lichen abundance, and higher densities of mature trees than shoreline sites that were not used. The identification of these important features for caribou nursery sites provides a basis for improving their protection in future management policies and legislation.

  5. Use of cover habitat by bull trout Salvelinus confluentus and lake trout Salvelinus namaycush in a laboratory environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meeuwig, Michael H.; Guy, Christopher S.; Fredenberg, Wade A.

    2011-01-01

    Lacustrine-adfluvial bull trout, Salvelinus confluentus, migrate from spawning and rearing streams to lacustrine environments as early as age 0. Within lacustrine environments, cover habitat pro- vides refuge from potential predators and is a resource that is competed for if limiting. Competitive inter- actions between bull trout and other species could result in bull trout being displaced from cover habitat, and bull trout may lack evolutionary adaptations to compete with introduced species, such as lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush. A laboratory experiment was performed to examine habitat use and interactions for cover by juvenile (i.e., habitat, with bull trout using cover and bottom habitats more than lake trout. Habitat selection ratios indicated that bull trout avoided water column habitat in the presence of lake trout and that lake trout avoided bottom habitat. Intraspecific and interspecific agonistic interactions were infrequent, but approximately 10 times greater for intraspecific inter- actions between lake trout. Results from this study provide little evidence that juvenile bull trout and lake trout compete for cover, and that species-specific differences in habitat use and selection likely result in habitat partitioning between these species.

  6. An approach of habitat degradation assessment for characterization on coastal habitat conservation tendency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xi-Yin; Lei, Kun; Meng, Wei

    2017-09-01

    Coastal zones are population and economy highly intensity regions all over the world, and coastal habitat supports the sustainable development of human society. The accurate assessment of coastal habitat degradation is the essential prerequisite for coastal zone protection. In this study, an integrated framework of coastal habitat degradation assessment including landuse classification, habitat classifying and zoning, evaluation criterion of coastal habitat degradation and coastal habitat degradation index has been established for better regional coastal habitat assessment. Through establishment of detailed three-class landuse classification, the fine landscape change is revealed, the evaluation criterion of coastal habitat degradation through internal comparison based on the results of habitat classifying and zoning could indicate the levels of habitat degradation and distinguish the intensity of human disturbances in different habitat subareas under the same habitat classification. Finally, the results of coastal habitat degradation assessment could be achieved through coastal habitat degradation index (CHI). A case study of the framework is carried out in the Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast, China, and the main results show the following: (1) The accuracy of all land use classes are above 90%, which indicates a satisfactory accuracy for the classification map. (2) The Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast is divided into 3 kinds of habitats and 5 subareas. (3) In the five subareas of the Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast, the levels of coastal habitat degradation own significant difference. The whole Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast generally is in a worse state according to area weighting of each habitat subarea. This assessment framework of coastal habitat degradation would characterize the landuse change trend, realize better coastal habitat degradation assessment, reveal the habitat conservation tendency and distinguish intensity of human disturbances. Furthermore, it would support for accurate coastal

  7. Modelling Fish Habitat Suitability in the Eastern English Channel. Application to community habitat level

    OpenAIRE

    Vaz, Sandrine; Carpentier, Andre; Loots, Christophe; Koubbi, Philippe

    2004-01-01

    Valuable marine habitats and living resources can be found in the Eastern English Channel and in 2003, a Franco-British Interreg IIIA project, ‘Eastern Channel Habitat Atlas for Marine Resource Management’ (CHARM), was initiated to support decision-making for management of essential fish habitats. Fish habitat corresponds to geographic areas within which ranges of environmental factors define the presence of a particular species. Habitat Suitability index (HSI) modelling was used to relate fi...

  8. Genomics meets applied ecology: Characterizing habitat quality for sloths in a tropical agroecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, Emily D; Kang, Jung Koo; Tempel, Douglas J; Palsbøll, Per J; Pauli, Jonathan N; Zachariah Peery, M

    2018-01-01

    Understanding how habitat quality in heterogeneous landscapes governs the distribution and fitness of individuals is a fundamental aspect of ecology. While mean individual fitness is generally considered a key to assessing habitat quality, a comprehensive understanding of habitat quality in heterogeneous landscapes requires estimates of dispersal rates among habitat types. The increasing accessibility of genomic approaches, combined with field-based demographic methods, provides novel opportunities for incorporating dispersal estimation into assessments of habitat quality. In this study, we integrated genomic kinship approaches with field-based estimates of fitness components and approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) procedures to estimate habitat-specific dispersal rates and characterize habitat quality in two-toed sloths (Choloepus hoffmanni) occurring in a Costa Rican agricultural ecosystem. Field-based observations indicated that birth and survival rates were similar in a sparsely shaded cacao farm and adjacent cattle pasture-forest mosaic. Sloth density was threefold higher in pasture compared with cacao, whereas home range size and overlap were greater in cacao compared with pasture. Dispersal rates were similar between the two habitats, as estimated using ABC procedures applied to the spatial distribution of pairs of related individuals identified using 3,431 single nucleotide polymorphism and 11 microsatellite locus genotypes. Our results indicate that crops produced under a sparse overstorey can, in some cases, constitute lower-quality habitat than pasture-forest mosaics for sloths, perhaps because of differences in food resources or predator communities. Finally, our study demonstrates that integrating field-based demographic approaches with genomic methods can provide a powerful means for characterizing habitat quality for animal populations occurring in heterogeneous landscapes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Climate change expands the spatial extent and duration of preferred thermal habitat for lake Superior fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J Cline

    Full Text Available Climate change is expected to alter species distributions and habitat suitability across the globe. Understanding these shifting distributions is critical for adaptive resource management. The role of temperature in fish habitat and energetics is well established and can be used to evaluate climate change effects on habitat distributions and food web interactions. Lake Superior water temperatures are rising rapidly in response to climate change and this is likely influencing species distributions and interactions. We use a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model that captures temperature changes in Lake Superior over the last 3 decades to investigate shifts in habitat size and duration of preferred temperatures for four different fishes. We evaluated habitat changes in two native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush ecotypes, siscowet and lean lake trout, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, and walleye (Sander vitreus. Between 1979 and 2006, days with available preferred thermal habitat increased at a mean rate of 6, 7, and 5 days per decade for lean lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye, respectively. Siscowet lake trout lost 3 days per decade. Consequently, preferred habitat spatial extents increased at a rate of 579, 495 and 419 km(2 per year for the lean lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye while siscowet lost 161 km(2 per year during the modeled period. Habitat increases could lead to increased growth and production for three of the four fishes. Consequently, greater habitat overlap may intensify interguild competition and food web interactions. Loss of cold-water habitat for siscowet, having the coldest thermal preference, could forecast potential changes from continued warming. Additionally, continued warming may render more suitable conditions for some invasive species.

  10. Habitats of small mammals at Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iverson, S L; Turner, B N

    1973-12-01

    The small mammals in the area around the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment in southeastern Manitoba were sampled by approximately 110,000 snap- trap nights in a 5 year period. Habitats trapped were divided into major types on the basis of the tree species present, and occurrences of the different species of shrubs and herbs in each habitat type were noted. The major habitats were mixed deciduous, aspen, ash, mixed coniferous, The small mammal component of the mixed deciduous forest was dominated by Peromyscus maniculatus and Clethrionomys gapperi but all of the other species included in this study were also present. In both aspen and ash forests, Microtus pennsylvanicus and C. gapperi were the most numerous species, with Sorex arcticus reaching its greatest abundance in the latter. In the open field, M. pennsylvanicus was most abundant, followed by Zapus hudsonius, C. gapperi, M. pennsylvanicus and Sorex cinereus were the most numerous mammals in the black spruce bog community, and also extended into the black spruce forest. All of the species studied, except Napaeozapus insignis and S. arcticus, were present in the mixed coniferous forest. S. arcticus and S. cinereus, although captured in habitats ranging from heavy forest to open field, appeared to be most numerous in young forests and other intermediate habitats. Blarina brevicauda was most numerous in older forests. P. maniculatus and N. insignis were most common in the mixed deciduous forest, but P. maniculatus occurred more frequently than N. insignis in the younger forests. P. maniculatus showed a significant positive relationship with large tree diameter and low percentages of ground cover. C. gapperi was captured in highest numbers in the mixed deciduous and coniferous forests, but was also found in the other types of forest in greater numbers than P. maniculaius. M. pennsylvanicus and Zapus hudsonius were most common in the open field, but both species were present in the forests. Analysis of data

  11. Response of the agile antechinus to habitat edge, configuration and condition in fragmented forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P Johnstone

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation and degradation seriously threaten native animal communities. We studied the response of a small marsupial, the agile antechinus Antechinus agilis, to several environmental variables in anthropogenically fragmented Eucalyptus forest in south-east Australia. Agile antechinus were captured more in microhabitats dominated by woody debris than in other microhabitats. Relative abundances of both sexes were positively correlated with fragment core area. Male and female mass-size residuals were smaller in larger fragments. A health status indicator, haemoglobin-haematocrit residuals (HHR, did not vary as a function of any environmental variable in females, but male HHR indicated better health where sites' microhabitats were dominated by shrubs, woody debris and trees other than Eucalyptus. Females were trapped less often in edge than interior fragment habitat and their physiological stress level, indicated by the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio in peripheral blood, was higher where fragments had a greater proportion of edge habitat. The latter trend was potentially due to lymphopoenia resulting from stress hormone-mediated leukocyte trafficking. Using multiple indicators of population condition and health status facilitates a comprehensive examination of the effects of anthropogenic disturbances, such as habitat fragmentation and degradation, on native vertebrates. Male agile antechinus' health responded negatively to habitat degradation, whilst females responded negatively to the proportion of edge habitat. The health and condition indicators used could be employed to identify conservation strategies that would make habitat fragments less stressful for this or similar native, small mammals.

  12. Migratory connectivity magnifies the consequences of habitat loss from sea-level rise for shorebird populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwamura, Takuya; Possingham, Hugh P; Chadès, Iadine; Minton, Clive; Murray, Nicholas J; Rogers, Danny I; Treml, Eric A; Fuller, Richard A

    2013-06-22

    Sea-level rise (SLR) will greatly alter littoral ecosystems, causing habitat change and loss for coastal species. Habitat loss is widely used as a measurement of the risk of extinction, but because many coastal species are migratory, the impact of habitat loss will depend not only on its extent, but also on where it occurs. Here, we develop a novel graph-theoretic approach to measure the vulnerability of a migratory network to the impact of habitat loss from SLR based on population flow through the network. We show that reductions in population flow far exceed the proportion of habitat lost for 10 long-distance migrant shorebirds using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. We estimate that SLR will inundate 23-40% of intertidal habitat area along their migration routes, but cause a reduction in population flow of up to 72 per cent across the taxa. This magnifying effect was particularly strong for taxa whose migration routes contain bottlenecks-sites through which a large fraction of the population travels. We develop the bottleneck index, a new network metric that positively correlates with the predicted impacts of habitat loss on overall population flow. Our results indicate that migratory species are at greater risk than previously realized.

  13. HABSEED: a Simple Spatially Explicit Meta-Populations Model Using Remote Sensing Derived Habitat Quality Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heumann, B. W.; Guichard, F.; Seaquist, J. W.

    2005-05-01

    The HABSEED model uses remote sensing derived NPP as a surrogate for habitat quality as the driving mechanism for population growth and local seed dispersal. The model has been applied to the Sahel region of Africa. Results show that the functional response of plants to habitat quality alters population distribution. Plants more tolerant of medium quality habitat have greater distributions to the North while plants requiring only the best habitat are limited to the South. For all functional response types, increased seed production results in diminishing returns. Functional response types have been related to life history tradeoffs and r-K strategies based on the results. Results are compared to remote sensing derived vegetation land cover.

  14. Variability in leaf optical properties among 26 species from a broad range of habitats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knapp, A.K.; Carter, G.A.

    1998-01-01

    Leaves from 26 species with growth forms from annual herbs to trees were collected from open, intermediate, and shaded understory habitats in Mississippi and Kansas, USA. Leaf optical properties including reflectance, transmittance, and absorptance in visible and near infrared (NIR) wavelengths were measured along with leaf thickness and specific leaf mass (SLM). These leaf properties and internal light scattering have been reported to vary with light availability in studies that have focused on a limited number of species. Our objective was to determine whether these patterns in leaf optics and light availability were consistent when a greater number of species were evaluated. Leaf thickness and SLM varied by tenfold among species sampled, but within-habitat variance was high. Although there was a strong trend toward thicker leaves in open habitats, only SLM was significantly greater in open vs. understory habitats. In contrast, leaf optical properties were strikingly similar among habitats. Reflectance and reflectance/transmittance in the NIR were used to estimate internal light scattering and there were strong relationships (r2 0.65) between these optical properties and leaf thickness. We concluded that leaf thickness, which did not vary consistently among habitats, was the best predictor of NIR reflectance and internal light scattering. However, because carbon allocation to leaves was lower in understory species (low SLM) yet gross optical properties were similar among all habitats, the energy investment by shade leaves required to achieve optical equivalence with sun leaves was lower. Differences in leaf longevity and growth form within a habitat may help explain the lack of consistent patterns in leaf optics as the number of species sampled increases

  15. Habitat use by a freshwater dolphin in the low-water season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braulik, Gill T.; Reichert, Albert P.; Ehsan, Tahir; Khan, Samiullah; Northridge, Simon P.; Alexander, Jason S.; Garstang, Richard

    2012-01-01

    1. Many river dolphin populations are most vulnerable during the low-water season when habitat is limited. Indus River dolphin habitat selection in the dry season was investigated using Generalized Linear Models of dolphin distribution and abundance in relation to physical features of river geomorphology and channel geometry in cross-section. 2. Dolphins selected locations in the river with significantly greater mean depth, maximum depth, cross-sectional area, and hydraulic radius, and significantly narrower river width and a lower degree of braiding than areas where dolphins were absent. They were also recorded with higher frequency at river constrictions and at confluences. 3. Channel cross-sectional area was the most important factor affecting dolphin presence and abundance, with the area of water below 1 m in depth exerting the greatest influence. Indus dolphins avoided channels with small cross-sectional area (2), presumably owing to the risk of entrapment and reduced foraging opportunities. 4. Channel geometry had a greater ability to explain dolphin distribution than river geomorphology; however, both analyses indicated similar types of habitat selection. The dolphin–habitat relationships identified in the river geomorphology analysis were scale-dependent, indicating that dolphin distribution is driven by the occurrence of discrete small-scale features, such as confluences and constrictions, as well as by broader-scale habitat complexes. 5. There are numerous plans to impound or extract more water from the Indus River system. If low-water season flows are allowed to decrease further, the amount of deeper habitat will decline, there may be insufficient patches of suitable habitat to support the dolphin population through the low-water season, and dolphins may become isolated within deeper river sections, unable or unwilling to traverse through shallows between favourable patches of habitat.

  16. Ground beetle habitat templets and riverbank integrity

    OpenAIRE

    Van Looy, Kris; Vanacker, Stijn; Jochems, Hans; De Blust, Geert; Dufrêne, M

    2006-01-01

    The habitat templet approach was used in a scale-sensitive bioindicator assessment for the ecological integrity of riverbanks and for specific responses to river management. Ground beetle habitat templets were derived from a catchment scale sampling, integrating the overall variety of bank types. This coarse-filter analysis was integrated in the reach scale fine-filtering approaches of community responses to habitat integrity and river management impacts. Higher species diversity was associat...

  17. Fuzzy modelling of Atlantic salmon physical habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    St-Hilaire, André; Mocq, Julien; Cunjak, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Fish habitat models typically attempt to quantify the amount of available river habitat for a given fish species for various flow and hydraulic conditions. To achieve this, information on the preferred range of values of key physical habitat variables (e.g. water level, velocity, substrate diameter) for the targeted fishs pecies need to be modelled. In this context, we developed several habitat suitability indices sets for three Atlantic salmon life stages (young-of-the-year (YOY), parr, spawning adults) with the help of fuzzy logic modeling. Using the knowledge of twenty-seven experts, from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, we defined fuzzy sets of four variables (depth, substrate size, velocity and Habitat Suitability Index, or HSI) and associated fuzzy rules. When applied to the Romaine River (Canada), median curves of standardized Weighted Usable Area (WUA) were calculated and a confidence interval was obtained by bootstrap resampling. Despite the large range of WUA covered by the expert WUA curves, confidence intervals were relatively narrow: an average width of 0.095 (on a scale of 0 to 1) for spawning habitat, 0.155 for parr rearing habitat and 0.160 for YOY rearing habitat. When considering an environmental flow value corresponding to 90% of the maximum reached by WUA curve, results seem acceptable for the Romaine River. Generally, this proposed fuzzy logic method seems suitable to model habitat availability for the three life stages, while also providing an estimate of uncertainty in salmon preferences.

  18. Habitat stability, predation risk and 'memory syndromes'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalesman, S; Rendle, A; Dall, S R X

    2015-05-27

    Habitat stability and predation pressure are thought to be major drivers in the evolutionary maintenance of behavioural syndromes, with trait covariance only occurring within specific habitats. However, animals also exhibit behavioural plasticity, often through memory formation. Memory formation across traits may be linked, with covariance in memory traits (memory syndromes) selected under particular environmental conditions. This study tests whether the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, demonstrates consistency among memory traits ('memory syndrome') related to threat avoidance and foraging. We used eight populations originating from three different habitat types: i) laboratory populations (stable habitat, predator-free); ii) river populations (fairly stable habitat, fish predation); and iii) ditch populations (unstable habitat, invertebrate predation). At a population level, there was a negative relationship between memories related to threat avoidance and food selectivity, but no consistency within habitat type. At an individual level, covariance between memory traits was dependent on habitat. Laboratory populations showed no covariance among memory traits, whereas river populations showed a positive correlation between food memories, and ditch populations demonstrated a negative relationship between threat memory and food memories. Therefore, selection pressures among habitats appear to act independently on memory trait covariation at an individual level and the average response within a population.

  19. Differences in biological traits composition of benthic assemblages between unimpacted habitats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolam, S.G.; Garcia, C.; Eggleton, J.

    2017-01-01

    of unimpacted benthic assemblages vary between different sedimentary habitats. Assemblages in deep, muddy environments unaffected by anthropogenic disturbance show increased proportions of downward conveyors and surface deposit-feeders, while burrowing, diffusive mixing, scavenging and predation traits assume...... greater numerical proportions in shallower habitats. Deep, coarser sediments are numerically more dominated by sessile, upward conveyors and suspension feeders. In contrast, unimpacted assemblages of coarse sediments in shallower regions are proportionally dominated by the diffusive mixers, burrowers......, scavengers and predators. Finally, assemblages of gravelly sediments exhibit a relatively greater numerical dominance of non-bioturbators and asexual reproducers. These findings may be used to form the basis of ranking habitats along a functional sensitivity gradient...

  20. Two-dimensional physical habitat modeling of effects of habitat structures on urban stream restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongkyun Im

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available River corridors, even if highly modified or degraded, still provide important habitats for numerous biological species, and carry high aesthetic and economic values. One of the keys to urban stream restoration is recovery and maintenance of ecological flows sufficient to sustain aquatic ecosystems. In this study, the Hongje Stream in the Seoul metropolitan area of Korea was selected for evaluating a physically-based habitat with and without habitat structures. The potential value of the aquatic habitat was evaluated by a weighted usable area (WUA using River2D, a two-dimensional hydraulic model. The habitat suitability for Zacco platypus in the Hongje Stream was simulated with and without habitat structures. The computed WUA values for the boulder, spur dike, and riffle increased by about 2%, 7%, and 131%, respectively, after their construction. Also, the three habitat structures, especially the riffle, can contribute to increasing hydraulic heterogeneity and enhancing habitat diversity.

  1. Habitat Ecology Visual Surveys of Demersal Fishes and Habitats off California

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Since 1992, the Habitat Ecology team has been conducting fishery independent, visual surveys of demersal fishes and associated habitats in deep water (20 to 900...

  2. Guild-specific responses of avian species richness to LiDAR-derived habitat heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisberg, Peter J.; Dilts, Thomas E.; Becker, Miles E.; Young, Jock S.; Wong-Kone, Diane C.; Newton, Wesley E.; Ammon, Elisabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological niche theory implies that more heterogeneous habitats have the potential to support greater biodiversity. Positive heterogeneity-diversity relationships have been found for most studies investigating animal taxa, although negative relationships also occur and the scale dependence of heterogeneity-diversity relationships is little known. We investigated multi-scale, heterogeneity-diversity relationships for bird communities in a semi-arid riparian landscape, using airborne LiDAR data to derive key measures of structural habitat complexity. Habitat heterogeneity-diversity relationships were generally positive, although the overall strength of relationships varied across avian life history guilds (R2 range: 0.03–0.41). Best predicted were the species richness indices of cavity nesters, habitat generalists, woodland specialists, and foliage foragers. Heterogeneity-diversity relationships were also strongly scale-dependent, with strongest associations at the 200-m scale (4 ha) and weakest associations at the 50-m scale (0.25 ha). Our results underscore the value of LiDAR data for fine-grained quantification of habitat structure, as well as the need for biodiversity studies to incorporate variation among life-history guilds and to simultaneously consider multiple guild functional types (e.g. nesting, foraging, habitat). Results suggest that certain life-history guilds (foliage foragers, cavity nesters, woodland specialists) are more susceptible than others (ground foragers, ground nesters, low nesters) to experiencing declines in local species richness if functional elements of habitat heterogeneity are lost. Positive heterogeneity-diversity relationships imply that riparian conservation efforts need to not only provide high-quality riparian habitat locally, but also to provide habitat heterogeneity across multiple scales.

  3. Scale-Dependent Habitat Selection and Size-Based Dominance in Adult Male American Alligators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley A Strickland

    Full Text Available Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17 on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their

  4. Selection indicates preference in diverse habitats: a ground-nesting bird (Charadrius melodus using reservoir shoreline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Anteau

    Full Text Available Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers. We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2 that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had <38% coverage of silt and <10% slope at the site, and <15% coverage of vegetation or litter and <31% slope within the 3-m radius. Gravel was selected for at nest sites (11% median, but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.

  5. Selection indicates preference in diverse habitats: a ground-nesting bird (Charadrius melodus) using reservoir shoreline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anteau, Michael J; Sherfy, Mark H; Wiltermuth, Mark T

    2012-01-01

    Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK) has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers). We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m) during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2)) that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had nest sites (11% median), but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.

  6. Land use compounds habitat losses under projected climate change in a threatened California ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin Coulter Riordan

    Full Text Available Given the rapidly growing human population in mediterranean-climate systems, land use may pose a more immediate threat to biodiversity than climate change this century, yet few studies address the relative future impacts of both drivers. We assess spatial and temporal patterns of projected 21(st century land use and climate change on California sage scrub (CSS, a plant association of considerable diversity and threatened status in the mediterranean-climate California Floristic Province. Using a species distribution modeling approach combined with spatially-explicit land use projections, we model habitat loss for 20 dominant shrub species under unlimited and no dispersal scenarios at two time intervals (early and late century in two ecoregions in California (Central Coast and South Coast. Overall, projected climate change impacts were highly variable across CSS species and heavily dependent on dispersal assumptions. Projected anthropogenic land use drove greater relative habitat losses compared to projected climate change in many species. This pattern was only significant under assumptions of unlimited dispersal, however, where considerable climate-driven habitat gains offset some concurrent climate-driven habitat losses. Additionally, some of the habitat gained with projected climate change overlapped with projected land use. Most species showed potential northern habitat expansion and southern habitat contraction due to projected climate change, resulting in sharply contrasting patterns of impact between Central and South Coast Ecoregions. In the Central Coast, dispersal could play an important role moderating losses from both climate change and land use. In contrast, high geographic overlap in habitat losses driven by projected climate change and projected land use in the South Coast underscores the potential for compounding negative impacts of both drivers. Limiting habitat conversion may be a broadly beneficial strategy under climate change

  7. Scale-dependent habitat selection and size-based dominance in adult male American alligators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, Bradley A.; Vilella, Francisco; Belant, Jerrold L.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range) then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17) on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their social dominance

  8. Response of Elk to Habitat Modification Near Natural Gas Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dyke, Fred; Fox, Autumn; Harju, Seth M.; Dzialak, Matthew R.; Hayden-Wing, Larry D.; Winstead, Jeffrey B.

    2012-11-01

    Elk (Cervus elaphus) are known to shift habitat use in response to environmental modifications, including those associated with various forms of energy development. The specific behavioral responses underlying these trends, however, have not been effectively studied. To investigate such effects, we examined elk response to habitat alteration near natural gas wells in Las Animas County, Colorado, USA in 2008-2010. We created 10 1-ha openings in forests adjacent to 10 operating natural gas wells by removing standing timber in 2008, with concomitant establishment of 10 1-ha control sites adjacent to the same wells. On each site, we estimated elk use, indexed by pellet density, before and after timber removal. Concurrently, we measured plant production and cover, nutritional quality, species composition and biomass removed by elk and other large herbivores. Species richness and diversity, graminoid and forb cover, and graminoid and forb biomass increased on cut sites following tree removal. Differences were greater in 2010 than in 2009, and elk and deer removed more plant biomass in 2010 than 2009. Elk use of cut sites was 37 % lower than control sites in 2009, but 46 % higher in 2010. The initially lower use of cut sites may be attributable to lack of winter forage on these sites caused by timber removal and associated surface modification. The increased use of cut sites in 2010 suggested that elk possessed the behavioral capacity, over time, to exploit enhanced forage resources in the proximity of habitat modifications and human activity associated with maintenance of operating natural gas wells.

  9. A broad scale analysis of tree risk, mitigation and potential habitat for cavity-nesting birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian Kane; Paige S. Warren; Susannah B. Lerman

    2015-01-01

    Trees in towns and cities provide habitat for wildlife. In particular, cavity-nesting birds nest in the deadand decayed stems and branches of these trees. The same dead and decayed stems and branches alsohave a greater likelihood of failure, which, in some circumstances, increases risk. We examined 1760trees in Baltimore, MD, USA and western MA, USA, assessing tree...

  10. Science Framework for the Conservation and Restoration Strategy of the Department of the Interior, Secretarial Order 3336: Using resilience and resistance concepts to assess threats to sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse, prioritize conservation and restoration actions, and inform management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers; Jeffrey L. Beck; Steve Campbell; John Carlson; Thomas J. Christiansen; Karen J. Clause; Michele R. Crist; Jonathan B. Dinkins; Kevin E. Doherty; Shawn Espinosa; Kathleen A. Griffin; Steven E. Hanser; Douglas W. Havlina; Kenneth F. Henke; Jacob D. Hennig; Laurie L. Kurth; Jeremy D. Maestas; Mary Manning; Kenneth E. Mayer; Brian A. Mealor; Clinton McCarthy; Mike Pellant; Marco A. Perea; Karen L. Prentice; David A. Pyke; Lief A. Wiechman; Amarina Wuenschel

    2016-01-01

    The Science Framework for the Conservation and Restoration Strategy of the Department of the Interior, Secretarial Order 3336 (SO 3336), Rangeland Fire Prevention, Management and Restoration, provides a strategic, multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies across the sagebrush biome. The emphasis of this...

  11. Habitus constitution in habitat production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Romano Reschilian

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Based on the approach suggested by Pierre Bourdieu's sociology, this article demonstrates that the construction of the notion of habitus can reflect on the production of habitat in the form of precarious settlements, such as substandard housing or shantytowns. This study employs a multidimensional perspective, because precarious settlements are not rational and do not follow modern established or existing social and urbanistic rules and parameters. The review will extend beyond the scope suggested by historical materialism under the marxian view of urban sociology. To investigate this phenomenon, the author of this article studied a precarious settlement in the municipality of São José dos Campos, called Nova Tatetuba, which was removed in 2004 as part of a shantytown clearing program established by that city in 2000.

  12. Subseafloor basalts as fungal habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Ivarsson

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The oceanic crust is believed to host the largest potential habitat for microbial life on Earth, yet, still we lack substantial information about the abundance, diversity, and consequence of its biosphere. The last two decades have involved major research accomplishments within this field and a change in view of the ocean crust and its potential to harbour life. Here fossilised fungal colonies in subseafloor basalts are reported from three different seamounts in the Pacific Ocean. The fungal colonies consist of various characteristic structures interpreted as fungal hyphae, fruit bodies and spores. The fungal hyphae are well preserved with morphological characteristics such as hyphal walls, septa, thallic conidiogenesis, and hyphal tips with hyphal vesicles within. The fruit bodies consist of large (∼50–200 µm in diameter body-like structures with a defined outer membrane and an interior filled with calcite. The fruit bodies have at some stage been emptied of their contents of spores and filled by carbonate-forming fluids. A few fruit bodies not filled by calcite and with spores still within support this interpretation. Spore-like structures (ranging from a few µm to ∼20 µm in diameter are also observed outside of the fruit bodies and in some cases concentrated to openings in the membrane of the fruit bodies. The hyphae, fruit bodies and spores are all closely associated with a crust lining the vein walls that probably represent a mineralized biofilm. The results support a fungal presence in deep subseafloor basalts and indicate that such habitats were vital between ∼81 and 48 Ma.

  13. Circumpolar variation in morphological characteristics of Greater White-fronted Geese Anser albifrons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ely, Craig R.; Fox, A.D.; Alisauskas, R.T.; Andreev, A.; Bromley, R.G.; Degtyarev, Andrei G.; Ebbinge, B.; Gurtovaya, E.N.; Kerbes, R.; Kondratyev, Alexander V.; Kostin, I.; Krechmar, A.V.; Litvin, K.E.; Miyabayashi, Y.; Moou, J.H.; Oates, R.M.; Orthmeyer, D.L.; Sabano, Yutaka; Simpson, S.G.; Solovieva, D.V.; Spindler, Michael A.; Syroechkovsky, Y.V.; Takekawa, John Y.; Walsh, A.

    2005-01-01

    Capsule: Greater White-fronted Geese show significant variation in body size from sampling locations throughout their circumpolar breeding range. Aims: To determine the degree of geographical variation in body size of Greater White-fronted Geese and identify factors contributing to any apparent patterns in variation. Methods: Structural measures of >3000 geese from 16 breeding areas throughout the Holarctic breeding range of the species were compared statistically. Results: Palearctic forms varied clinally, and increased in size from the smallest forms on the Kanin and Taimyr peninsulas in western Eurasia to the largest forms breeding in the Anadyr Lowlands of eastern Chukotka. Clinal variation was less apparent in the Nearctic, as both the smallest form in the Nearctic and the largest form overall (the Tule Goose) were from different breeding areas in Alaska. The Tule Goose was 25% larger than the smallest form. Birds from Greenland (A. a. flavirostris) were the second largest, although only slightly larger than geese from several North American populations. Body size was not correlated with breeding latitude but was positively correlated with temperature on the breeding grounds, breeding habitat, and migration distance. Body mass of Greater White-fronted Geese from all populations remained relatively constant during the period of wing moult. Morphological distinctness of eastern and western Palearctic forms concurs with earlier findings of complete range disjunction. Conclusions: Patterns of morphological variation in Greater White-fronted Geese across the Holarctic can be generally attributed to adaptation to variable breeding environments, migration requirements, and phylo-geographical histories. 

  14. Livestock grazing, wildlife habitat, and rangeland values

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul R. Krausman; David E. Naugle; Michael R. Frisina; Rick Northrup; Vernon C. Bleich; William M. Block; Mark C. Wallace; Jeffrey D. Wright

    2009-01-01

    Livestock managers make and implement grazing management decisions to achieve a variety of objectives including livestock production, sustainable grazing, and wildlife habitat enhancement. Assessed values of grazing lands and ranches are often based on aesthetics and wildlife habitat or recreational values, which can exceed agricultural values, thus providing...

  15. Habitat Use and Selection by Giant Pandas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hull, Vanessa; Zhang, Jindong; Huang, Jinyan; Zhou, Shiqiang; Viña, Andrés; Shortridge, Ashton; Li, Rengui; Liu, Dian; Xu, Weihua; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zhang, Hemin; Liu, Jianguo

    2016-01-01

    Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF) to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types) at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking. PMID:27627805

  16. Island Species Richness Increases with Habitat Diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hortal, J.; Triantis, K.A.; Meiri, S.; Thebault, E.M.C.; Sfenthourakis, S.

    2009-01-01

    Species richness is commonly thought to increase with habitat diversity. However, a recent theoretical model aiming to unify niche and island biogeography theories predicted a hump-shaped relationship between richness and habitat diversity. Given the contradiction between model results and previous

  17. Estuaries and Tidal Marshes. Habitat Pac.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish and Wildlife Service (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC.

    This educational packet consists of an overview, three lesson plans, student data sheets, and a poster. The overview examines estuaries and tidal or salt marshes by discussing the plants and animals in these habitats, marsh productivity, benefits and management of the habitats, historical aspects, and development and pollution. A glossary and list…

  18. Pollen and gene flow in fragmented habitats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kwak, Manja M.; Velterop, Odilia; van Andel, Jelte

    . Habitat fragmentation affects both plants and pollinators. Habitat fragmentation leads to changes in species richness, population number and size, density, and shape, thus to changes in the spatial arrangement of flowers. These changes influence the amount of food for flower-visiting insects and

  19. Habitat Use and Selection by Giant Pandas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Hull

    Full Text Available Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca. We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking.

  20. Fish habitat mitigation measures for hydrotechnical projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McPhail, G.D.; MacMillan, D.B.; Katopodis, C.

    1992-01-01

    In recent years, the identification and mitigation of environmental impacts of hydrotechnical projects, particularly on fish and fish habitats, have become a major component of project planning and design. Potential impacts to fish and fish habitat may include increased fish mortality, decreased species diversity, and loss or decreases in fish production due to loss of habitat or alteration of its suitability. These impacts arise from flooding of riverine habitat, alteration of flow quantity and distribution, changes in morphology, and alteration of water quality, including suspended sediments, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and mercury. The results of a study for the Canadian Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Central and Arctic Region, examining fish habitat mitigation techniques for their applicability to hydrotechnical projects in Canada are summarized. The requirements for achievement and verification of the no net loss policy for a project are discussed. 10 refs., 2 tabs

  1. L-Reactor Habitat Mitigation Study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-02-01

    The L-Reactor Fish and Wildlife Resource Mitigation Study was conducted to quantify the effects on habitat of the L-Reactor restart and to identify the appropriate mitigation for these impacts. The completed project evaluated in this study includes construction of a 1000 acre reactor cooling reservoir formed by damming Steel Creek. Habitat impacts identified include a loss of approximately 3,700 average annual habitat units. This report presents a mitigation plan, Plan A, to offset these habitat losses. Plan A will offset losses for all species studied, except whitetailed deer. The South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department strongly recommends creation of a game management area to provide realistic mitigation for loss of deer habitats. 10 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs

  2. Maternal habitat affects germination requirements of Anabasis setifera, a succulent shrub of the Arabian deserts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali El-Keblawy

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The effects of maternal habitat on light and temperature requirements during germination were assessed for the succulent desert shrub Anabasis setifera. Seeds were collected from the Mediterranean habitats of Egypt and the hyper-arid subtropical habitats of the United Arab Emirates (UAE. Seeds from the two populations were germinated in three temperature treatments in both a light/dark regime and continuous darkness. Seeds from the Egyptian population germinated significantly greater and faster than those of UAE. Seeds stored for four months at room temperatures have little dormancy and germinate at wide range of temperatures and light conditions, but seeds stored four months in the natural habitat lost their ability to germinate and rotted 10 days after incubation. The germination response to temperature depended on the habitat type. Seeds of the Egyptian population attained a significantly greater germination at lower temperatures, compared with seeds from the UAE population, but there was no difference in germination between the two populations at higher temperatures. Germination of A. setifera was very fast; most seeds germinated within four days. These results reflect the adaptive strategy of germination in both populations, and may help explain the wide distribution of this species in different climatic regions.

  3. Evaluation of habitat quality for selected wildlife species associated with back channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, James T.; Zadnik, Andrew K.; Wood, Petra Bohall; Bledsoe, Kerry

    2013-01-01

    The islands and associated back channels on the Ohio River, USA, are believed to provide critical habitat features for several wildlife species. However, few studies have quantitatively evaluated habitat quality in these areas. Our main objective was to evaluate the habitat quality of back and main channel areas for several species using habitat suitability index (HSI) models. To test the effectiveness of these models, we attempted to relate HSI scores and the variables measured for each model with measures of relative abundance for the model species. The mean belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) HSI was greater on the main than back channel. However, the model failed to predict kingfisher abundance. The mean reproduction component of the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) HSI, total common muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) HSI, winter cover component of the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) HSI, and brood-rearing component of the wood duck (Aix sponsa) HSI were all greater on the back than main channel, and were positively related with the relative abundance of each species. We found that island back channels provide characteristics not found elsewhere on the Ohio River and warrant conservation as important riparian wildlife habitat. The effectiveness of using HSI models to predict species abundance on the river was mixed. Modifications to several of the models are needed to improve their use on the Ohio River and, likely, other large rivers.

  4. Gauging resource exploitation by juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in restoring estuarine habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Melanie; Ellings, Christopher S.; Woo, Isa; Hodgson, Sayre; Larsen, Kimberly A.; Nakai, Glynnis

    2018-01-01

    In the context of delta restoration and its impact on salmonid rearing, success is best evaluated based on whether out-migrating juvenile salmon can access and benefit from suitable estuarine habitat. Here, we integrated 3 years of post-restoration monitoring data including habitat availability, invertebrate prey biomass, and juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) physiological condition to determine whether individuals profited from the addition of 364 ha of delta habitat in South Puget Sound, Washington, United States. Productivity in the restored mudflat was comparable to reference sites 3 years after dike removal, surpassing a mean total of 6 million kJ energy from invertebrate prey. This resulted from the development of a complex network of tidal channels and a resurgence in dipteran biomass that was unique to the restoration area. Consequently, a notable shift in invertebrate consumption occurred between 2010 and 2011, whereby individuals switched from eating primarily amphipods to dipteran flies; however, dietary similarity to the surrounding habitat did not change from year to year, suggesting that this shift was a result of a change in the surrounding prey communities. Growth rates did not differ between restored and reference sites, but catch weight was positively correlated with prey biomass, where greater prey productivity appeared to offset potential density-dependent effects. These results demonstrate how the realized function of restoring estuarine habitat is functionally dependent. High prey productivity in areas with greater connectivity may support healthy juvenile salmon that are more likely to reach the critical size class for offshore survival.

  5. Invariant polar bear habitat selection during a period of sea ice loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Ryan R; Regehr, Eric V; Rode, Karyn D; St Martin, Michelle

    2016-08-17

    Climate change is expected to alter many species' habitat. A species' ability to adjust to these changes is partially determined by their ability to adjust habitat selection preferences to new environmental conditions. Sea ice loss has forced polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to spend longer periods annually over less productive waters, which may be a primary driver of population declines. A negative population response to greater time spent over less productive water implies, however, that prey are not also shifting their space use in response to sea ice loss. We show that polar bear habitat selection in the Chukchi Sea has not changed between periods before and after significant sea ice loss, leading to a 75% reduction of highly selected habitat in summer. Summer was the only period with loss of highly selected habitat, supporting the contention that summer will be a critical period for polar bears as sea ice loss continues. Our results indicate that bears are either unable to shift selection patterns to reflect new prey use patterns or that there has not been a shift towards polar basin waters becoming more productive for prey. Continued sea ice loss is likely to further reduce habitat with population-level consequences for polar bears. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. A multiscale investigation of habitat use and within-river distribution of sympatric sand darter species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Patricia A.; Welsh, Stuart A.; Strager, Michael P.; Rizzo, Austin A.

    2018-01-01

    The western sand darter Ammocrypta clara, and eastern sand darter Ammocrypta pellucida, are sand-dwelling fishes of conservation concern. Past research has emphasized the importance of studying individual populations of conservation concern, while recent research has revealed the importance of incorporating landscape scale processes that structure habitat mosaics and local populations. We examined habitat use and distributions of western and eastern sand darters in the lower Elk River of West Virginia. At the sandbar habitat use scale, western sand darters were detected in sandbars with greater area, higher proportions of coarse grain sand and faster bottom current velocity, while the eastern sand darter used a wider range of sandbar habitats. The landscape scale analysis revealed that contributing drainage area was an important predictor for both species, while sinuosity, which presumably represents valley type, also contributed to the western sand darter’s habitat suitability. Sandbar quality (area, grain size, and velocity) and fluvial geomorphic variables (drainage area and valley type) are likely key driving factors structuring sand darter distributions in the Elk River. This multiscale study of within-river species distribution and habitat use is unique, given that only a few sympatric populations are known of western and eastern sand darters.

  7. California Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis occidentalis) habitat use patterns in a burned landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eyes, Stephanie; Roberts, Susan L.; Johnson, Matthew D.

    2017-01-01

    Fire is a dynamic ecosystem process of mixed-conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada, but there is limited scientific information addressing wildlife habitat use in burned landscapes. Recent studies have presented contradictory information regarding the effects of stand-replacing wildfires on Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis) and their habitat. While fire promotes heterogeneous forest landscapes shown to be favored by owls, high severity fire may create large canopy gaps that can fragment the closed-canopy habitat preferred by Spotted Owls. We used radio-telemetry to determine whether foraging California Spotted Owls (S. o. occidentalis) in Yosemite National Park, California, USA, showed selection for particular fire severity patch types within their home ranges. Our results suggested that Spotted Owls exhibited strong habitat selection within their home ranges for locations near the roost and edge habitats, and weak selection for lower fire severity patch types. Although owls selected high contrast edges with greater relative probabilities than low contrast edges, we did not detect a statistical difference between these probabilities. Protecting forests from stand-replacing fires via mechanical thinning or prescribed fire is a priority for management agencies, and our results suggest that fires of low to moderate severity can create habitat conditions within California Spotted Owls' home ranges that are favored for foraging.

  8. Invariant polar bear habitat selection during a period of sea ice loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; Rode, Karyn D.; St Martin, Michelle

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is expected to alter many species' habitat. A species' ability to adjust to these changes is partially determined by their ability to adjust habitat selection preferences to new environmental conditions. Sea ice loss has forced polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to spend longer periods annually over less productive waters, which may be a primary driver of population declines. A negative population response to greater time spent over less productive water implies, however, that prey are not also shifting their space use in response to sea ice loss. We show that polar bear habitat selection in the Chukchi Sea has not changed between periods before and after significant sea ice loss, leading to a 75% reduction of highly selected habitat in summer. Summer was the only period with loss of highly selected habitat, supporting the contention that summer will be a critical period for polar bears as sea ice loss continues. Our results indicate that bears are either unable to shift selection patterns to reflect new prey use patterns or that there has not been a shift towards polar basin waters becoming more productive for prey. Continued sea ice loss is likely to further reduce habitat with population-level consequences for polar bears.

  9. Latitudinal gradients in ecosystem engineering by oysters vary across habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAfee, Dominic; Cole, Victoria J; Bishop, Melanie J

    2016-04-01

    Ecological theory predicts that positive interactions among organisms will increase across gradients of increasing abiotic stress or consumer pressure. This theory has been supported by empirical studies examining the magnitude of ecosystem engineering across environmental gradients and between habitat settings at local scale. Predictions that habitat setting, by modifying both biotic and abiotic factors, will determine large-scale gradients in ecosystem engineering have not been tested, however. A combination of manipulative experiments and field surveys assessed whether along the east Australian coastline: (1) facilitation of invertebrates by the oyster Saccostrea glomerata increased across a latitudinal gradient in temperature; and (2) the magnitude of this effect varied between intertidal rocky shores and mangrove forests. It was expected that on rocky shores, where oysters are the primary ecosystem engineer, they would play a greater role in ameliorating latitudinal gradients in temperature than in mangroves, where they are a secondary ecosystem engineer living under the mangrove canopy. On rocky shores, the enhancement of invertebrate abundance in oysters as compared to bare microhabitat decreased with latitude, as the maximum temperatures experienced by intertidal organisms diminished. By contrast, in mangrove forests, where the mangrove canopy resulted in maximum temperatures that were cooler and of greater humidity than on rocky shores, we found no evidence of latitudinal gradients of oyster effects on invertebrate abundance. Contrary to predictions, the magnitude by which oysters enhanced biodiversity was in many instances similar between mangroves and rocky shores. Whether habitat-context modifies patterns of spatial variation in the effects of ecosystem engineers on community structure will depend, in part, on the extent to which the environmental amelioration provided by an ecosystem engineer replicates that of other co-occurring ecosystem engineers.

  10. Impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on the activity budget, ranging ecology and habitat use of Bale monkeys (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) in the southern Ethiopian Highlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mekonnen, Addisu; Fashing, Peter J; Bekele, Afework; Hernandez-Aguilar, R Adriana; Rueness, Eli K; Nguyen, Nga; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2017-07-01

    Understanding the extent to which primates in forest fragments can adjust behaviorally and ecologically to changes caused by deforestation is essential to designing conservation management plans. During a 12-month period, we studied the effects of habitat loss and degradation on the Ethiopian endemic, bamboo specialist, Bale monkey (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) by comparing its habitat quality, activity budget, ranging ecology and habitat use in continuous forest and two fragments. We found that habitat loss and fragmentation resulted in major differences in vegetation composition and structure between forest types. We also found that Bale monkeys in continuous forest spent more time feeding and traveling and less time resting and socializing than monkeys in fragments. Bale monkeys in continuous forest also had higher movement rates (m/hr) than monkeys in fragments. Bale monkeys in continuous forest used exclusively bamboo and mixed bamboo forest habitats while conspecifics in fragments used a greater variety of habitats including human use areas (i.e., matrix). Our findings suggest that Bale monkeys in fragments use an energy minimization strategy to cope with the lower availability of the species' primary food species, bamboo (Arundinaria alpina). We contend that Bale monkeys may retain some of the ancestral ecological flexibility assumed to be characteristic of the genus Chlorocebus, within which all extant species except Bale monkeys are regarded as ecological generalists. Our results suggest that, like other bamboo eating primates (e.g., the bamboo lemurs of Madagascar), Bale monkeys can cope with a certain threshold of habitat destruction. However, the long-term conservation prospects for Bale monkeys in fragments remain unclear and will require further monitoring to be properly evaluated. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Simulating range-wide population and breeding habitat dynamics for an endangered woodland warbler in the face of uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam Duarte,; Hatfield, Jeffrey; Todd M. Swannack,; Michael R. J. Forstner,; M. Clay Green,; Floyd W. Weckerly,

    2015-01-01

    Population viability analyses provide a quantitative approach that seeks to predict the possible future status of a species of interest under different scenarios and, therefore, can be important components of large-scale species’ conservation programs. We created a model and simulated range-wide population and breeding habitat dynamics for an endangered woodland warbler, the golden-cheeked warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia). Habitat-transition probabilities were estimated across the warbler's breeding range by combining National Land Cover Database imagery with multistate modeling. Using these estimates, along with recently published demographic estimates, we examined if the species can remain viable into the future given the current conditions. Lastly, we evaluated if protecting a greater amount of habitat would increase the number of warblers that can be supported in the future by systematically increasing the amount of protected habitat and comparing the estimated terminal carrying capacity at the end of 50 years of simulated habitat change. The estimated habitat-transition probabilities supported the hypothesis that habitat transitions are unidirectional, whereby habitat is more likely to diminish than regenerate. The model results indicated population viability could be achieved under current conditions, depending on dispersal. However, there is considerable uncertainty associated with the population projections due to parametric uncertainty. Model results suggested that increasing the amount of protected lands would have a substantial impact on terminal carrying capacities at the end of a 50-year simulation. Notably, this study identifies the need for collecting the data required to estimate demographic parameters in relation to changes in habitat metrics and population density in multiple regions, and highlights the importance of establishing a common definition of what constitutes protected habitat, what management goals are suitable within those protected

  12. Developmental plasticity of shell morphology of quagga mussels from shallow and deep-water habitats of the Great Lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyer, Suzanne M; Hermanson, John C; Lee, Carol Eunmi

    2010-08-01

    The invasive zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has quickly colonized shallow-water habitats in the North American Great Lakes since the 1980s but the quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis) is becoming dominant in both shallow and deep-water habitats. While quagga mussel shell morphology differs between shallow and deep habitats, functional causes and consequences of such difference are unknown. We examined whether quagga mussel shell morphology could be induced by three environmental variables through developmental plasticity. We predicted that shallow-water conditions (high temperature, food quantity, water motion) would yield a morphotype typical of wild quagga mussels from shallow habitats, while deep-water conditions (low temperature, food quantity, water motion) would yield a morphotype present in deep habitats. We tested this prediction by examining shell morphology and growth rate of quagga mussels collected from shallow and deep habitats and reared under common-garden treatments that manipulated the three variables. Shell morphology was quantified using the polar moment of inertia. Of the variables tested, temperature had the greatest effect on shell morphology. Higher temperature (approximately 18-20 degrees C) yielded a morphotype typical of wild shallow mussels regardless of the levels of food quantity or water motion. In contrast, lower temperature (approximately 6-8 degrees C) yielded a morphotype approaching that of wild deep mussels. If shell morphology has functional consequences in particular habitats, a plastic response might confer quagga mussels with a greater ability than zebra mussels to colonize a wider range of habitats within the Great Lakes.

  13. Species interactions can maintain resistance of subtidal algal habitats to an increasingly modified world

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura J. Falkenberg

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Current trends in habitat loss have been forecast to accelerate under anticipated global change, thereby focusing conservation attention on identifying the circumstances under which key species interactions retard habitat loss. Urbanised coastlines are associated with broad-scale loss of kelp canopies and their replacement by less productive mats of algal turf, a trend predicted to accelerate under ocean acidification and warming (i.e. enhanced CO2 and temperature. Here we use kelp forests as a model system to test whether efforts to maintain key species interactions can maintain habitat integrity under forecasted conditions. First, we assessed whether increasing intensity of local human activity is associated with more extensive turf mats and sparser canopies via structured field observations. Second, we experimentally tested the hypothesis that intact canopies can resist turf expansion under enhanced CO2 and temperature in large mesocosms. In the field, there was a greater proportion of turf patches on urbanised coasts of South Australia than in agricultural and urban catchments in which there was a greater proportion of canopy-forming algae. Mesocosm experiments revealed this expansion of turfs is likely to accelerate under increases in CO2 and temperature, but may be limited by the presence of intact canopies. We note that even in the presence of canopy, increases in CO2 and temperature facilitate greater turf covers than occurs under contemporary conditions. The influence of canopy would likely be due to shading of the understorey turfs which, in turn, can modify their photosynthetic activity. These results suggest that resistance of habitat to change under human-dominated conditions may be managed via the retention of key species and their interactions. Management that directly reduces the disturbance of habitat-forming organisms (e.g. harvesting or reverses loss through restoration may, therefore, reinforce habitat resistance in an

  14. Habitat and hydrology: assessing biological resources of the Suwannee River Estuarine System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raabe, Ellen A.; Edwards, Randy E.; McIvor, Carole C.; Grubbs, Jack W.; Dennis, George D.

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey conducted a pilot integrated-science study during 2002 and 2003 to map, describe, and evaluate benthic and emergent habitats in the Suwannee River Estuary on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Categories of aquatic, emergent, and terrestrial habitats were determined from hyperspectral imagery and integrated with hydrologic data to identify estuarine fish habitats. Maps of intertidal and benthic habitat were derived from 12-band, 4-m resolution hyperspectral imagery acquired in September 2002. Hydrologic data were collected from tidal creeks during the winter of 2002-03 and the summer-fall of 2003. Fish were sampled from tidal creeks during March 2003 using rivulet nets, throw traps, and seine nets. Habitat characteristics, hydrologic data, and fish assemblages were compared for tidal creeks north and south of the Suwannee River. Tidal creeks north of the river had more shoreline edge and shallow habitat than creeks to the south. Tidal creeks south of the river were generally of lower salinity (fresher) and supported more freshwater marsh and submerged aquatic vegetation. The southern creeks tended to be deeper but less sinuous than the northern creeks. Water quality and inundation were evaluated with hydrologic monitoring in the creeks. In-situ gauges, recording pressure and temperature, documented a net discharge of brackish to saline groundwater into the tidal creeks with pronounced flow during low tide. Groundwater flow into the creeks was most prominent north of the river. Combined fish-sampling results showed an overall greater abundance of organisms and greater species richness in the southern creeks, nominally attributed a greater range in water quality. Fish samples were dominated by juvenile spot, grass shrimp, bay anchovy, and silverside. The short time frame for hydrologic monitoring and the one-time fish-sampling effort were insufficient for forming definitive conclusions. However, the combination of hyperspectral imagery and

  15. River reach classification for the Greater Mekong Region at high spatial resolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouellet Dallaire, C.; Lehner, B.

    2014-12-01

    River classifications have been used in river health and ecological assessments as coarse proxies to represent aquatic biodiversity when comprehensive biological and/or species data is unavailable. Currently there are no river classifications or biological data available in a consistent format for the extent of the Greater Mekong Region (GMR; including the Irrawaddy, the Salween, the Chao Praya, the Mekong and the Red River basins). The current project proposes a new river habitat classification for the region, facilitated by the HydroSHEDS (HYDROlogical SHuttle Elevation Derivatives at multiple Scales) database at 500m pixel resolution. The classification project is based on the Global River Classification framework relying on the creation of multiple sub-classifications based on different disciplines. The resulting classes from the sub-classification are later combined into final classes to create a holistic river reach classification. For the GMR, a final habitat classification was created based on three sub-classifications: a hydrological sub-classification based only on discharge indices (river size and flow variability); a physio-climatic sub-classification based on large scale indices of climate and elevation (biomes, ecoregions and elevation); and a geomorphological sub-classification based on local morphology (presence of floodplains, reach gradient and sand transport). Key variables and thresholds were identified in collaboration with local experts to ensure that regional knowledge was included. The final classification is composed 54 unique final classes based on 3 sub-classifications with less than 15 classes each. The resulting classifications are driven by abiotic variables and do not include biological data, but they represent a state-of-the art product based on best available data (mostly global data). The most common river habitat type is the "dry broadleaf, low gradient, very small river". These classifications could be applied in a wide range of

  16. The impacts of Cenozoic climate and habitat changes on small mammal diversity of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Joshua X.; Hopkins, Samantha S. B.

    2017-02-01

    Through the Cenozoic, paleoclimate records show general trends of global cooling and increased aridity, and environments in North America shifted from predominantly forests to more open habitats. Paleobotanical records indicate grasses were present on the continent in the Eocene; however, paleosol and phytolith studies indicate that open habitats did not arise until the late Eocene or even later in the Oligocene. Studies of large mammalian herbivores have documented changes in ecomorphology and community structure through time, revealing that shifts in mammalian morphology occurred millions of years after the environmental changes thought to have triggered them. Smaller mammals, like rodents and lagomorphs, should more closely track climate and habitat changes due to their shorter generation times and smaller ranges, but these animals have received much less study. To examine changes in smaller mammals through time, we have assembled and analyzed an ecomorphological database of all North American rodent and lagomorph species. Analyses of these data found that rodent and lagomorph community structure changed dramatically through the Cenozoic, and shifts in diversity and ecology correspond closely with the timing of habitat changes. Cenozoic rodent and lagomorph species diversity is strongly biased by sampling of localities, but sampling-corrected diversity reveals diversity dynamics that, after an initial density-dependent diversification in the Eocene, track habitat changes and the appearance of new ecological adaptations. As habitats became more open and arid through time, rodent and lagomorph crown heights increased while burrowing, jumping, and cursorial adaptations became more prevalent. Through time, open-habitat specialists were added during periods of diversification, while closed-habitat taxa were disproportionately lost in subsequent diversity declines. While shifts among rodents and lagomorphs parallel changes in ungulate communities, they started

  17. Functional morphology of the bovid astragalus in relation to habitat: controlling phylogenetic signal in ecomorphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, W Andrew

    2014-11-01

    Bovid astragali are one of the most commonly preserved bones in the fossil record. Accordingly, astragali are an important target for studies seeking to predict the habitat preferences of fossil bovids based on bony anatomy. However, previous work has not tested functional hypotheses linking astragalar morphology with habitat while controlling for body size and phylogenetic signal. This article presents a functional framework relating the morphology of the bovid astragalus to habitat-specific locomotor ecology and tests four hypotheses emanating from this framework. Highly cursorial bovids living in structurally open habitats are hypothesized to differ from their less cursorial closed-habitat dwelling relatives in having (1) relatively short astragali to maintain rotational speed throughout the camming motion of the rotating astragalus, (2) a greater range of angular excursion at the hock, (3) relatively larger joint surface areas, and (4) a more pronounced "spline-and-groove" morphology promoting lateral joint stability. A diverse sample of 181 astragali from 50 extant species was scanned using a Next Engine laser scanner. Species were assigned to one of four habitat categories based on the published ecological literature. A series of 11 linear measurements and three joint surface areas were measured on each astragalus. A geometric mean body size proxy was used to size-correct the measurement data. Phylogenetic generalized least squares (PGLS) was used to test for differences between habitat categories while controlling for body size differences and phylogenetic signal. Statistically significant PGLS results support Hypotheses 1 and 2 (which are not mutually exclusive) as well as Hypothesis 3. No support was found for Hypothesis 4. These findings confirm that the morphology of the bovid astragalus is related to habitat-specific locomotor ecology, and that this relationship is statistically significant after controlling for body size and phylogeny. Thus, this study

  18. Susceptibility of eastern U.S. habitats to invasion of Celastrus orbiculatus (oriental bittersweet) following fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leicht-Young, Stacey A.; Pavlovic, Noel B.; Grundel, Ralph

    2013-01-01

    Fire effects on invasive species are an important land management issue in areas subjected to prescribed fires as well as wildfires. These effects on invasive species can be manifested across life stages. The liana Celastrus orbiculatus (oriental bittersweet) is a widespread invader of eastern US habitats including those where fire management is in practice. This study examined if prescribed fire makes these habitats more susceptible to invasion of C. orbiculatus by seed at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Four treatments (control, litter removed, high and low intensity fire) were applied in six habitat types (sand savanna/woodland, sand prairie, moraine prairie, sand oak forest, beech-maple forest, and oak-hickory forest) and germinating seedlings were tracked over two growing seasons. Treatment did not have a significant effect on the germination, survival, or biomass of C. orbiculatus. However, habitat type did influence these responses mostly in the first growing season. Moraine prairie, beech-maple forest, and oak-hickory forests had the greatest peak percentage of germinants. Moraine prairie had significantly greater survival than oak forest and savanna habitats. Control plots with intact litter, and the moraine prairie habitat had the tallest seedlings at germination, while tallest final heights and greatest aboveground biomass were highest in oak forest. Thus, fire and litter removal did not increase the susceptibility of these habitats to germination and survival of C. orbiculatus. These results indicate that most eastern US habitats are vulnerable to invasion by this species via seed regardless of the level or type of disturbance to the litter layer.

  19. Salmon River Habitat Enhancement, 1984 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Konopacky, Richard C.

    1986-04-01

    This report has four volumes: a Tribal project annual report (Part 1) and three reports (Parts 2, 3, and 4) prepared for the Tribes by their engineering subcontractor. The Tribal project annual report contains reports for four subprojects within Project 83-359. Subproject I involved habitat and fish inventories in Bear Valley Creek, Valley County, Idaho that will be used to evaluate responses to ongoing habitat enhancement. Subproject II is the coordination/planning activities of the Project Leader in relation to other BPA-funded habitat enhancement projects that have or will occur within the traditional Treaty (Fort Bridger Treaty of 1868) fishing areas of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Fort Hall Reservation, Idaho. Subproject III involved habitat and fish inventories (pretreatment) and habitat problem identification on the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River (including Jordan Creek). Subproject IV during 1985 involved habitat problem identification in the East Fork of the Salmon River and habitat and fish inventories (pretreatment) in Herd Creek, a tributary to the East Fork.

  20. Does learning or instinct shape habitat selection?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott E Nielsen

    Full Text Available Habitat selection is an important behavioural process widely studied for its population-level effects. Models of habitat selection are, however, often fit without a mechanistic consideration. Here, we investigated whether patterns in habitat selection result from instinct or learning for a population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos in Alberta, Canada. We found that habitat selection and relatedness were positively correlated in female bears during the fall season, with a trend in the spring, but not during any season for males. This suggests that habitat selection is a learned behaviour because males do not participate in parental care: a genetically predetermined behaviour (instinct would have resulted in habitat selection and relatedness correlations for both sexes. Geographic distance and home range overlap among animals did not alter correlations indicating that dispersal and spatial autocorrelation had little effect on the observed trends. These results suggest that habitat selection in grizzly bears are partly learned from their mothers, which could have implications for the translocation of wildlife to novel environments.

  1. The relationship between habitat complexity and nursery provision for an estuarine-dependent fish species in a permanently open South African Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie, Timothy; James, Nicola C.; Potts, Warren M.; Rajkaran, Anusha

    2017-11-01

    Estuarine-dependent marine fish species rely on shallow, sheltered and food rich habitats for protection from predators, growth and ultimately recruitment to adult populations. Hence, habitats within estuaries function as critical nursery areas for an abundance of fish species. However, these habitats vary in the degree of nursery function they provide and few studies have quantitatively assessed the relative nursery value of different habitat types within estuaries, particularly in the context of habitat complexity. This study aimed to assess the nursery value of the dominant vegetated habitats, namely the submergent Zostera capensis (Setch.) (seagrass) beds and emergent Spartina maritima (Curtis) Fernald (salt marsh) beds in the Bushmans Estuary, South Africa. Biomass and stem density were sampled seasonally in order to gain insight into the vegetation dynamics of seagrass and salt marsh beds. Aerial cover, canopy height and underwater camera imagery were used to develop multiple complexity indices for prioritizing habitat complexity. The relatively consistent results of the dimensionless indices (interstitial space indices and fractal geometry) suggest that Z. capensis exhibits an overall greater degree of complexity than S. maritima, and hence it can be expected that fish abundance is likely to be higher in Z. capensis beds than in S. maritima habitats. Underwater video cameras were deployed in seagrass, salt marsh and sand flat habitats to assess the relative abundance and behaviour of the estuarine-dependent sparid Rhabosargus holubi (Steindachner 1881) in different habitats. The relative abundance of R. holubi was significantly higher in Z. capensis seagrass than S. maritima salt marsh and sand flats, whilst the behaviour of R. holubi indicated a high degree of habitat use in structured habitats (both Z. capensis and S. martima) and a low degree of habitat use in unstructured sand flat habitats.

  2. A framework for quantitative assessment of impacts related to energy and mineral resource development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haines, Seth S.; Diffendorfer, James; Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Berger, Byron R.; Cook, Troy A.; Gautier, Donald L.; Gallegos, Tanya J.; Gerritsen, Margot; Graffy, Elisabeth; Hawkins, Sarah; Johnson, Kathleen; Macknick, Jordan; McMahon, Peter; Modde, Tim; Pierce, Brenda; Schuenemeyer, John H.; Semmens, Darius; Simon, Benjamin; Taylor, Jason; Walton-Day, Katherine

    2013-01-01

    Natural resource planning at all scales demands methods for assessing the impacts of resource development and use, and in particular it requires standardized methods that yield robust and unbiased results. Building from existing probabilistic methods for assessing the volumes of energy and mineral resources, we provide an algorithm for consistent, reproducible, quantitative assessment of resource development impacts. The approach combines probabilistic input data with Monte Carlo statistical methods to determine probabilistic outputs that convey the uncertainties inherent in the data. For example, one can utilize our algorithm to combine data from a natural gas resource assessment with maps of sage grouse leks and piñon-juniper woodlands in the same area to estimate possible future habitat impacts due to possible future gas development. As another example: one could combine geochemical data and maps of lynx habitat with data from a mineral deposit assessment in the same area to determine possible future mining impacts on water resources and lynx habitat. The approach can be applied to a broad range of positive and negative resource development impacts, such as water quantity or quality, economic benefits, or air quality, limited only by the availability of necessary input data and quantified relationships among geologic resources, development alternatives, and impacts. The framework enables quantitative evaluation of the trade-offs inherent in resource management decision-making, including cumulative impacts, to address societal concerns and policy aspects of resource development.

  3. The functional value of Caribbean coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats to ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, Alastair R; Mumby, Peter J; Micheli, Fiorenza; Perry, Christopher T; Dahlgren, Craig P; Holmes, Katherine E; Brumbaugh, Daniel R

    2006-01-01

    Caribbean coral reef habitats, seagrass beds and mangroves provide important goods and services both individually and through functional linkages. A range of anthropogenic factors are threatening the ecological and economic importance of these habitats and it is vital to understand how ecosystem processes vary across seascapes. A greater understanding of processes will facilitate further insight into the effects of disturbances and assist with assessing management options. Despite the need to study processes across whole seascapes, few spatially explicit ecosystem-scale assessments exist. We review the empirical literature to examine the role of different habitat types for a range of processes. The importance of each of 10 generic habitats to each process is defined as its "functional value" (none, low, medium or high), quantitatively derived from published data wherever possible and summarised in a single figure. This summary represents the first time the importance of habitats across an entire Caribbean seascape has been assessed for a range of processes. Furthermore, we review the susceptibility of each habitat to disturbances to investigate spatial patterns that might affect functional values. Habitat types are considered at the scale discriminated by remotely-sensed imagery and we envisage that functional values can be combined with habitat maps to provide spatially explicit information on processes across ecosystems. We provide examples of mapping the functional values of habitats for populations of three commercially important species. The resulting data layers were then used to generate seascape-scale assessments of "hot spots" of functional value that might be considered priorities for conservation. We also provide an example of how the literature reviewed here can be used to parameterise a habitat-specific model investigating reef resilience under different scenarios of herbivory. Finally, we use multidimensional scaling to provide a basic analysis of the

  4. Gulf-Wide Information System, Environmental Sensitivity Index Habitats Database, Geographic NAD83, LDWF (2001) [esi_habitats_LDWF_2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for coastal habitats in Louisiana. Vector polygons represent various habitats, including marsh types, other...

  5. An experimental test of whether habitat corridors affect pollen transfer.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Townsend, Patricia A.; Levey, Douglas J.

    2005-02-01

    Abstract. Negative effects of habitat fragmentation are thought to be diminished when habitat patches are joined by a corridor. A key assumption is that corridors facilitate exchange rates of organisms between otherwise isolated patches. If the organisms are pollinators, corridors may be important for maintaining genetically viable populations of the plants that they pollinate. We tested the hypothesis that corridors increase the movement of insect pollinators into patches of habitat and thereby increase pollen transfer for two species of plants, one pollinated by butterflies (Lantana camara) and the other by bees and wasps (Rudbeckia hirta). We worked in an experimental landscape consisting of 40 greater than or equal to 1-ha patches of early-successional habitat in a matrix of forest. Within each of eight experimental units, two patches were connected by a corridor (150 X 25 m), and three were not. Patch shape varied to control for the area added by the presence of a corridor. Differences in patch shape also allowed us to test alternative hypotheses of how corridors might function. The Traditional Corridor Hypothesis posits that corridors increase immigration and emigration by functioning as movement conduits between patches. The Drift Fence Hypothesis posits that corridors function by ‘‘capturing’’ organisms dispersing through the matrix, redirecting them into associated habitat patches. Using fluorescent powder to track pollen, we found that pollen transfer by butterflies between patches connected by a corridor was significantly higher than between unconnected patches (all values mean plus or minus 1 SE: 59% plus or minus 9.2% vs. 25% plus or minus 5.2% of flowers receiving pollen). Likewise, pollen transfer by bees and wasps was significantly higher between connected patches than between unconnected patches (30% plus or minus 4.2% vs. 14.5% plus or minus 2.2%). These results support the Traditional Corridor Hypothesis. There was little support, however

  6. Using body mass dynamics to examine long-term habitat shifts of arctic-molting geese: Evidence for ecological change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Tyler L.; Flint, Paul L.; Derksen, Dirk V.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Taylor, Eric J.; Bollinger, Karen S.

    2011-01-01

    From 1976 onward, molting brant geese (Branta bernicla) within the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, Alaska, shifted from inland, freshwater lakes toward coastal wetlands. Two hypotheses explained this redistribution: (1) ecological change: redistribution of molting brant reflects improvements in coastal foraging habitats, which have undergone a succession toward salt-tolerant plants due to increased coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion as induced by climate change or (2) interspecific competition: greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons) populations increased 12-fold at inland lakes, limiting food availability and forcing brant into coastal habitats. Both hypotheses presume that brant redistributions were driven by food availability; thus, body mass dynamics may provide insight into the relevance of these hypotheses. We compared body mass dynamics of molting brant across decades (1978, 1987–1992, 2005–2007) and, during 2005–2007, across habitats (coastal vs. inland). Brant lost body mass during molt in all three decades. At inland habitats, rates of mass loss progressively decreased by decade despite the increased number of greater white-fronted geese. These results do not support an interspecific competition hypothesis, instead suggesting that ecological change enhanced foraging habitats for brant. During 2005–2007, rates of mass loss did not vary by habitat. Thus, while habitats have improved from earlier decades, our results cannot distinguish between ecological changes at inland versus coastal habitats. However, we speculate that coastal forage quality has improved beyond that of inland habitats and that the body mass benefits of these higher quality foods are offset by the disproportionate number of brant now molting coastally.

  7. Manor gardens: Harbors of local natural habitats?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šantrůčková, M.; Demková, K.; Dostálek, J.; Frantík, Tomáš

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 205, JAN 2017 (2017), s. 16-22 ISSN 0006-3207 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : park * human impact * habitat network Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.022, year: 2016

  8. habitat are of special scientific, educative and

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr Osondu

    Over 50% of all sightings were achieved in the matured forest. Keywords: ... hotspots, eco- tourism potential for game viewing, ... conservation is the increasing rate of habitat loss or ... to relatively undisturbed natural areas for educational,.

  9. Expandable Habitat Outfit Structures, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Topic H3.01 captures the need for robust, multipurpose deployable structures with high packing efficiencies for next generation orbital habitats. Multiple launch and...

  10. Self-Deploying, Composite Habitats, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Cornerstone Research Group, Inc. (CRG), proposes to develop self-deploying, composite structures for lunar habitats, based on CRG's VeritexTM materials. These...

  11. Habitat Mapping Cruise (HB0805, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Objectives are to: 1) perform multibeam mapping of transitional and deepwater habitats in Hudson Canyon (off New Jersey) with the National Institute of Undersea...

  12. Klawock Lagoon, Alaska Benthic Habitats 2011 Geoform

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Klawock River on Alaska's Prince of Wales Island drains a 29,061 acre watershed with 132 miles of streambed habitat supporting seven salmon and trout species....

  13. Klawock Lagoon, Alaska Benthic Habitats 2011 Substrate

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Klawock River on Alaska's Prince of Wales Island drains a 29,061 acre watershed with 132 miles of streambed habitat supporting seven salmon and trout species....

  14. Elkhorn and Staghorn Corals Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) and staghorn coral (A. cervicornis) as designated by 73 FR 72210, November 26, 2008,...

  15. Klawock Lagoon, Alaska Benthic Habitats 2011 Geodatabase

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Klawock River on Alaska's Prince of Wales Island drains a 29,061 acre watershed with 132 miles of streambed habitat supporting seven salmon and trout species....

  16. Deep-Sea Soft Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  17. Avian Habitat Data; Seward Peninsula, Alaska, 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — This data product contains avian habitat data collected on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, USA, during 21 May – 10 June 2012. We conducted replicated 10-min surveys...

  18. Klawock Lagoon, Alaska Benthic Habitats 2011 Biotic

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Klawock River on Alaska's Prince of Wales Island drains a 29,061 acre watershed with 132 miles of streambed habitat supporting seven salmon and trout species....

  19. Movements and habitat utilization of nembwe, Serranochromis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    distance migrations onto the floodplains. It is concluded that although staying within relatively small home ranges, nembwe appears as a species with a variable and flexible habitat utilization. Keywords: fish, radio-tagging, telemetry, home range ...

  20. Deep-Sea Stony Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  1. Subseafloor basalts as fungal habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivarsson, M.; Bengtson, S.

    2013-12-01

    The oceanic crust makes up the largest potential habitat for life on Earth, yet next to nothing is known about the abundance, diversity and ecology of its biosphere. Our understanding of the deep biosphere of subseafloor crust is, with a few exceptions, based on a fossil record. Surprisingly, a majority of the fossilized microorganisms have been interpreted or recently re-interpreted as remnants of fungi rather than prokaryotes. Even though this might be due to a bias in fossilization the presence of fungi in these settings can not be neglected. We have examined fossilized microorganisms in drilled basalt samples collected at the Emperor Seamounts in the Pacific Ocean. Synchrotron-radiation X-ray tomography microscopy (SRXTM) studies has revealed a complex morphology and internal structure that corresponds to characteristic fungal morphology. Chitin was detected in the fossilized hyphae, which is another strong argument in favour of a fungal interpretation. Chitin is absent in prokaryotes but a substantial constituent in fungal cell walls. The fungal colonies consist of both hyphae and yeast-like growth states as well as resting structures and possible fruit bodies, thus, the fungi exist in vital colonies in subseafloor basalts. The fungi have also been involved in extensive weathering of secondary mineralisations. In terrestrial environments fungi are known as an important geobiological agent that promotes mineral weathering and decomposition of organic matter, and they occur in vital symbiosis with other microorganisms. It is probable to assume that fungi would play a similar role in subseafloor basalts and have great impact on the ecology and on biogeochemical cycles in such environments.

  2. Columbia County Habitat for Humanity Passive Townhomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None

    2016-03-01

    Columbia County Habitat for Humanity (CCHH) (New York, Climate Zone 5A) built a pair of townhomes to Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS+ 2015) criteria to explore approaches for achieving Passive House performance (specifically with respect to exterior wall, space-conditioning, and ventilation strategies) within the labor and budget context inherent in a Habitat for Humanity project. CCHH’s goal is to eventually develop a cost-justified Passive House prototype design for future projects.

  3. Assessing habitat selection when availability changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthur, S.; Garner, G.; ,

    1996-01-01

    We present a method of comparing data on habitat use and availability that allows availability to differ among observations. This method is applicable when habitats change over time and when animals are unable to move throughout a predetermined study area between observations. We used maximum-likelihood techniques to derive an index that estimates the probability that each habitat type would be used if all were equally available. We also demonstrate how these indices can be used to compare relative use of available habitats, assign them ranks, and assess statistical differences between pairs of indices. The set of these indices for all habitats can be compared between groups of animals that represent different seasons, sex or age classes, or experimental treatments. This method allows quantitative comparisons among types and is not affected by arbitrary decisions about which habitats to include in the study. We provide an example by comparing the availability of four categories of sea ice concentration to their use by adult female polar bears, whose movements were monitored by satellite radio tracking in the Bering and Chukchi Seas during 1990. Use of ice categories by bears was nonrandom, and the pattern of use differed between spring and late summer seasons.

  4. Salmon River Habitat Enhancement, 1989 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rowe, Mike

    1989-04-01

    This project was funded by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). The annual report contains three individual subproject papers detailing tribal fisheries work completed during the summer and fall of 1989. Subproject 1 contains summaries of evaluation/monitoring efforts associated with the Bear Valley Creek, Idaho enhancement project. Subproject 2 contains an evaluation of the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River habitat enhancement project. This report has been sub-divided into two parts: Part 1; stream evaluation and Part 2; pond series evaluation. Subproject 3 concerns the East Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho. This report summarizes the evaluation of the project to date including the 1989 pre-construction evaluation conducted within the East Fork drainage. Dredge mining has degraded spawning and rearing habitat for chinook salmon and steelhead trout in the Yankee Fork drainage of the Salmon River and in Bear Valley Creek. Mining, agricultural, and grazing practices degraded habitat in the East Fork of the Salmon River. Biological monitoring of the success of habitat enhancement for Bear Valley Creek and Yankee Fork are presented in this report. Physical and biological inventories prior to habitat enhancement in East Fork were also conducted. Four series of off-channel ponds of the Yankee Fork are shown to provide effective rearing habitat for chinook salmon. 45 refs., 49 figs., 24 tabs.

  5. Projected Impacts of Climate, Urbanization, Water Management, and Wetland Restoration on Waterbird Habitat in California's Central Valley.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elliott L Matchett

    Full Text Available The Central Valley of California is one of the most important regions for wintering waterbirds in North America despite extensive anthropogenic landscape modification and decline of historical wetlands there. Like many other mediterranean-climate ecosystems across the globe, the Central Valley has been subject to a burgeoning human population and expansion and intensification of agricultural and urban development that have impacted wildlife habitats. Future effects of urban development, changes in water supply management, and precipitation and air temperature related to global climate change on area of waterbird habitat in the Central Valley are uncertain, yet potentially substantial. Therefore, we modeled area of waterbird habitats for 17 climate, urbanization, water supply management, and wetland restoration scenarios for years 2006-2099 using a water resources and scenario modeling framework. Planned wetland restoration largely compensated for adverse effects of climate, urbanization, and water supply management changes on habitat areas through 2065, but fell short thereafter for all except one scenario. Projected habitat reductions due to climate models were more frequent and greater than under the recent historical climate and their magnitude increased through time. After 2065, area of waterbird habitat in all scenarios that included severe warmer, drier climate was projected to be >15% less than in the "existing" landscape most years. The greatest reduction in waterbird habitat occurred in scenarios that combined warmer, drier climate and plausible water supply management options affecting priority and delivery of water available for waterbird habitats. This scenario modeling addresses the complexity and uncertainties in the Central Valley landscape, use and management of related water supplies, and climate to inform waterbird habitat conservation and other resource management planning. Results indicate that increased wetland restoration

  6. Retention of habitat complexity minimizes disassembly of reef fish communities following disturbance: a large-scale natural experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Emslie

    Full Text Available High biodiversity ecosystems are commonly associated with complex habitats. Coral reefs are highly diverse ecosystems, but are under increasing pressure from numerous stressors, many of which reduce live coral cover and habitat complexity with concomitant effects on other organisms such as reef fishes. While previous studies have highlighted the importance of habitat complexity in structuring reef fish communities, they employed gradient or meta-analyses which lacked a controlled experimental design over broad spatial scales to explicitly separate the influence of live coral cover from overall habitat complexity. Here a natural experiment using a long term (20 year, spatially extensive (∼ 115,000 kms(2 dataset from the Great Barrier Reef revealed the fundamental importance of overall habitat complexity for reef fishes. Reductions of both live coral cover and habitat complexity had substantial impacts on fish communities compared to relatively minor impacts after major reductions in coral cover but not habitat complexity. Where habitat complexity was substantially reduced, species abundances broadly declined and a far greater number of fish species were locally extirpated, including economically important fishes. This resulted in decreased species richness and a loss of diversity within functional groups. Our results suggest that the retention of habitat complexity following disturbances can ameliorate the impacts of coral declines on reef fishes, so preserving their capacity to perform important functional roles essential to reef resilience. These results add to a growing body of evidence about the importance of habitat complexity for reef fishes, and represent the first large-scale examination of this question on the Great Barrier Reef.

  7. Projected Impacts of Climate, Urbanization, Water Management, and Wetland Restoration on Waterbird Habitat in California's Central Valley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matchett, Elliott L; Fleskes, Joseph P

    2017-01-01

    The Central Valley of California is one of the most important regions for wintering waterbirds in North America despite extensive anthropogenic landscape modification and decline of historical wetlands there. Like many other mediterranean-climate ecosystems across the globe, the Central Valley has been subject to a burgeoning human population and expansion and intensification of agricultural and urban development that have impacted wildlife habitats. Future effects of urban development, changes in water supply management, and precipitation and air temperature related to global climate change on area of waterbird habitat in the Central Valley are uncertain, yet potentially substantial. Therefore, we modeled area of waterbird habitats for 17 climate, urbanization, water supply management, and wetland restoration scenarios for years 2006-2099 using a water resources and scenario modeling framework. Planned wetland restoration largely compensated for adverse effects of climate, urbanization, and water supply management changes on habitat areas through 2065, but fell short thereafter for all except one scenario. Projected habitat reductions due to climate models were more frequent and greater than under the recent historical climate and their magnitude increased through time. After 2065, area of waterbird habitat in all scenarios that included severe warmer, drier climate was projected to be >15% less than in the "existing" landscape most years. The greatest reduction in waterbird habitat occurred in scenarios that combined warmer, drier climate and plausible water supply management options affecting priority and delivery of water available for waterbird habitats. This scenario modeling addresses the complexity and uncertainties in the Central Valley landscape, use and management of related water supplies, and climate to inform waterbird habitat conservation and other resource management planning. Results indicate that increased wetland restoration and additional

  8. Projected impacts of climate, urbanization, water management, and wetland restoration on waterbird habitat in California’s Central Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matchett, Elliott L.; Fleskes, Joseph

    2017-01-01

    The Central Valley of California is one of the most important regions for wintering waterbirds in North America despite extensive anthropogenic landscape modification and decline of historical wetlands there. Like many other mediterranean-climate ecosystems across the globe, the Central Valley has been subject to a burgeoning human population and expansion and intensification of agricultural and urban development that have impacted wildlife habitats. Future effects of urban development, changes in water supply management, and precipitation and air temperature related to global climate change on area of waterbird habitat in the Central Valley are uncertain, yet potentially substantial. Therefore, we modeled area of waterbird habitats for 17 climate, urbanization, water supply management, and wetland restoration scenarios for years 2006–2099 using a water resources and scenario modeling framework. Planned wetland restoration largely compensated for adverse effects of climate, urbanization, and water supply management changes on habitat areas through 2065, but fell short thereafter for all except one scenario. Projected habitat reductions due to climate models were more frequent and greater than under the recent historical climate and their magnitude increased through time. After 2065, area of waterbird habitat in all scenarios that included severe warmer, drier climate was projected to be >15% less than in the “existing” landscape most years. The greatest reduction in waterbird habitat occurred in scenarios that combined warmer, drier climate and plausible water supply management options affecting priority and delivery of water available for waterbird habitats. This scenario modeling addresses the complexity and uncertainties in the Central Valley landscape, use and management of related water supplies, and climate to inform waterbird habitat conservation and other resource management planning. Results indicate that increased wetland restoration and additional

  9. Technical concept for a greater-confinement-disposal test facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunter, P.H.

    1982-01-01

    Greater confinement disposal (GCO) has been defined by the National Low-Level Waste Program as the disposal of low-level waste in such a manner as to provide greater containment of radiation, reduce potential for migration or dispersion or radionuclides, and provide greater protection from inadvertent human and biological intrusions in order to protect the public health and safety. This paper discusses: the need for GCD; definition of GCD; advantages and disadvantages of GCD; relative dose impacts of GCD versus shallow land disposal; types of waste compatible with GCD; objectives of GCD borehole demonstration test; engineering and technical issues; and factors affecting performance of the greater confinement disposal facility

  10. Anthropogenic areas as incidental substitutes for original habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Jiménez, Juan

    2016-06-01

    One speaks of ecological substitutes when an introduced species performs, to some extent, the ecosystem function of an extirpated native species. We suggest that a similar case exists for habitats. Species evolve within ecosystems, but habitats can be destroyed or modified by natural and human-made causes. Sometimes habitat alteration forces animals to move to or remain in a suboptimal habitat type. In that case, the habitat is considered a refuge, and the species is called a refugee. Typically refugee species have lower population growth rates than in their original habitats. Human action may lead to the unintended generation of artificial or semiartificial habitat types that functionally resemble the essential features of the original habitat and thus allow a population growth rate of the same magnitude or higher than in the original habitat. We call such areas substitution habitats and define them as human-made habitats within the focal species range that by chance are partial substitutes for the species' original habitat. We call species occupying a substitution habitat adopted species. These are 2 new terms in conservation biology. Examples of substitution habitats are dams for European otters, wheat and rice fields for many steppeland and aquatic birds, and urban areas for storks, falcons, and swifts. Although substitution habitats can bring about increased resilience against the agents of global change, the conservation of original habitat types remains a conservation priority. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Habitat connectivity and fragmented nuthatch populations in agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langevelde, van F.

    1999-01-01

    In agricultural landscapes, the habitat of many species is subject to fragmentation. When the habitat of a species is fragmented and the distances between patches of habitat are large relative to the movement distances of the species, it can be expected that the degree of habitat

  12. Development of a Regional Habitat Classification Scheme for the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    development, image processing techniques and field survey methods are outlined. Habitat classification, and regional-scale comparisons of relative habitat composition are described. The study demonstrates the use of remote sensing data to construct digital habitat maps for the comparison of regional habitat coverage, ...

  13. CADDIS Volume 2. Sources, Stressors and Responses: Physical Habitat - Detailed Conceptual Diagram

    Science.gov (United States)

    Introduction to the Physical Habitat module, when to list Physical Habitat as a candidate cause, ways to measure Physical Habitat, simple and detailed conceptual diagrams for Physical Habitat, Physical Habitat module references and literature reviews.

  14. CADDIS Volume 2. Sources, Stressors and Responses: Physical Habitat - Simple Conceptual Diagram

    Science.gov (United States)

    Introduction to the Physical Habitat module, when to list Physical Habitat as a candidate cause, ways to measure Physical Habitat, simple and detailed conceptual diagrams for Physical Habitat, Physical Habitat module references and literature reviews.

  15. Effects of payments for ecosystem services on wildlife habitat recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuanmu, Mao-Ning; Viña, Andrés; Yang, Wu; Chen, Xiaodong; Shortridge, Ashton M; Liu, Jianguo

    2016-08-01

    Conflicts between local people's livelihoods and conservation have led to many unsuccessful conservation efforts and have stimulated debates on policies that might simultaneously promote sustainable management of protected areas and improve the living conditions of local people. Many government-sponsored payments-for-ecosystem-services (PES) schemes have been implemented around the world. However, few empirical assessments of their effectiveness have been conducted, and even fewer assessments have directly measured their effects on ecosystem services. We conducted an empirical and spatially explicit assessment of the conservation effectiveness of one of the world's largest PES programs through the use of a long-term empirical data set, a satellite-based habitat model, and spatial autoregressive analyses on direct measures of change in an ecosystem service (i.e., the provision of wildlife species habitat). Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) habitat improved in Wolong Nature Reserve of China after the implementation of the Natural Forest Conservation Program. The improvement was more pronounced in areas monitored by local residents than those monitored by the local government, but only when a higher payment was provided. Our results suggest that the effectiveness of a PES program depends on who receives the payment and on whether the payment provides sufficient incentives. As engagement of local residents has not been incorporated in many conservation strategies elsewhere in China or around the world, our results also suggest that using an incentive-based strategy as a complement to command-and-control, community- and norm-based strategies may help achieve greater conservation effectiveness and provide a potential solution for the park versus people conflict. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. Long-term habitat changes in a protected area: Implications for herpetofauna habitat management and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markle, Chantel E; Chow-Fraser, Gillian; Chow-Fraser, Patricia

    2018-01-01

    Point Pelee National Park, located at the southern-most tip of Canada's mainland, historically supported a large number of herpetofauna species; however, despite nearly a century of protection, six snake and five amphibian species have disappeared, and remaining species-at-risk populations are thought to be in decline. We hypothesized that long-term changes in availability and distribution of critical habitat types may have contributed to the disappearance of herpetofauna. To track habitat changes we used aerial image data spanning 85 years (1931-2015) and manually digitized and classified image data using a standardized framework. Change-detection analyses were used to evaluate the relative importance of proportionate loss and fragmentation of 17 habitat types. Marsh habitat diversity and aquatic connectivity has declined since 1931. The marsh matrix transitioned from a graminoid and forb shallow marsh interspersed with water to a cattail dominated marsh, altering critical breeding, foraging, and overwintering habitat. Reduced diversity of marsh habitats appears to be linked to the expansion of invasive Phragmites australis, which invaded prior to 2000. Loss of open habitats such as savanna and meadow has reduced availability of high quality thermoregulation habitat for reptiles. Restoration of the northwestern region and tip of Point Pelee National Park to a mixed landscape of shallow wetlands (cattail, graminoid, forb, open water) and eradication of dense Phragmites stands should improve habitat diversity. Our results suggest that long-term landscape changes resulting from habitat succession and invasive species can negatively affect habitat suitability for herpetofauna and protection of land alone does not necessarily equate to protection of sensitive herpetofauna.

  17. Long-term habitat changes in a protected area: Implications for herpetofauna habitat management and restoration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chantel E Markle

    Full Text Available Point Pelee National Park, located at the southern-most tip of Canada's mainland, historically supported a large number of herpetofauna species; however, despite nearly a century of protection, six snake and five amphibian species have disappeared, and remaining species-at-risk populations are thought to be in decline. We hypothesized that long-term changes in availability and distribution of critical habitat types may have contributed to the disappearance of herpetofauna. To track habitat changes we used aerial image data spanning 85 years (1931-2015 and manually digitized and classified image data using a standardized framework. Change-detection analyses were used to evaluate the relative importance of proportionate loss and fragmentation of 17 habitat types. Marsh habitat diversity and aquatic connectivity has declined since 1931. The marsh matrix transitioned from a graminoid and forb shallow marsh interspersed with water to a cattail dominated marsh, altering critical breeding, foraging, and overwintering habitat. Reduced diversity of marsh habitats appears to be linked to the expansion of invasive Phragmites australis, which invaded prior to 2000. Loss of open habitats such as savanna and meadow has reduced availability of high quality thermoregulation habitat for reptiles. Restoration of the northwestern region and tip of Point Pelee National Park to a mixed landscape of shallow wetlands (cattail, graminoid, forb, open water and eradication of dense Phragmites stands should improve habitat diversity. Our results suggest that long-term landscape changes resulting from habitat succession and invasive species can negatively affect habitat suitability for herpetofauna and protection of land alone does not necessarily equate to protection of sensitive herpetofauna.

  18. Stable Isotope Analysis Reveals That Agricultural Habitat Provides an Important Dietary Component for Nonbreeding Dunlin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley Joan Evans Ogden

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Although shorebirds spending the winter in temperate areas frequently use estuarine and supratidal (upland feeding habitats, the relative contribution of each habitat to individual diets has not been directly quantified. We quantified the proportional use that Calidris alpina pacifica (Dunlin made of estuarine vs. terrestrial farmland resources on the Fraser River Delta, British Columbia, using stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N of blood from 268 Dunlin over four winters, 1997 through 2000. We tested for individual, age, sex, morphological, seasonal, and weather-related differences in dietary sources. Based on single- (δ13C and dual-isotope mixing models, the agricultural habitat contributed approximately 38% of Dunlin diet averaged over four winters, with the balance from intertidal flats. However, there was a wide variation among individuals in the extent of agricultural feeding, ranging from about 1% to 95% of diet. Younger birds had a significantly higher terrestrial contribution to diet (43% than did adults (35%. We estimated that 6% of adults and 13% of juveniles were obtaining at least 75% of their diet from terrestrial sources. The isotope data provided no evidence for sex or overall body size effects on the proportion of diet that is terrestrial in origin. The use of agricultural habitat by Dunlin peaked in early January. Adult Dunlin obtained a greater proportion of their diet terrestrially during periods of lower temperatures and high precipitation, whereas no such relationship existed for juveniles. Seasonal variation in the use of agricultural habitat suggests that it is used more during energetically stressful periods. The terrestrial farmland zone appears to be consistently important as a habitat for juveniles, but for adults it may provide an alternative feeding site used as a buffer against starvation during periods of extreme weather. Loss or reduction of agricultural habitat adjacent to estuaries may negatively impact

  19. Global habitat suitability for framework-forming cold-water corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Davies

    Full Text Available Predictive habitat models are increasingly being used by conservationists, researchers and governmental bodies to identify vulnerable ecosystems and species' distributions in areas that have not been sampled. However, in the deep sea, several limitations have restricted the widespread utilisation of this approach. These range from issues with the accuracy of species presences, the lack of reliable absence data and the limited spatial resolution of environmental factors known or thought to control deep-sea species' distributions. To address these problems, global habitat suitability models have been generated for five species of framework-forming scleractinian corals by taking the best available data and using a novel approach to generate high resolution maps of seafloor conditions. High-resolution global bathymetry was used to resample gridded data from sources such as World Ocean Atlas to produce continuous 30-arc second (∼1 km(2 global grids for environmental, chemical and physical data of the world's oceans. The increased area and resolution of the environmental variables resulted in a greater number of coral presence records being incorporated into habitat models and higher accuracy of model predictions. The most important factors in determining cold-water coral habitat suitability were depth, temperature, aragonite saturation state and salinity. Model outputs indicated the majority of suitable coral habitat is likely to occur on the continental shelves and slopes of the Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian Oceans. The North Pacific has very little suitable scleractinian coral habitat. Numerous small scale features (i.e., seamounts, which have not been sampled or identified as having a high probability of supporting cold-water coral habitat were identified in all ocean basins. Field validation of newly identified areas is needed to determine the accuracy of model results, assess the utility of modelling efforts to identify vulnerable marine

  20. Species composition, richness and nestedness of lizard assemblages from Restinga habitats along the brazilian coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CFD. Rocha

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation is well known to adversely affect species living in the remaining, relatively isolated, habitat patches, especially for those having small range size and low density. This negative effect has been critical in coastal resting habitats. We analysed the lizard composition and richness of restinga habitats in 16 restinga habitats encompassing three Brazilian states (Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Bahia and more than 1500km of the Brazilian coast in order to evaluate if the loss of lizard species following habitat reduction occur in a nested pattern or at random, using the “Nestedness Temperature Calculator” to analyse the distribution pattern of lizard species among the restingas studied. We also estimated the potential capacity that each restinga has to maintain lizard species. Eleven lizard species were recorded in the restingas, although not all species occurred in all areas. The restinga with the richest lizard fauna was Guriri (eight species whereas the restinga with the lowest richness was Praia do Sul (located at Ilha Grande, a large coastal island. Among the restingas analysed, Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves, were the most hospitable for lizards. The matrix community temperature of the lizard assemblages was 20.49° (= P <0.00001; 5000 randomisations; randomisation temperature = 51.45° ± 7.18° SD, indicating that lizard assemblages in the coastal restingas exhibited a considerable nested structure. The degree in which an area is hospitable for different assemblages could be used to suggest those with greater value of conservation. We concluded that lizard assemblages in coastal restingas occur at a considerable level of ordination in restinga habitats and that some restinga areas such as Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves are quite important to preserve lizard diversity of restinga environments.

  1. Reproductive habitat selection in alien and native populations of the genus Discoglossus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escoriza, Daniel; Boix, Dani

    2014-08-01

    The existence of suitable breeding habitats is an important factor explaining the regional presence of an anuran species. This study examined patterns of habitat selection in populations of three species of the genus Discoglossus: Discoglossusgalganoi (south-western Iberian Peninsula), Discoglossusscovazzi (Morocco) and Discoglossuspictus (three different areas were included in the study: Sicily, Tunisia and north-eastern Iberian Peninsula). The populations of D. pictus on the Iberian Peninsula are allochthonous, and analysis of these patterns may provide insights into the processes that regulate the invasion phase. The hypotheses tested were: (i) congeneric species show the same patterns of habitat selection, and alien species have been established following these patterns; (ii) there are differences in species associations between assemblages structured deterministically and by chance, i.e. native versus invaded assemblages. The larval habitats of three species of this genus were characterized by measuring physical and chemical parameters of the water bodies. We examined the covariation between the presence of Discoglossus species and the species richness of sympatric anurans, and investigated a possible relationship between morphological similarity (as a proxy of functional group) and overlap in habitat use. The results showed that congeneric species are morphologically conservative and also select very similar types of aquatic habitat. The alien population and other sympatric species showed a high degree of overlap in habitat use, which was greater than that observed in the native assemblage with a similar functional richness. Species associations were not structured on the basis of morphological similarity in any of the assemblages. Among native populations, the presence of Discoglossus was either negatively correlated or not significantly correlated with species richness. Only the alien population showed a positive correlation between its presence and species

  2. Why Deep Space Habitats Should Be Different from the International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Brand; Brown, MacAulay

    2016-01-01

    It is tempting to view the International Space Station (ISS) as a model for deep space habitats. This is not a good idea for many reasons. The ISS does not have a habitation module; instead the individual crew quarters are dispersed across several modules, the galley is in the US Laboratory and the waste hygiene compartment is in a Node. This distributed arrangement may be inconvenient but more important differences distinguish a deep space habitat from the ISS. First, the Space Shuttle launch system that shaped, sized, and delivered most ISS elements has been retired. Its replacement, the Space Launch System (SLS), is specifically designed for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and is capable of transporting more efficient, large diameter, heavy-lift payloads. Next, because of the Earth's protective geomagnetic field, ISS crews are naturally shielded from lethal radiation. Deep space habitat designs must include either a storm shelter or strategically positioned equipment and stowage for radiation protection. Another important difference is the increased transit time with no opportunity for an ISS-type emergency return. It takes 7 to 10 days to go between Earth and cis-lunar locations and 1000 days for the Mars habitat transit. This long commute calls for greater crew autonomy with habitats designed for the crew to fix their own problems. The ISS rack-enclosed, densely packaged subsystems are a product of the Shuttle era and not maintenance friendly. A solution better suited for deep space habitats spreads systems out allowing direct access to single-layer packaging and providing crew access to each component without having to remove another. Operational readiness is another important discriminator. The ISS required over 100 flights to build, resupply, and transport the crew, whereas SLS offers the capability to launch a fully provisioned habitat that is operational without additional outfitting or resupply flights.

  3. Temporal and Spatial Scales Matter: Circannual Habitat Selection by Bird Communities in Vineyards.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Guyot

    Full Text Available Vineyards are likely to be regionally important for wildlife, but we lack biodiversity studies in this agroecosystem which is undergoing a rapid management revolution. As vine cultivation is restricted to arid and warm climatic regions, biodiversity-friendly management would promote species typical of southern biomes. Vineyards are often intensively cultivated, mostly surrounded by few natural features and offering a fairly mineral appearance with little ground vegetation cover. Ground vegetation cover and composition may further strongly vary with respect to season, influencing patterns of habitat selection by ecological communities. We investigated season-specific bird-habitat associations to highlight the importance of semi-natural habitat features and vineyard ground vegetation cover throughout the year. Given that avian habitat selection varies according to taxa, guilds and spatial scale, we modelled bird-habitat associations in all months at two spatial scales using mixed effects regression models. At the landscape scale, birds were recorded along 10 1-km long transects in Southwestern Switzerland (February 2014 -January 2015. At the field scale, we compared the characteristics of visited and unvisited vineyard fields (hereafter called parcels. Bird abundance in vineyards tripled in winter compared to summer. Vineyards surrounded by a greater amount of hedges and small woods harboured higher bird abundance, species richness and diversity, especially during the winter season. Regarding ground vegetation, birds showed a season-specific habitat selection pattern, notably a marked preference for ground-vegetated parcels in winter and for intermediate vegetation cover in spring and summer. These season-specific preferences might be related to species-specific life histories: more insectivorous, ground-foraging species occur during the breeding season whereas granivores predominate in winter. These results highlight the importance of

  4. Species composition, richness and nestedness of lizard assemblages from Restinga habitats along the brazilian coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, C F D; Vrcibradic, D; Kiefer, M C; Menezes, V A; Fontes, A F; Hatano, F H; Galdino, C A B; Bergallo, H G; Van Sluys, M

    2014-05-01

    Habitat fragmentation is well known to adversely affect species living in the remaining, relatively isolated, habitat patches, especially for those having small range size and low density. This negative effect has been critical in coastal resting habitats. We analysed the lizard composition and richness of restinga habitats in 16 restinga habitats encompassing three Brazilian states (Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Bahia) and more than 1500km of the Brazilian coast in order to evaluate if the loss of lizard species following habitat reduction occur in a nested pattern or at random, using the "Nestedness Temperature Calculator" to analyse the distribution pattern of lizard species among the restingas studied. We also estimated the potential capacity that each restinga has to maintain lizard species. Eleven lizard species were recorded in the restingas, although not all species occurred in all areas. The restinga with the richest lizard fauna was Guriri (eight species) whereas the restinga with the lowest richness was Praia do Sul (located at Ilha Grande, a large coastal island). Among the restingas analysed, Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves, were the most hospitable for lizards. The matrix community temperature of the lizard assemblages was 20.49° (= P restingas exhibited a considerable nested structure. The degree in which an area is hospitable for different assemblages could be used to suggest those with greater value of conservation. We concluded that lizard assemblages in coastal restingas occur at a considerable level of ordination in restinga habitats and that some restinga areas such as Jurubatiba, Guriri, Maricá and Praia das Neves are quite important to preserve lizard diversity of restinga environments.

  5. Behavioral response of the coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum) to habitat fragment size and isolation in an urban landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrovich, Milan J.; Diffendorfer, Jay E.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2009-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is a significant threat to biodiversity worldwide. Habitat loss and the isolation of habitat fragments disrupt biological communities, accelerate the extinction of populations, and often lead to the alteration of behavioral patterns typical of individuals in large, contiguous natural areas. We used radio-telemetry to study the space-use behavior of the Coachwhip, a larger-bodied, wide-ranging snake species threatened by habitat fragmentation, in fragmented and contiguous areas of coastal southern California. We tracked 24 individuals at three sites over two years. Movement patterns of Coachwhips changed in habitat fragments. As area available to the snakes was reduced, individuals faced increased crowding, had smaller home-range sizes, tolerated greater home-range overlap, and showed more concentrated movement activity and convoluted movement pathways. The behavioral response shown by Coachwhips suggests, on a regional level, area-effects alone cannot explain observed extinctions on habitat fragments but, instead, suggests changes in habitat configuration are more likely to explain the decline of this species. Ultimately, if "edge-exposure" is a common cause of decline, then isolated fragments, appropriately buffered to reduce emigration and edge effects, may support viable populations of fragmentation-sensitive species.

  6. Habitat models to assist plant protection efforts in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Manen, F.T.; Young, J.A.; Thatcher, C.A.; Cass, W.B.; Ulrey, C.

    2005-01-01

    During 2002, the National Park Service initiated a demonstration project to develop science-based law enforcement strategies for the protection of at-risk natural resources, including American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.), bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis L.), and black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt. [syn. Actaea racemosa L.]). Harvest pressure on these species is increasing because of the growing herbal remedy market. We developed habitat models for Shenandoah National Park and the northern portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway to determine the distribution of favorable habitats of these three plant species and to demonstrate the use of that information to support plant protection activities. We compiled locations for the three plant species to delineate favorable habitats with a geographic information system (GIS). We mapped potential habitat quality for each species by calculating a multivariate statistic, Mahalanobis distance, based on GIS layers that characterized the topography, land cover, and geology of the plant locations (10-m resolution). We tested model performance with an independent dataset of plant locations, which indicated a significant relationship between Mahalanobis distance values and species occurrence. We also generated null models by examining the distribution of the Mahalanobis distance values had plants been distributed randomly. For all species, the habitat models performed markedly better than their respective null models. We used our models to direct field searches to the most favorable habitats, resulting in a sizeable number of new plant locations (82 ginseng, 73 bloodroot, and 139 black cohosh locations). The odds of finding new plant locations based on the habitat models were 4.5 (black cohosh) to 12.3 (American ginseng) times greater than random searches; thus, the habitat models can be used to improve the efficiency of plant protection efforts, (e.g., marking of plants, law enforcement activities). The field searches also

  7. Correlated factors in amphibian decline: Exotic species and habitat change in western Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.

    1999-01-01

    Amphibian declines may frequently be associated with multiple, correlated factors. In western North America, exotic species and hydrological changes are often correlated and are considered 2 of the greatest threats to freshwater systems. Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) introductions are frequently cited as a threat to lentic-breeding anurans native to western North America and are a suspected factor in the decline of red-legged frogs (Rana aurora) in California. Introduced fish and habitat change are cited less frequently but are equally viable hypotheses. I examined the relation among introduced species, habitat, and the distribution and abundance of red-legged frogs in western Washington. Red-legged frog occurrence in the Puget Lowlands was more closely associated with habitat structure and the presence of exotic fish than with the presence of bull-frogs. The spread of exotics is correlated with a shift toward greater permanence in wetland habitats regionally. Conservation of more ephemeral wetland habitats may have direct benefits for some native amphibians and may also reduce the threat of exotic fish and bullfrogs, both of which were associated with permanent wetlands. Research and conservation efforts for lowland anurans in the West should emphasize the complexities of multiple contributing factors to amphibian losses.

  8. City life makes females fussy: sex differences in habitat use of temperate bats in urban areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lintott, Paul R.; Bunnefeld, Nils; Fuentes-Montemayor, Elisa; Minderman, Jeroen; Mayhew, Rebekah J.; Olley, Lena; Park, Kirsty J.

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization is a major driver of the global loss of biodiversity; to mitigate its adverse effects, it is essential to understand what drives species' patterns of habitat use within the urban matrix. While many animal species are known to exhibit sex differences in habitat use, adaptability to the urban landscape is commonly examined at the species level, without consideration of intraspecific differences. The high energetic demands of pregnancy and lactation in female mammals can lead to sexual differences in habitat use, but little is known of how this might affect their response to urbanization. We predicted that female Pipistrellus pygmaeus would show greater selectivity of forging locations within urban woodland in comparison to males at both a local and landscape scale. In line with these predictions, we found there was a lower probability of finding females within woodlands which were poorly connected, highly cluttered, with a higher edge : interior ratio and fewer mature trees. By contrast, habitat quality and the composition of the surrounding landscape were less of a limiting factor in determining male distributions. These results indicate strong sexual differences in the habitat use of fragmented urban woodland, and this has important implications for our understanding of the adaptability of bats and mammals more generally to urbanization. PMID:26064557

  9. Influence of habitat degradation on fish replenishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick, M. I.; Moore, J. A. Y.; Munday, P. L.

    2010-09-01

    Temperature-induced coral bleaching is a major threat to the biodiversity of coral reef ecosystems. While reductions in species diversity and abundance of fish communities have been documented following coral bleaching, the mechanisms that underlie these changes are poorly understood. The present study examined the impacts of coral bleaching on the early life-history processes of coral reef fishes. Daily monitoring of fish settlement patterns found that ten times as many fish settled to healthy coral than sub-lethally bleached coral. Species diversity of settling fishes was least on bleached coral and greatest on dead coral, with healthy coral having intermediate levels of diversity. Laboratory experiments using light-trap caught juveniles showed that different damselfish species chose among healthy, bleached and dead coral habitats using different combinations of visual and olfactory cues. The live coral specialist, Pomacentrus moluccensis, preferred live coral and avoided bleached and dead coral, using mostly visual cues to inform their habitat choice. The habitat generalist, Pomacentrus amboinensis, also preferred live coral and avoided bleached and dead coral but selected these habitats using both visual and olfactory cues. Trials with another habitat generalist, Dischistodus sp., suggested that vision played a significant role. A 20 days field experiment that manipulated densities of P. moluccensis on healthy and bleached coral heads found an influence of fish density on juvenile weight and growth, but no significant influence of habitat quality. These results suggests that coral bleaching will affect settlement patterns and species distributions by influencing the visual and olfactory cues that reef fish larvae use to make settlement choices. Furthermore, increased fish density within the remaining healthy coral habitats could play an important role in influencing population dynamics.

  10. Habitat fragmentation, vole population fluctuations, and the ROMPA hypothesis: An experimental test using model landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batzli, George O

    2016-11-01

    Increased habitat fragmentation leads to smaller size of habitat patches and to greater distance between patches. The ROMPA hypothesis (ratio of optimal to marginal patch area) uniquely links vole population fluctuations to the composition of the landscape. It states that as ROMPA decreases (fragmentation increases), vole population fluctuations will increase (including the tendency to display multi-annual cycles in abundance) because decreased proportions of optimal habitat result in greater population declines and longer recovery time after a harsh season. To date, only comparative observations in the field have supported the hypothesis. This paper reports the results of the first experimental test. I used prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster, and mowed grassland to create model landscapes with 3 levels of ROMPA (high with 25% mowed, medium with 50% mowed and low with 75% mowed). As ROMPA decreased, distances between patches of favorable habitat (high cover) increased owing to a greater proportion of unfavorable (mowed) habitat. Results from the first year with intensive live trapping indicated that the preconditions for operation of the hypothesis existed (inversely density dependent emigration and, as ROMPA decreased, increased per capita mortality and decreased per capita movement between optimal patches). Nevertheless, contrary to the prediction of the hypothesis that populations in landscapes with high ROMPA should have the lowest variability, 5 years of trapping indicated that variability was lowest with medium ROMPA. The design of field experiments may never be perfect, but these results indicate that the ROMPA hypothesis needs further rigorous testing. © 2016 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  11. Home Range Characteristics and Habitat Selection by Daurian Hedgehogs ( Mesechinus dauuricus in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirka Zapletal

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We examined home range characteristics and habitat selection of Daurian hedgehogs in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia. Home ranges of hedgehogs varied from 113.15 ha to 2,171.97 ha, and were larger in early summer than late summer. Hedgehogs showed relative preference for rocky outcrops and low-density shrub habitats, and relative avoidance of high- density shrub areas. Habitat selection also changed between early and late summer, shifting to greater use of low-density shrub areas and decreased use of forb-dominated short grass. Our baseline data on home ranges and habitat selection expand understanding of hedgehog ecology and provide guidance for future management decisions in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve and elsewhere in Mongolia.

  12. A systematic relationship between phytochrome-controlled development and species habitat, for plants grown in simulated natural radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morgan, D.C.; Smith, H.

    1979-01-01

    A survey of the responsiveness of plant species, typical of open and shade habitats, to simulated natural shade-light quality (i.e. white light plus supplementary far-red) has demonstrated a systematic relationship between habitat and certain developmental responses. Supplementary far-red light has a much greater effect on stem extension rate, petiole length, and leaf dry weight:stem dry weight ratio of the open habitat, shade-intolerant species. Far-red effects on leaf chlorophyll content show no such systematic grading. These results are discussed in relation to habitat adaptation. In most cases, the relationship between developmental response and the estimated phytochrome photoequilibrium, which is established by the radiation treatment, is linear. This is taken as an indication of phytochrome involvement in shade perception. (orig.) [de

  13. Assessing Human Impacts on the Greater Akaki River, Ethiopia ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We assessed the impacts of human activities on the Greater Akaki River using physicochemical parameters and macroinvertebrate metrics. Physicochemical samples and macroinvertebrates were collected bimonthly from eight sites established on the Greater Akaki River from February 2006 to April 2006. Eleven metrics ...

  14. Comparative Education in Greater China: Contexts, Characteristics, Contrasts and Contributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bray, Mark; Qin, Gui

    2001-01-01

    The evolution of comparative education in Greater China (mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau) has been influenced by size, culture, political ideologies, standard of living, and colonialism. Similarities and differences in conceptions of comparative education are identified among the four components and between Greater China and other…

  15. Greater temperature sensitivity of plant phenology at colder sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prevey, Janet; Vellend, Mark; Ruger, Nadja

    2017-01-01

    Warmer temperatures are accelerating the phenology of organisms around the world. Temperature sensitivity of phenology might be greater in colder, higher latitude sites than in warmer regions, in part because small changes in temperature constitute greater relative changes in thermal balance...

  16. Breeding of Greater and Lesser Flamingos at Sua Pan, Botswana ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    to fledging was unknown owing to the rapid drying of the pan in late March 1999. No Greater Flamingo breeding was seen that season. Exceptional flooding during 1999–2000 produced highly favourable breeding conditions, with numbers of Greater and Lesser Flamingos breeding estimated to be 23 869 and 64 287 pairs, ...

  17. Surgical anatomy of greater occipital nerve and its relation to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Introduction: The knowledge of the anatomy of greater occipital nerve and its relation to occipital artery is important for the surgeon. Blockage or surgical release of greater occipital nerve is clinically effective in reducing or eliminating chronic migraine symptoms. Aim: The aim of this research was to study the anatomy of ...

  18. Surgical anatomy of greater occipital nerve and its relation to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nancy Mohamed El Sekily

    2014-08-19

    Aug 19, 2014 ... Abstract Introduction: The knowledge of the anatomy of greater occipital nerve and its relation to occipital artery is important for the surgeon. Blockage or surgical release of greater occipital nerve is clinically effective in reducing or eliminating chronic migraine symptoms. Aim: The aim of this research was to ...

  19. INDUSTRIAL LAND DEVELOPMENT AND MANUFACTURING DECONCENTRATION IN GREATER JAKARTA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hudalah, Delik; Viantari, Dimitra; Firman, Tommy; Woltjer, Johan

    2013-01-01

    Industrial land development has become a key feature of urbanization in Greater Jakarta, one of the largest metropolitan areas in Southeast Asia. Following Suharto's market-oriented policy measures in the late 1980s, private developers have dominated the land development projects in Greater Jakarta.

  20. Strategies for Talent Management: Greater Philadelphia Companies in Action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (NJ1), 2008

    2008-01-01

    Human capital is one of the critical issues that impacts the Greater Philadelphia region's ability to grow and prosper. The CEO Council for Growth (CEO Council) is committed to ensuring a steady and talented supply of quality workers for this region. "Strategies for Talent Management: Greater Philadelphia Companies in Action" provides…

  1. Habitat connectivity and fragmented nuthatch populations in agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Langevelde, van, F.

    1999-01-01

    In agricultural landscapes, the habitat of many species is subject to fragmentation. When the habitat of a species is fragmented and the distances between patches of habitat are large relative to the movement distances of the species, it can be expected that the degree of habitat connectivity affects processes at population and individual level. In this thesis, I report on a study of effects of habitat fragmentation and opportunities to mitigate these effects by planning ecological n...

  2. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Red-winged blackbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Henry L.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus L.). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  3. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Yellow-headed blackbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1982-01-01

    Habitat preferences of the yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) are described in this publication. It is one of a series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models and was developed through an analysis of available infomration on the species-habitat requirements of the species. Habitat use information is presented in a review of the literature, followed by the development of an HSI model, designed for use in impact assessment and habitat management activities.

  4. Wetland fire remote sensing research--The Greater Everglades example

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, John W.

    2012-01-01

    Fire is a major factor in the Everglades ecosystem. For thousands of years, lightning-strike fires from summer thunderstorms have helped create and maintain a dynamic landscape suited both to withstand fire and recover quickly in the wake of frequent fires. Today, managers in the Everglades National Park are implementing controlled burns to promote healthy, sustainable vegetation patterns and ecosystem functions. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is using remote sensing to improve fire-management databases in the Everglades, gain insights into post-fire land-cover dynamics, and develop spatially and temporally explicit fire-scar data for habitat and hydrologic modeling.

  5. Resource pulses in desert river habitats: productivity-biodiversity hotspots, or mirages?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free, Carissa L; Baxter, Greg S; Dickman, Christopher R; Leung, Luke K P

    2013-01-01

    Resource pulses in the world's hot deserts are driven largely by rainfall and are highly variable in both time and space. However, run-on areas and drainage lines in arid regions receive more water more often than adjacent habitats, and frequently sustain relatively high levels of primary productivity. These landscape features therefore may support higher biotic diversity than other habitats, and potentially act as refuges for desert vertebrates and other biota during droughts. We used the ephemeral Field River in the Simpson Desert, central Australia, as a case study to quantify how resources and habitat characteristics vary spatially and temporally along the riparian corridor. Levels of moisture and nutrients were greater in the clay-dominated soils of the riverine corridor than in the surrounding sand dunes, as were cover values of trees, annual grasses, other annual plants and litter; these resources and habitat features were also greater near the main catchment area than in the distal reaches where the river channel runs out into extensive dune fields. These observations confirm that the riverine corridor is more productive than the surrounding desert, and support the idea that it may act as a refuge or as a channel for the ingress of peri-desert species. However, the work also demonstrates that species diversity of invertebrates and plants is not higher within the river corridor; rather, it is driven by rainfall and the accompanying increase in annual plants following a rain event. Further research is required to identify the biota that depend upon these resource pulses.

  6. Strong links between metal contamination, habitat modification and estuarine larval fish distributions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McKinley, Andrew C., E-mail: andrew.mckinley@hotmail.com [Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052 (Australia); Miskiewicz, Anthony [Environment and Recreation, Wollongong City Council, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong, New South Wales 2500 (Australia); Taylor, Matthew D.; Johnston, Emma L. [Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052 (Australia)

    2011-06-15

    Changes to larval fish assemblages may have far reaching ecological impacts. Correlations between habitat modification, contamination and marine larval fish communities have rarely been assessed in situ. We investigated links between the large-scale distribution of stressors and larval fish assemblages in estuarine environments. Larval fish communities were sampled using a benthic sled within the inner and outer zones of three heavily modified and three relatively unmodified estuaries. Larval abundances were significantly greater in modified estuaries, and there were trends towards greater diversity in these systems. Differences in larval community composition were strongly related to sediment metal levels and reduced seagrass cover. The differences observed were driven by two abundant species, Paedogobius kimurai and Ambassis jacksoniensis, which occurred in large numbers almost exclusively in highly contaminated and pristine locations respectively. These findings suggest that contamination and habitat alteration manifest in substantial differences in the composition of estuarine larval fish assemblages. - Highlights: > We examine contamination/habitat modification impacts on larval fish. > Larvae communities differ between modified/unmodified estuaries. > Larvae are more abundant/diverse in modified areas. > Trends are strongly related to sediment metals/seagrass cover. > Larval impacts have wider ecological importance. - We describe strong links between sediment metals contamination, habitat modification and substantial differences in the composition of the estuarine larval fish assemblage.

  7. Strong links between metal contamination, habitat modification and estuarine larval fish distributions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKinley, Andrew C.; Miskiewicz, Anthony; Taylor, Matthew D.; Johnston, Emma L.

    2011-01-01

    Changes to larval fish assemblages may have far reaching ecological impacts. Correlations between habitat modification, contamination and marine larval fish communities have rarely been assessed in situ. We investigated links between the large-scale distribution of stressors and larval fish assemblages in estuarine environments. Larval fish communities were sampled using a benthic sled within the inner and outer zones of three heavily modified and three relatively unmodified estuaries. Larval abundances were significantly greater in modified estuaries, and there were trends towards greater diversity in these systems. Differences in larval community composition were strongly related to sediment metal levels and reduced seagrass cover. The differences observed were driven by two abundant species, Paedogobius kimurai and Ambassis jacksoniensis, which occurred in large numbers almost exclusively in highly contaminated and pristine locations respectively. These findings suggest that contamination and habitat alteration manifest in substantial differences in the composition of estuarine larval fish assemblages. - Highlights: → We examine contamination/habitat modification impacts on larval fish. → Larvae communities differ between modified/unmodified estuaries. → Larvae are more abundant/diverse in modified areas. → Trends are strongly related to sediment metals/seagrass cover. → Larval impacts have wider ecological importance. - We describe strong links between sediment metals contamination, habitat modification and substantial differences in the composition of the estuarine larval fish assemblage.

  8. Thermal characteristics of wild and captive Micronesian Kingfisher nesting habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kesler, Dylan C.; Haig, Susan M.

    2004-01-01

    To provide information for managing the captive population of endangered Guam Micronesian kingfishers (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina), four biologically relevant thermal metrics were compared among captive facilities on the United States mainland and habitats used by wild Micronesian kingfishers on the island of Pohnpei (H. c. reichenbachii), Federated States of Micronesia. Additionally, aviaries where kingfishers laid eggs were compared to those in which birds did not attempt to breed. Compared to aviaries, habitats used by wild Pohnpei kingfishers had 3.2A?C higher daily maximum and minimum temperatures and the proportion of time when temperatures were in the birds' thermoneutral zone was 45% greater. No differences were found in the magnitude of temperature fluctuation in captive and wild environments. In captive environments in which birds bred, daily maximum temperatures were 2.1A?C higher and temperatures were within the thermoneutral zone 25% more often than in the aviaries where the kingfishers did not breed. No differences were found in the magnitude of temperature fluctuation or the daily minimum temperature. Results suggest that the thermal environment has the potential to influence reproduction, and that consideration should be given to increasing temperatures in captive breeding facilities to improve propagation of the endangered Micronesian kingfisher.

  9. Habitat connectivity as a metric for aquatic microhabitat quality: Application to Chinook salmon spawning habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan Carnie; Daniele Tonina; Jim McKean; Daniel Isaak

    2016-01-01

    Quality of fish habitat at the scale of a single fish, at the metre resolution, which we defined here as microhabitat, has been primarily evaluated on short reaches, and their results have been extended through long river segments with methods that do not account for connectivity, a measure of the spatial distribution of habitat patches. However, recent...

  10. Managing harvest and habitat as integrated components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osnas, Erik; Runge, Michael C.; Mattsson, Brady J.; Austin, Jane E.; Boomer, G. S.; Clark, R. G.; Devers, P.; Eadie, J. M.; Lonsdorf, E. V.; Tavernia, Brian G.

    2014-01-01

    In 2007, several important initiatives in the North American waterfowl management community called for an integrated approach to habitat and harvest management. The essence of the call for integration is that harvest and habitat management affect the same resources, yet exist as separate endeavours with very different regulatory contexts. A common modelling framework could help these management streams to better understand their mutual effects. Particularly, how does successful habitat management increase harvest potential? Also, how do regional habitat programmes and large-scale harvest strategies affect continental population sizes (a metric used to express habitat goals)? In the ensuing five years, several projects took on different aspects of these challenges. While all of these projects are still on-going, and are not yet sufficiently developed to produce guidance for management decisions, they have been influential in expanding the dialogue and producing some important emerging lessons. The first lesson has been that one of the more difficult aspects of integration is not the integration across decision contexts, but the integration across spatial and temporal scales. Habitat management occurs at local and regional scales. Harvest management decisions are made at a continental scale. How do these actions, taken at different scales, combine to influence waterfowl population dynamics at all scales? The second lesson has been that consideration of the interface of habitat and harvest management can generate important insights into the objectives underlying the decision context. Often the objectives are very complex and trade-off against one another. The third lesson follows from the second – if an understanding of the fundamental objectives is paramount, there is no escaping the need for a better understanding of human dimensions, specifically the desires of hunters and nonhunters and the role they play in conservation. In the end, the compelling question is

  11. Environmental factors and habitat use influence body condition of individuals in a species at risk, the grizzly bear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourbonnais, Mathieu L; Nelson, Trisalyn A; Cattet, Marc R L; Darimont, Chris T; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Janz, David M

    2014-01-01

    Metrics used to quantify the condition or physiological states of individuals provide proactive mechanisms for understanding population dynamics in the context of environmental factors. Our study examined how anthropogenic disturbance, habitat characteristics and hair cortisol concentrations interpreted as a sex-specific indicator of potential habitat net-energy demand affect the body condition of grizzly bears (n = 163) in a threatened population in Alberta, Canada. We quantified environmental variables by modelling spatial patterns of individual habitat use based on global positioning system telemetry data. After controlling for gender, age and capture effects, we assessed the influence of biological and environmental variables on body condition using linear mixed-effects models in an information theoretical approach. Our strongest model suggested that body condition was improved when patterns of habitat use included greater vegetation productivity, increased influence of forest harvest blocks and oil and gas well sites, and a higher percentage of regenerating and coniferous forest. However, body condition was negatively affected by habitat use in close proximity to roads and in areas where potential energetic demands were high. Poor body condition was also associated with increased selection of parks and protected areas and greater seasonal vegetation productivity. Adult females, females with cubs-of-year, juvenile females and juvenile males were in poorer body condition compared with adult males, suggesting that intra-specific competition and differences in habitat use based on gender and age may influence body condition dynamics. Habitat net-energy demand also tended to be higher in areas used by females which, combined with observed trends in body condition, could affect reproductive success in this threatened population. Our results highlight the importance of considering spatiotemporal variability in environmental factors and habitat use when assessing

  12. An index of reservoir habitat impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, L.E.; Hunt, K.M.

    2011-01-01

    Fish habitat impairment resulting from natural and anthropogenic watershed and in-lake processes has in many cases reduced the ability of reservoirs to sustain native fish assemblages and fisheries quality. Rehabilitation of impaired reservoirs is hindered by the lack of a method suitable for scoring impairment status. To address this limitation, an index of reservoir habitat impairment (IRHI) was developed by merging 14 metrics descriptive of common impairment sources, with each metric scored from 0 (no impairment) to 5 (high impairment) by fisheries scientists with local knowledge. With a plausible range of 5 to 25, distribution of the IRHI scores ranged from 5 to 23 over 482 randomly selected reservoirs dispersed throughout the USA. The IRHI reflected five impairment factors including siltation, structural habitat, eutrophication, water regime, and aquatic plants. The factors were weakly related to key reservoir characteristics including reservoir area, depth, age, and usetype, suggesting that common reservoir descriptors are poor predictors of fish habitat impairment. The IRHI is rapid and inexpensive to calculate, provides an easily understood measure of the overall habitat impairment, allows comparison of reservoirs and therefore prioritization of restoration activities, and may be used to track restoration progress. The major limitation of the IRHI is its reliance on unstandardized professional judgment rather than standardized empirical measurements. ?? 2010 US Government.

  13. Eder Acquisition 2007 Habitat Evaluation Procedures Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashley, Paul R.

    2008-01-01

    A habitat evaluation procedures (HEP) analysis was conducted on the Eder acquisition in July 2007 to determine how many protection habitat units to credit Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for providing funds to acquire the project site as partial mitigation for habitat losses associated with construction of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph Dams. Baseline HEP surveys generated 3,857.64 habitat units or 1.16 HUs per acre. HEP surveys also served to document general habitat conditions. Survey results indicated that the herbaceous plant community lacked forbs species, which may be due to both livestock grazing and the late timing of the surveys. Moreover, the herbaceous plant community lacked structure based on lower than expected visual obstruction readings (VOR); likely a direct result of livestock impacts. In addition, introduced herbaceous vegetation including cultivated pasture grasses, e.g. crested wheatgrass and/or invader species such as cheatgrass and mustard, were present on most areas surveyed. The shrub element within the shrubsteppe cover type was generally a mosaic of moderate to dense shrubby areas interspersed with open grassland communities while the 'steppe' component was almost entirely devoid of shrubs. Riparian shrub and forest areas were somewhat stressed by livestock. Moreover, shrub and tree communities along the lower reaches of Nine Mile Creek suffered from lack of water due to the previous landowners 'piping' water out of the stream channel.

  14. Habitat specialization through germination cueing: a comparative study of herbs from forests and open habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ten Brink, Dirk-Jan; Hendriksma, Harmen Pieter; Bruun, Hans Henrik

    2013-02-01

    This study examined the adaptive association between seed germination ecology and specialization to either forest or open habitats across a range of evolutionary lineages of seed plants, in order to test the hypotheses that (1) species' specialization to open vs. shaded habitats is consistently accompanied by specialization in their regeneration niche; and (2) species are thereby adapted to utilize different windows of opportunity in time (season) and space (habitat). Seed germination response to temperature, light and stratification was tested for 17 congeneric pairs, each consisting of one forest species and one open-habitat species. A factorial design was used with temperature levels and diurnal temperature variation (10 °C constant, 15-5 °C fluctuating, 20 °C constant, 25-15 °C fluctuating), and two light levels (light and darkness) and a cold stratification treatment. The congeneric species pair design took phylogenetic dependence into account. Species from open habitats germinated better at high temperatures, whereas forest species performed equally well at low and high temperatures. Forest species tended to germinate only after a period of cold stratification that could break dormancy, while species from open habitats generally germinated without cold stratification. The empirically derived germination strategies correspond quite well with establishment opportunities for forest and open-habitat plant species in nature. Annual changes in temperature and light regime in temperate forest delimit windows of opportunity for germination and establishment. Germination strategies of forest plants are adaptations to utilize such narrow windows in time. Conversely, lack of fit between germination ecology and environment may explain why species of open habitats generally fail to establish in forests. Germination strategy should be considered an important mechanism for habitat specialization in temperate herbs to forest habitats. The findings strongly suggest that

  15. Dinoflagelados em diversos habitats e hidroperíodos na zona costeira do sul do Brasil Dinoflagellates in different habitats and hydroperiods on the coast of southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana de Souza Cardoso

    2007-06-01

    habitats. Habitat type significantly (p <0.01 influenced richness, density and diversity of dinoflagellates, and density was significantly influenced (p <0.01 by hydroperiod. Cluster analysis showed that pH and water temperature were the abiotic variables that had greater influence on the dinoflagellate populations in this study.

  16. Fractures of the greater trochanter following total hip replacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brun, Ole-Christian L; Maansson, Lukas

    2013-01-01

    We studied the incidence of greater trochanteric fractures at our department following THR. In all we examined 911 patients retrospectively and found the occurance of a greater trochanteric fracture to be 3%. Patients with fractures had significantly poorer outcome on Oxford Hip score, Pain VAS, Satisfaction VAS and EQ-5D compared to THR without fractures. Greater trochanteric fracture following THR is one of the most common complications following THR. It has previously been thought to have little impact on the overall outcome following THR, but our study suggests otherwise.

  17. A spatial model to assess the effects of hydropower operations on Columbia River fall Chinook Salmon spawning habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, James R.; Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Anglin, Donald R.; Haeseker, Steven L.; Skalicky, Joseph J.; Schaller, Howard

    2009-01-01

    Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River produces large daily and hourly streamflow fluctuations throughout the Hanford Reach during the period when fall Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha are selecting spawning habitat, constructing redds, and actively engaged in spawning. Concern over the detrimental effects of these fluctuations prompted us to quantify the effects of variable flows on the amount and persistence of fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Hanford Reach. Specifically, our goal was to develop a management tool capable of quantifying the effects of current and alternative hydrographs on predicted spawning habitat in a spatially explicit manner. Toward this goal, we modeled the water velocities and depths that fall Chinook salmon experienced during the 2004 spawning season, plus what they would probably have experienced under several alternative (i.e., synthetic) hydrographs, using both one- and two-dimensional hydrodynamic models. To estimate spawning habitat under existing or alternative hydrographs, we used cell-based modeling and logistic regression to construct and compare numerous spatial habitat models. We found that fall Chinook salmon were more likely to spawn at locations where velocities were persistently greater than 1 m/s and in areas where fluctuating water velocities were reduced. Simulations of alternative dam operations indicate that the quantity of spawning habitat is expected to increase as streamflow fluctuations are reduced during the spawning season. The spatial habitat models that we developed provide management agencies with a quantitative tool for predicting, in a spatially explicit manner, the effects of different flow regimes on fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Hanford Reach. In addition to characterizing temporally varying habitat conditions, our research describes an analytical approach that could be applied in other highly variable aquatic systems.

  18. Anopheline larval habitats seasonality and species distribution: a prerequisite for effective targeted larval habitats control programmes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliningaya J Kweka

    Full Text Available Larval control is of paramount importance in the reduction of malaria vector abundance and subsequent disease transmission reduction. Understanding larval habitat succession and its ecology in different land use managements and cropping systems can give an insight for effective larval source management practices. This study investigated larval habitat succession and ecological parameters which influence larval abundance in malaria epidemic prone areas of western Kenya.A total of 51 aquatic habitats positive for anopheline larvae were surveyed and visited once a week for a period of 85 weeks in succession. Habitats were selected and identified. Mosquito larval species, physico-chemical parameters, habitat size, grass cover, crop cycle and distance to nearest house were recorded. Polymerase chain reaction revealed that An. gambiae s.l was the most dominant vector species comprised of An.gambiae s.s (77.60% and An.arabiensis (18.34%, the remaining 4.06% had no amplification by polymerase chain reaction. Physico-chemical parameters and habitat size significantly influenced abundance of An. gambiae s.s (P = 0.024 and An. arabiensis (P = 0.002 larvae. Further, larval species abundance was influenced by crop cycle (P≤0.001, grass cover (P≤0.001, while distance to nearest houses significantly influenced the abundance of mosquito species larvae (r = 0.920;P≤0.001. The number of predator species influenced mosquito larval abundance in different habitat types. Crop weeding significantly influenced with the abundance of An.gambiae s.l (P≤0.001 when preceded with fertilizer application. Significantly higher anopheline larval abundance was recorded in habitats in pasture compared to farmland (P = 0.002. When habitat stability and habitat types were considered, hoof print were the most productive followed by disused goldmines.These findings suggest that implementation of effective larval control programme should be targeted with larval

  19. Seasonal, daily activity, and habitat use by three sympatric pit vipers (Serpentes, Viperidae) from southern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    ROCHA, MARCELO C.; HARTMANN, PAULO A.; WINCK, GISELE R.; CECHIN, SONIA Z.

    2014-01-01

    Viperid snakes are widely distributed in the South America and the greater distribution range of the family is found at the Crotalinae subfamily. Despite the abundance of this snakes along their geographic distribution, some ecological aspects remain unknown, principally at subtropical areas. In the present study, we evaluated the activity (daily and seasonal) and the use of the habitat by Bothrops diporus, B. jararaca andB. jararacussu, in an Atlantic Forest area at southern Brazil. We obser...

  20. Habitat connectivity and ecosystem productivity: implications from a simple model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloern, James E

    2007-01-01

    The import of resources (food, nutrients) sustains biological production and food webs in resource-limited habitats. Resource export from donor habitats subsidizes production in recipient habitats, but the ecosystem-scale consequences of resource translocation are generally unknown. Here, I use a nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton model to show how dispersive connectivity between a shallow autotrophic habitat and a deep heterotrophic pelagic habitat can amplify overall system production in metazoan food webs. This result derives from the finite capacity of suspension feeders to capture and assimilate food particles: excess primary production in closed autotrophic habitats cannot be assimilated by consumers; however, if excess phytoplankton production is exported to food-limited heterotrophic habitats, it can be assimilated by zooplankton to support additional secondary production. Transport of regenerated nutrients from heterotrophic to autotrophic habitats sustains higher system primary production. These simulation results imply that the ecosystem-scale efficiency of nutrient transformation into metazoan biomass can be constrained by the rate of resource exchange across habitats and that it is optimized when the transport rate matches the growth rate of primary producers. Slower transport (i.e., reduced connectivity) leads to nutrient limitation of primary production in autotrophic habitats and food limitation of secondary production in heterotrophic habitats. Habitat fragmentation can therefore impose energetic constraints on the carrying capacity of aquatic ecosystems. The outcomes of ecosystem restoration through habitat creation will be determined by both functions provided by newly created aquatic habitats and the rates of hydraulic connectivity between them.

  1. Prey selection by a reintroduced lion population in the Greater ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prey selection by a reintroduced lion population in the Greater Makalali Conservancy, South Africa. Dave Druce, Heleen Genis, Jonathan Braak, Sophie Greatwood, Audrey Delsink, Ross Kettles, Luke Hunter, Rob Slotow ...

  2. LiveDiverse: Case study area, Greater Kruger South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nortje, Karen

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Livelihoods and Biodiversity in Developing Countries Case study area: Greater Kruger, South Africa January 2011 Kolhapur, India Where are we? HARDSHIP LIVELIHOODS NATURE & BIODIVERSITY BELIEFS & CULTURAL PRACTISE threesansinv foursansinv onesansinv...

  3. Exploration of the Energy Efficiency of the Greater London Authority ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GLA Building/City Hall) ... Journal Home > Vol 11, No 2 (2007) > ... The Greater London Authority building was acclaimed as being energy efficient, with claims of 75 % reduction in its annual energy consumption compared to a high specification ...

  4. Mine-associated wetlands as avian habitat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horstman, A.J.; Nawrot, J.R.; Woolf, A.

    1998-01-01

    Surveys for interior wetland birds at mine-associated emergent wetlands on coal surface mines in southern Illinois detected one state threatened and two state endangered species. Breeding by least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) and common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) was confirmed. Regional assessment of potential wetland bird habitat south of Illinois Interstate 64 identified a total of 8,109 ha of emergent stable water wetlands; 10% were associated with mining. Mine-associated wetlands with persistent hydrology and large expanses of emergent vegetation provide habitat that could potentially compensate for loss of natural wetlands in Illinois

  5. Rodent Habitat On ISS: Spaceflight Effects On Mouse Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronca, A. E.; Moyer, E. L.; Talyansky, Y.; Padmanabhan, S.; Choi, S.; Gong, C.; Globus, R. K.

    2016-01-01

    The NASA Decadal Survey (2011), Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era, emphasized the importance of expanding NASA life sciences research to long duration, rodent experiments on the International Space Station (ISS). To accomplish this objective, flight hardware, operations, and science capabilities supporting mouse studies in space were developed at NASA Ames Research Center. The first flight experiment carrying mice, Rodent Research Hardware and Operations Validation (Rodent Research-1), was launched on Sept 21, 2014 in an unmanned Dragon Capsule, SpaceX4, exposing the mice to a total of 37 days in space. Ground control groups were maintained in environmental chambers at Kennedy Space Center. Mouse health and behavior were monitored for the duration of the experiment via video streaming. Here we present behavioral analysis of two groups of five C57BL/6 female adult mice viewed via fixed camera views compared with identically housed Ground Controls. Flight (Flt) and Ground Control (GC) mice exhibited the same range of behaviors, including eating, drinking, exploratory behavior, self- and allo-grooming, and social interactions at similar or greater levels of occurrence. Mice propelled themselves freely and actively throughout the Habitat using their forelimbs to push off or by floating from one cage area to another, and they quickly learned to anchor themselves using tails and/or paws. Overall activity was greater in Flt as compared to GC mice, with spontaneous ambulatory behavior including the development of organized ‘circling’ or ‘race-tracking’ behavior that emerged within the first few days of flight and encompassed the primary dark cycle activity for the remainder of the experiment. We quantified the bout frequency, duration and rate of circling with respect to characteristic behaviors observed in the varying stages of the progressive development of circling: flipping utilizing two sides of the

  6. Impact of experimental habitat manipulation on northern bobwhite survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, David C.; Brooke, Jarred M.; Tanner, Evan P.; Unger, Ashley M.; Keyser, Patrick D.; Harper, Craig A.; Clark, Joseph D.; Morgan, John J.

    2015-01-01

    = 0.025] vs. 0.355 [SE = 0.035]) on treatment than control units. Among habitat covariates, litter depth (β = −0.387, 95%CI = −0.5809 to −0.1930) was the most influential effect (negative) on survival. Additional experiments across a wider range of habitat conditions may be required to determine management intensity or duration thresholds required to elicit greater changes in survival for northern bobwhite populations.

  7. Greater saphenous vein anomaly and aneurysm with subsequent pulmonary embolism

    OpenAIRE

    Ma, Truong; Kornbau, Craig

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Venous aneurysms often present as painful masses. They can present either in the deep or superficial venous system. Deep venous system aneurysms have a greater risk of thromboembolism. Though rare, there have been case reports of superficial aneurysms and thrombus causing significant morbidity such as pulmonary embolism. We present a case of an anomalous greater saphenous vein connection with an aneurysm and thrombus resulting in a pulmonary embolism. This is the only reported case o...

  8. GREATER OMENTUM: MORPHOFUNCTIONAL CHARACTERISTICS AND CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE IN PEDIATRICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.V. Nekrutov

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The review analyzes the structure organization and pathophysiological age specificities of the greater omentum, which determine its uniqueness and functional diversity in a child's organism. the article discusses protective functions of the organ, its role in the development of post operative complications of children, and the usage in children's reconstructive plastic surgery.Key words: greater omentum, omentitis, of post operative complications, children.

  9. Geographic variation in migration chronology and winter distribution of midcontinent greater white-fronted geese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ely, Craig R.; Nieman, Daniel J.; Alisauskas, Ray T.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Hines, James E.

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated spatial and temporal differences in migratory behavior among different breeding groups of midcontinent greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons) using band-recovery data and observations of neck collared geese during migration and winter. Birds from different breeding areas were initially delineated by geographic distance into 6 banding reference areas (BRAs): 1) interior Alaska, 2) North Slope of Alaska, 3) western Northwest Territories (NWT), 4) western Nunavut, 5) central Nunavut, and 6) eastern Nunavut. The banding groups also differed by breeding habitat, with geese from interior Alaska nesting in the boreal forest (taiga), and all other groups breeding in tundra habitats. Geese from interior Alaska migrated earlier during autumn, and were more likely to winter farther south (in Mexico) than geese from other breeding areas. Geese banded in central and eastern Nunavut (Queen Maud Gulf and Inglis River) wintered farther east (in Louisiana) than geese from other breeding areas. Small-scale (within-state) geographic segregation of wintering flocks was evidenced by the recent (post-1990) nearly exclusive use of a new wintering area in north central Texas by geese from interior Alaska. Segregation among BRAs was also apparent in Mexico, where taiga geese were found predominantly in the central Highlands (states of Zacatecas and Durango), whereas tundra geese mostly used states along the Gulf Coast (primarily Tamaulipas). Interior Alaska birds initiated spring migration earlier than geese from other areas, and were more likely than others to stop in the Rainwater Basin of Nebraska, a region where cholera outbreaks periodically kill thousands of geese. Geese from interior Alaska were the first to arrive at spring staging areas in prairie Canada where BRAs exhibited spatial delineation (a longitudinal cline) in relation to breeding areas. Our results show significant geographic and temporal variation among taiga and tundra breeding cohorts during

  10. Status and conservation of parrots and parakeets in the Greater Antilles, Bahama Islands, and Cayman Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, J.W.

    1991-01-01

    In the 1490s a minimum of 28 species of psittacines occurred in the West Indies. Today, only 43% (12) of the species survive. All macaws and most parakeet species have been lost. Although the surviving parrot fauna of the Greater Antilles, Cayman Islands, and Bahama Islands has fared somewhat better than that of the Lesser Antilles, every species has undergone extensive reductions of populations and all but two have undergone extensive reductions in range, mostly as a result of habitat loss, but also from persecution as agricultural pests, conflicts with exotic species, harvesting for pets, and natural disasters. The Cayman Brac Parrot Amazona leucocephala hesterna with its tiny population (less than 150 individuals in the wild) and range, and the Puerto Rican Parrot A. vittata, with about 22-23 birds in the wild and 56 individuals in captivity, must be considered on the verge of extinction and in need of (in the latter's case, continuing) aggressive programmes of research and management. Other populations declining in numbers and range include the Yellow-billed Amazona collaria, and Black-billed A. agilis Parrots of Jamaica, Hispaniolan Parakeet Aratinga chloroptera, Hispaniolan Parrot Amazona ventralis, Cuban Parrot A. leucocephala leucocephala and, most seriously, Cuban Parakeet Aratinga euops. The population of the Grand Cayman Parrot (Amazona leucocephala caymanensis), although numbering only about 1,000 birds, appears stable and the current conservation programme gives hope for the survival of the race. An active conservation and public education programme has begun for the Bahama Parrot A. l. bahamensis, which still occurs in good numbers on Great Inagua Island, but is threatened on Abaco Island. Recommendations for conservation of parrots and parakeets in the region include (1) instituting long-term programmes of research to determine distribution, status, and ecology of each species; (2) developing conservation programmes through education and management

  11. Socio-economic considerations of cleaning Greater Vancouver's air

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-08-01

    Socio-economic considerations of better air quality on the Greater Vancouver population and economy were discussed. The purpose of the study was to provide socio-economic information to staff and stakeholders of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) who are participating in an Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) development process and the Sustainable Region Initiative (SRI) process. The study incorporated the following methodologies: identification and review of Canadian, American, and European quantitative socio-economic, cost-benefit, cost effectiveness, competitiveness and health analyses of changes in air quality and measures to improve air quality; interviews with industry representatives in Greater Vancouver on competitiveness impacts of air quality changes and ways to improve air quality; and a qualitative analysis and discussion of secondary quantitative information that identifies and evaluates socio-economic impacts arising from changes in Greater Vancouver air quality. The study concluded that for the Greater Vancouver area, the qualitative analysis of an improvement in Greater Vancouver air quality shows positive socio-economic outcomes, as high positive economic efficiency impacts are expected along with good social quality of life impacts. 149 refs., 30 tabs., 6 appendices

  12. Relationships between gas field development and the presence and abundance of pygmy rabbits in southwestern Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germaine, Stephen; Carter, Sarah; Ignizio, Drew A.; Freeman, Aaron T.

    2017-01-01

    More than 5957 km2 in southwestern Wyoming is currently covered by operational gas fields, and further development is projected through 2030. Gas fields fragment landscapes through conversion of native vegetation to roads, well pads, pipeline corridors, and other infrastructure elements. The sagebrush steppe landscape where most of this development is occurring harbors 24 sagebrush-associated species of greatest conservation need, but the effects of gas energy development on most of these species are unknown. Pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) are one such species. In 2011, we began collecting three years of survey data to examine the relationship between gas field development density and pygmy rabbit site occupancy patterns on four major Wyoming gas fields (Continental Divide–Creston–Blue Gap, Jonah, Moxa Arch, Pinedale Anticline Project Area). We surveyed 120 plots across four gas fields, with plots distributed across the density gradient of gas well pads on each field. In a 1 km radius around the center of each plot, we measured the area covered by each of 10 gas field infrastructure elements and by shrub cover using 2012 National Agriculture Imagery Program imagery. We then modeled the relationship between gas field elements, pygmy rabbit presence, and two indices of pygmy rabbit abundance. Gas field infrastructure elements—specifically buried utility corridors and a complex of gas well pads, adjacent disturbed areas, and well pad access roads—were negatively correlated with pygmy rabbit presence and abundance indices, with sharp declines apparent after approximately 2% of the area consisted of gas field infrastructure. We conclude that pygmy rabbits in southwestern Wyoming may be sensitive to gas field development at levels similar to those observed for greater sage-grouse, and may suffer local population declines at lower levels of development than are allowed in existing plans and policies designed to conserve greater sage-grouse by limiting

  13. Molecular forensics in avian conservation: a DNA-based approach for identifying mammalian predators of ground-nesting birds and eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopken, Matthew W; Orning, Elizabeth K; Young, Julie K; Piaggio, Antoinette J

    2016-01-07

    The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a ground-nesting bird from the Northern Rocky Mountains and a species at risk of extinction in in multiple U.S. states and Canada. Herein we report results from a proof of concept that mitochondrial and nuclear DNAs from mammalian predator saliva could be non-invasively collected from depredated greater sage-grouse eggshells and carcasses and used for predator species identification. Molecular forensic approaches have been applied to identify predators from depredated remains as one strategy to better understand predator-prey dynamics and guide management strategies. This can aid conservation efforts by correctly identifying predators most likely to impact threatened and endangered species. DNA isolated from non-invasive samples around nesting sites (e.g. fecal or hair samples) is one method that can increase the success and accuracy of predator species identification when compared to relying on nest remains alone. Predator saliva DNA was collected from depredated eggshells and carcasses using swabs. We sequenced two partial fragments of two mitochondrial genes and obtained microsatellite genotypes using canid specific primers for species and individual identification, respectively. Using this multilocus approach we were able to identify predators, at least down to family, from 11 out of 14 nests (79%) and three out of seven carcasses (47%). Predators detected most frequently were canids (86%), while other taxa included rodents, a striped skunk, and cattle. We attempted to match the genotypes of individual coyotes obtained from eggshells and carcasses with those obtained from fecal samples and coyotes collected in the areas, but no genotype matches were found. Predation is a main cause of nest failure in ground-nesting birds and can impact reproduction and recruitment. To inform predator management for ground-nesting bird conservation, accurate identification of predator species is necessary. Considering

  14. Asotin Creek instream habitat alteration projects : habitat evaluation, adult and juvenile habitat utilization and water temperature monitoring : 2001 progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bumgarner, Joseph D.

    2002-01-01

    Asotin Creek originates from a network of deeply incised streams on the slopes of the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington. The watershed drains an area of 322 square miles that provides a mean annual flow of 74 cfs. The geomorphology of the watershed exerts a strong influence on biologic conditions for fish within the stream. Historic and contemporary land-use practices have had a profound impact on the kind, abundance, and distribution of anadromous salmonids in the watershed. Fish habitat in Asotin Creek and other local streams has been affected by agricultural development, grazing, tilling practices, logging, recreational activities and implementation of flood control structures (Neilson 1950). The Asotin Creek Model Watershed Master Plan was completed in 1994. The plan was developed by a landowner steering committee for the Asotin County Conservation District (ACCD), with technical support from various Federal, State and local entities. Actions identified within the plan to improve the Asotin Creek ecosystem fall into four main categories: (1) Stream and Riparian, (2) Forestland, (3) Rangeland, and (4) Cropland. Specific actions to be carried out within the stream and in the riparian area to improve fish habitat were: (1) create more pools, (2) increase the amount of large organic debris (LOD), (3) increase the riparian buffer zone through tree planting, and (4) increase fencing to limit livestock access. All of these actions, in combination with other activities identified in the Plan, are intended to stabilize the river channel, reduce sediment input, increase the amount of available fish habitat (adult and juvenile) and protect private property. Evaluation work described within this report was to document the success or failure of the program regarding the first two items listed (increasing pools and LOD). Beginning in 1996, the ACCD, with cooperation from local landowners and funding from Bonneville Power Administration began constructing instream

  15. Density-dependent habitat selection and performance by a large mobile reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindberg, William J; Frazer, Thomas K; Portier, Kenneth M; Vose, Frederic; Loftin, James; Murie, Debra J; Mason, Doran M; Nagy, Brian; Hart, Mary K

    2006-04-01

    Many exploited reef fish are vulnerable to overfishing because they concentrate over hard-bottom patchy habitats. How mobile reef fish use patchy habitat, and the potential consequences on demographic parameters, must be known for spatially explicit population dynamics modeling, for discriminating essential fish habitat (EFH), and for effectively planning conservation measures (e.g., marine protected areas, stock enhancement, and artificial reefs). Gag, Mycteroperca microlepis, is an ecologically and economically important warm-temperate grouper in the southeastern United States, with behavioral and life history traits conducive to large-scale field experiments. The Suwannee Regional Reef System (SRRS) was built of standard habitat units (SHUs) in 1991-1993 to manipulate and control habitat patchiness and intrinsic habitat quality, and thereby test predictions from habitat selection theory. Colonization of the SRRS by gag over the first six years showed significant interactions of SHU size, spacing, and reef age; with trajectories modeled using a quadratic function for closely spaced SHUs (25 m) and a linear model for widely spaced SHUs (225 m), with larger SHUs (16 standardized cubes) accumulating significantly more gag faster than smaller 4-cube SHUs (mean = 72.5 gag/16-cube SHU at 225-m spacing by year 6, compared to 24.2 gag/4-cube SHU for same spacing and reef age). Residency times (mean = 9.8 mo), indicative of choice and measured by ultrasonic telemetry (1995-1998), showed significant interaction of SHU size and spacing consistent with colonization trajectories. Average relative weight (W(r)) and incremental growth were greater on smaller than larger SHUs (mean W(r) = 104.2 vs. 97.7; incremental growth differed by 15%), contrary to patterns of abundance and residency. Experimental manipulation of shelter on a subset of SRRS sites (2000-2001) confirmed our hypothesis that shelter limits local densities of gag, which, in turn, regulates their growth and

  16. Assessing species habitat using Google Street View: a case study of cliff-nesting vultures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro P Olea

    Full Text Available The assessment of a species' habitat is a crucial issue in ecology and conservation. While the collection of habitat data has been boosted by the availability of remote sensing technologies, certain habitat types have yet to be collected through costly, on-ground surveys, limiting study over large areas. Cliffs are ecosystems that provide habitat for a rich biodiversity, especially raptors. Because of their principally vertical structure, however, cliffs are not easy to study by remote sensing technologies, posing a challenge for many researches and managers working with cliff-related biodiversity. We explore the feasibility of Google Street View, a freely available on-line tool, to remotely identify and assess the nesting habitat of two cliff-nesting vultures (the griffon vulture and the globally endangered Egyptian vulture in northwestern Spain. Two main usefulness of Google Street View to ecologists and conservation biologists were evaluated: i remotely identifying a species' potential habitat and ii extracting fine-scale habitat information. Google Street View imagery covered 49% (1,907 km of the roads of our study area (7,000 km². The potential visibility covered by on-ground surveys was significantly greater (mean: 97.4% than that of Google Street View (48.1%. However, incorporating Google Street View to the vulture's habitat survey would save, on average, 36% in time and 49.5% in funds with respect to the on-ground survey only. The ability of Google Street View to identify cliffs (overall accuracy = 100% outperformed the classification maps derived from digital elevation models (DEMs (62-95%. Nonetheless, high-performance DEM maps may be useful to compensate Google Street View coverage limitations. Through Google Street View we could examine 66% of the vultures' nesting-cliffs existing in the study area (n = 148: 64% from griffon vultures and 65% from Egyptian vultures. It also allowed us the extraction of fine-scale features of

  17. Assessing species habitat using Google Street View: a case study of cliff-nesting vultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olea, Pedro P; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of a species' habitat is a crucial issue in ecology and conservation. While the collection of habitat data has been boosted by the availability of remote sensing technologies, certain habitat types have yet to be collected through costly, on-ground surveys, limiting study over large areas. Cliffs are ecosystems that provide habitat for a rich biodiversity, especially raptors. Because of their principally vertical structure, however, cliffs are not easy to study by remote sensing technologies, posing a challenge for many researches and managers working with cliff-related biodiversity. We explore the feasibility of Google Street View, a freely available on-line tool, to remotely identify and assess the nesting habitat of two cliff-nesting vultures (the griffon vulture and the globally endangered Egyptian vulture) in northwestern Spain. Two main usefulness of Google Street View to ecologists and conservation biologists were evaluated: i) remotely identifying a species' potential habitat and ii) extracting fine-scale habitat information. Google Street View imagery covered 49% (1,907 km) of the roads of our study area (7,000 km²). The potential visibility covered by on-ground surveys was significantly greater (mean: 97.4%) than that of Google Street View (48.1%). However, incorporating Google Street View to the vulture's habitat survey would save, on average, 36% in time and 49.5% in funds with respect to the on-ground survey only. The ability of Google Street View to identify cliffs (overall accuracy = 100%) outperformed the classification maps derived from digital elevation models (DEMs) (62-95%). Nonetheless, high-performance DEM maps may be useful to compensate Google Street View coverage limitations. Through Google Street View we could examine 66% of the vultures' nesting-cliffs existing in the study area (n = 148): 64% from griffon vultures and 65% from Egyptian vultures. It also allowed us the extraction of fine-scale features of cliffs

  18. Artificial Reefs as Surrogate Habitats for Red Snapper in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico: A Fishery-Independent Comparison of Artificial and Natural Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streich, M.; Wetz, J. J.; Ajemian, M. J.; Stunz, G. W.

    2016-02-01

    The goal of our study was to evaluate the relative abundance, size and age structure of Red Snapper among three different habitat types (standing oil and gas platforms, artificial reefs [rigs-to-reefs], and natural banks) in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. From May 2013 - January 2015, we conducted 140 vertical line sets and captured 1538 Red Snapper ranging in size from 251 to 855 mm TL. Ages determined for 801 of these fish ranged from 2-30 years. No differences were detected in Red Snapper CPUE among the three habitats. However, a comparison of TL and TW distributions suggested that natural banks supported a greater proportion of larger fish than artificial reefs or standing platforms (K-S test, pdata will help elucidate the role artificial structures play in maintaining the Red Snapper population.

  19. Improving greater trochanteric reattachment with a novel cable plate system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baril, Yannick; Bourgeois, Yan; Brailovski, Vladimir; Duke, Kajsa; Laflamme, G Yves; Petit, Yvan

    2013-03-01

    Cable-grip systems are commonly used for greater trochanteric reattachment because they have provided the best fixation performance to date, even though they have a rather high complication rate. A novel reattachment system is proposed with the aim of improving fixation stability. It consists of a Y-shaped fixation plate combined with locking screws and superelastic cables to reduce cable loosening and limit greater trochanter movement. The novel system is compared with a commercially available reattachment system in terms of greater trochanter movement and cable tensions under different greater trochanteric abductor application angles. A factorial design of experiments was used including four independent variables: plate system, cable type, abductor application angle, and femur model. The test procedure included 50 cycles of simultaneous application of an abductor force on the greater trochanter and a hip force on the femoral head. The novel plate reduces the movements of a greater trochanter fragment within a single loading cycle up to 26%. Permanent degradation of the fixation (accumulated movement based on 50-cycle testing) is reduced up to 46%. The use of superelastic cables reduces tension loosening up to 24%. However this last improvement did not result in a significant reduction of the grater trochanter movement. The novel plate and cables present advantages over the commercially available greater trochanter reattachment system. The plate reduces movements generated by the hip abductor. The superelastic cables reduce cable loosening during cycling. Both of these positive effects could decrease the risks related to grater trochanter non-union. Copyright © 2012 IPEM. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Multi-scale analysis to uncover habitat use of red-crowned cranes: Implications for conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunyue LIU, Hongxing JIANG, Shuqing ZHANG, Chunrong LI,Yunqiu HOU, Fawen QIAN

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A multi-scale approach is essential to assess the factors that limit avian habitat use. Numerous studies have examined habitat use by the red-crowned crane, but integrated multi-scale habitat use information is lacking. We evaluated the effects of several habitat variables quantified across many spatial scales on crane use and abundance in two periods (2000 and 2009 at Yancheng National Nature Reserve, China. The natural wetlands decreased in area by 30,601 ha (-6.9% from 2000 to 2009, predominantly as a result of conversion to aquaculture ponds and farmland, and the remaining was under degradation due to expansion of the exotic smooth cordgrass. The cranes are focusing in on either larger patches or those that are in close proximity to each other in both years, but occupied patches had smaller size, less proximity and more regular boundaries in 2009. At landscape scales, the area percentage of common seepweed, reed ponds and paddy fields had a greater positive impact on crane presence than the area percentage of aquaculture ponds. The cranes were more abundant in patches that had a greater percent area of common seepweed and reed ponds, while the percent area of paddy fields was inversely related to crane abundance in 2009 due to changing agricultural practices. In 2009, cranes tended to use less fragmented plots in natural wetlands and more fragmented plots in anthropogenic paddy fields, which were largely associated with the huge loss and degradation of natural habitats between the two years. Management should focus on restoration of large patches of natural wetlands, and formation of a relatively stable area of large paddy field and reed pond to mitigate the loss of natural wetlands [Current Zoology 59 (5: 604–617, 2013].

  1. Habitat predictors of genetic diversity for two sympatric wetland-breeding amphibian species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Anna M; Maerz, John C; Smith, Lora L; Glenn, Travis C

    2017-08-01

    Population genetic diversity is widely accepted as important to the conservation and management of wildlife. However, habitat features may differentially affect evolutionary processes that facilitate population genetic diversity among sympatric species. We measured genetic diversity for two pond-breeding amphibian species (Dwarf salamanders, Eurycea quadridigitata ; and Southern Leopard frogs, Lithobates sphenocephalus ) to understand how habitat characteristics and spatial scale affect genetic diversity across a landscape. Samples were collected from wetlands on a longleaf pine reserve in Georgia. We genotyped microsatellite loci for both species to assess population structures and determine which habitat features were most closely associated with observed heterozygosity and rarefied allelic richness. Both species exhibited significant population genetic structure; however, structure in Southern Leopard frogs was driven primarily by one outlier site. Dwarf salamander allelic richness was greater at sites with less surrounding road area within 0.5 km and more wetland area within 1.0 and 2.5 km, and heterozygosity was greater at sites with more wetland area within 0.5 km. In contrast, neither measure of Southern Leopard frog genetic diversity was associated with any habitat features at any scale we evaluated. Genetic diversity in the Dwarf salamander was strongly associated with land cover variables up to 2.5 km away from breeding wetlands, and/or results suggest that minimizing roads in wetland buffers may be beneficial to the maintenance of population genetic diversity. This study suggests that patterns of genetic differentiation and genetic diversity have associations with different habitat features across different spatial scales for two syntopic pond-breeding amphibian species.

  2. Early successional forest habitats and water resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    James Vose; Chelcy Ford

    2011-01-01

    Tree harvests that create early successional habitats have direct and indirect impacts on water resources in forests of the Central Hardwood Region. Streamflow increases substantially immediately after timber harvest, but increases decline as leaf area recovers and biomass aggrades. Post-harvest increases in stormflow of 10–20%, generally do not contribute to...

  3. Targeting incentives to reduce habitat fragmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    David Lewis; Andrew Plantinga; Junjie Wu

    2009-01-01

    This article develops a theoretical model to analyze the spatial targeting of incentives for the restoration of forested landscapes when wildlife habitat can be enhanced by reducing fragmentation. The key theoretical result is that the marginal net benefits of increasing forest can be convex, in which case corner solutions--converting either none or all of the...

  4. Habitat fragmentation causes rapid genetic differentiation and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... city buildings. These results were supported by multiple statistical analyses including Mantel's test, PCOORDA and AMOVA. Genetic enrichment and epigenetic variation studies can be included in habitat fragmentation analysis and its implications in inducing homogenization and susceptibility in natural plant populations.

  5. Aquatic Habitats: Exploring Desktop Ponds. Teacher's Guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Katharine; Willard, Carolyn

    This book, for grades 2-6, is designed to provide students with a highly motivating and unique opportunity to investigate an aquatic habitat. Students set up, observe, study, and reflect upon their own "desktop ponds." Accessible plants and small animals used in these activities include Elodea, Tubifex worms, snails, mosquito larvae, and fish.…

  6. Global habitat preferences of commercially valuable tuna

    KAUST Repository

    Arrizabalaga, Haritz; Dufour, Florence; Kell, Laurence T.; Merino, Gorka; Ibaibarriaga, Leire; Chust, Guillem; Irigoien, Xabier; Santiago, Josu; Murua, Hilario; Fraile, Igaratza; Chifflet, Marina; Goikoetxea, Nerea; Sagarminaga, Yolanda; Aumont, Olivier; Bopp, Laurent; Herrera, Miguel Angel; Marc Fromentin, Jean; Bonhomeau, Sylvain

    2015-01-01

    In spite of its pivotal role in future implementations of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management, current knowledge about tuna habitat preferences remains fragmented and heterogeneous, because it relies mainly on regional or local studies that have used a variety of approaches making them difficult to combine. Therefore in this study we analyse data from six tuna species in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans in order to provide a global, comparative perspective of habitat preferences. These data are longline catch per unit effort from 1958 to 2007 for albacore, Atlantic bluefin, southern bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack tunas. Both quotient analysis and Generalised Additive Models were used to determine habitat preference with respect to eight biotic and abiotic variables. Results confirmed that, compared to temperate tunas, tropical tunas prefer warm, anoxic, stratified waters. Atlantic and southern bluefin tuna prefer higher concentrations of chlorophyll than the rest. The two species also tolerate most extreme sea surface height anomalies and highest mixed layer depths. In general, Atlantic bluefin tuna tolerates the widest range of environmental conditions. An assessment of the most important variables determining fish habitat is also provided. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Impact of fisheries on seabed bottom habitat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Piet, Gerjan; Hintzen, Niels; Quirijns, Floor

    2018-01-01

    The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) released new certification requirements in 2014. The new requirements come with new guidelines for scoring fisheries for several Performance Indicators (PIs). One of the adjusted PIs is PI 2.4.1: the Habitats outcome indicator:“The Unit of Assessment (UoA) does

  8. Field spectroscopy of estuarine intertidal habitats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Forster, R.M.; Jesus, B.

    2006-01-01

    The recent introduction of portable, low‐cost hyperspectral radiometers for measuring the reflectance of marine intertidal habitats has considerable promise, first as a source of reference spectra for airborne and satellite remote sensing, and second as a survey technique in its own right. This

  9. Habitat Concepts for Deep Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smitherman, David; Griffin, Brand N.

    2014-01-01

    Future missions under consideration requiring human habitation beyond the International Space Station (ISS) include deep space habitats in the lunar vicinity to support asteroid retrieval missions, human and robotic lunar missions, satellite servicing, and Mars vehicle servicing missions. Habitat designs are also under consideration for missions beyond the Earth-Moon system, including transfers to near-Earth asteroids and Mars orbital destinations. A variety of habitat layouts have been considered, including those derived from the existing ISS designs and those that could be fabricated from the Space Launch System (SLS) propellant tanks. This paper presents a comparison showing several options for asteroid, lunar, and Mars mission habitats using ISS derived and SLS derived modules and identifies some of the advantages and disadvantages inherent in each. Key findings indicate that the larger SLS diameter modules offer built-in compatibility with the launch vehicle, single launch capability without on-orbit assembly, improved radiation protection, lighter structures per unit volume, and sufficient volume to accommodate consumables for long duration missions without resupply. The information provided with the findings includes mass and volume comparison data that should be helpful to future exploration mission planning efforts.

  10. Global habitat preferences of commercially valuable tuna

    KAUST Repository

    Arrizabalaga, Haritz

    2015-03-01

    In spite of its pivotal role in future implementations of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management, current knowledge about tuna habitat preferences remains fragmented and heterogeneous, because it relies mainly on regional or local studies that have used a variety of approaches making them difficult to combine. Therefore in this study we analyse data from six tuna species in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans in order to provide a global, comparative perspective of habitat preferences. These data are longline catch per unit effort from 1958 to 2007 for albacore, Atlantic bluefin, southern bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack tunas. Both quotient analysis and Generalised Additive Models were used to determine habitat preference with respect to eight biotic and abiotic variables. Results confirmed that, compared to temperate tunas, tropical tunas prefer warm, anoxic, stratified waters. Atlantic and southern bluefin tuna prefer higher concentrations of chlorophyll than the rest. The two species also tolerate most extreme sea surface height anomalies and highest mixed layer depths. In general, Atlantic bluefin tuna tolerates the widest range of environmental conditions. An assessment of the most important variables determining fish habitat is also provided. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Strategies for monitoring terrestrial animals and habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard Holthausen; Raymond L. Czaplewski; Don DeLorenzo; Greg Hayward; Winifred B. Kessler; Pat Manley; Kevin S. McKelvey; Douglas S. Powell; Leonard F. Ruggiero; Michael K. Schwartz; Bea Van Horne; Christina D. Vojta

    2005-01-01

    This General Technical Report (GTR) addresses monitoring strategies for terrestrial animals and habitats. It focuses on monitoring associated with National Forest Management Act planning and is intended to apply primarily to monitoring efforts that are broader than individual National Forests. Primary topics covered in the GTR are monitoring requirements; ongoing...

  12. Aquatic Habitat Bottom Classification Using ADCP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Description of physical aquatic habitat often includes data describing distributions of water depth, velocity and bed material type. Water depth and velocity in streams deeper than about 1 m may be continuously mapped using an acoustic Doppler current profiler from a moving boat. Herein we examine...

  13. Deep Space Habitat Wireless Smart Plug

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Joseph A.; Porter, Jay; Rojdev, Kristina; Carrejo, Daniel B.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    NASA has been interested in technology development for deep space exploration, and one avenue of developing these technologies is via the eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge. In 2013, NASA's Deep Space Habitat (DSH) project was in need of sensors that could monitor the power consumption of various devices in the habitat with added capability to control the power to these devices for load shedding in emergency situations. Texas A&M University's Electronic Systems Engineering Technology Program (ESET) in conjunction with their Mobile Integrated Solutions Laboratory (MISL) accepted this challenge, and over the course of 2013, several undergraduate students in a Capstone design course developed five wireless DC Smart Plugs for NASA. The wireless DC Smart Plugs developed by Texas A&M in conjunction with NASA's Deep Space Habitat team is a first step in developing wireless instrumentation for future flight hardware. This paper will further discuss the X-Hab challenge and requirements set out by NASA, the detailed design and testing performed by Texas A&M, challenges faced by the team and lessons learned, and potential future work on this design.

  14. Problem-solving performance and reproductive success of great tits in urban and forest habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preiszner, Bálint; Papp, Sándor; Pipoly, Ivett; Seress, Gábor; Vincze, Ernő; Liker, András; Bókony, Veronika

    2017-01-01

    Success in problem solving, a form of innovativeness, can help animals exploit their environments, and recent research suggests that it may correlate with reproductive success. Innovativeness has been proposed to be especially beneficial in urbanized habitats, as suggested by superior problem-solving performance of urban individuals in some species. If there is stronger selection for innovativeness in cities than in natural habitats, we expect problem-solving performance to have a greater positive effect on fitness in more urbanized habitats. We tested this idea in great tits (Parus major) breeding at two urban sites and two forests by measuring their problem-solving performance in an obstacle-removal task and a food-acquisition task. Urban pairs were significantly faster problem-solvers in both tasks. Solving speed in the obstacle-removal task was positively correlated with hatching success and the number of fledglings, whereas performance in the food-acquisition task did not correlate with reproductive success. These relationships did not differ between urban and forest habitats. Neophobia, sensitivity to human disturbance, and risk taking in the presence of a predator did not explain the relationships of problem-solving performance either with habitat type or with reproductive success. Our results suggest that the benefit of innovativeness in terms of reproductive success is similar in urban and natural habitats, implying that problem-solving skills may be enhanced in urban populations by some other benefits (e.g. increased survival) or reduced costs (e.g. more opportunities to gain practice with challenging tasks).

  15. The Effects of Vegetative Type, Edges, Fire History, Rainfall and Management in Fire-Maintained Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breininger, David R.; Foster, Tammy E.; Carter, Geoffrey M.; Duncan, Brean W.; Stolen, Eric D.; Lyon, James E.

    2018-01-01

    The combined effects of fire history, climate, and landscape features (e.g., edges) on habitat specialists need greater focus in fire ecology studies, which usually only emphasize characteristics of the most recent fire. Florida scrub-jays are an imperiled, territorial species that prefer medium (1.2-1.7 m) shrub heights, which are dynamic because of frequent fires. We measured short, medium, and tall habitat quality states annually within 10 ha grid cells (that represented potential territories) because fires and vegetative recovery cause annual variation in habitat quality. We used multistate models and model selection to test competing hypotheses about how transition probabilities vary between states as functions of environmental covariates. Covariates included vegetative type, edges (e.g., roads, forests), precipitation, openings (gaps between shrubs), mechanical cutting, and fire characteristics. Fire characteristics not only included an annual presence/absence of fire covariate, but also fire history covariates: time since the previous fire, the longest fire-free interval, and the number of repeated fires. Statistical models with support included many covariates for each transition probability, often including fire history, interactions and nonlinear relationships. Tall territories resulted from 28 years of fire suppression and habitat fragmentation that reduced the spread of fires across landscapes. Despite 35 years of habitat restoration and prescribed fires, half the territories remained tall suggesting a regime shift to a less desirable habitat condition. Edges reduced the effectiveness of fires in setting degraded scrub and flatwoods into earlier successional states making mechanical cutting an important tool to compliment frequent prescribed fires.

  16. How do habitat filtering and niche conservatism affect community composition at different taxonomic resolutions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz, François; Ramesh, B R; Couteron, Pierre

    2014-08-01

    Understanding how local species assembly depends on the regional biogeographic and environmental context is a challenging task in community ecology. In spatially implicit neutral models, a single immigration parameter, I(k), represents the flux of immigrants from a regional pool that compete with local offspring for establishment in communities. This flux counterbalances the effect of local stochastic extinctions to maintain local species diversity. If some species within the regional pool are not adapted to the local environment (habitat filtering), the migrant flux is reduced beyond that of the neutral model, such that habitat filtering influences the value of I(k) in non-neutral situations. Here, we propose a novel model in which immigrants from the regional pool are filtered according to their habitat preferences and the local environment, while taxa potentially retain habitat preferences from their ancestors (niche conservatism). Using both analytical reasoning and simulations, we demonstrate that I(k) is expected to be constant when estimated based on the community composition at several taxonomic levels, not only under neutral assumptions, but also when habitat filtering occurs, unless there is substantial niche conservatism. In the latter case, I(k) is expected to decrease when estimated based on the composition at species to genus and family levels, thus allowing a signature of niche conservatism to be detected by simply comparing I(k) estimates across taxonomic levels. We applied this approach to three rain forest data sets from South India and Central America and found no significant signature of niche conservatism when I(k) was compared across taxonomic levels, except at the family level in South India. We further observed more limited immigration in South Indian forests, supporting the hypothesis of a greater impact of habitat filtering and heterogeneity there than in Central America. Our results highlight the relevance of studying variations of I

  17. Hibernal habitat selection by Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) in a northern New England montane landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groff, Luke A.; Calhoun, Aram J.K.; Loftin, Cynthia S.

    2016-01-01

    Poikilothermic species, such as amphibians, endure harsh winter conditions via freeze-tolerance or freeze-avoidance strategies. Freeze-tolerance requires a suite of complex, physiological mechanisms (e.g., cryoprotectant synthesis); however, behavioral strategies (e.g., hibernal habitat selection) may be used to regulate hibernaculum temperatures and promote overwintering survival. We investigated the hibernal ecology of the freeze-tolerant Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) in north-central Maine. Our objectives were to characterize the species hibernaculum microclimate (temperature, relative humidity), evaluate hibernal habitat selection, and describe the spatial arrangement of breeding, post-breeding, and hibernal habitats. We monitored 15 frogs during two winters (2011/12: N = 10; 2012/13: N = 5), measured hibernal habitat features at micro (2 m) and macro (10 m) spatial scales, and recorded microclimate hourly in three strata (hibernaculum, leaf litter, ambient air). We compared these data to that of 57 random locations with logistic regression models, Akaike Information Criterion, and Kolmogorov–Smirnov tests. Hibernaculum microclimate was significantly different and less variable than leaf litter, ambient air, and random location microclimate. Model averaging indicated that canopy cover (−), leaf litter depth (+), and number of logs and stumps (+; microhabitat only) were important predictors of Wood Frog hibernal habitat. These habitat features likely act to insulate hibernating frogs from extreme and variable air temperatures. For example, decreased canopy cover facilitates increased snowpack depth and earlier snowpack accumulation and melt. Altered winter temperature and precipitation patterns attributable to climate change may reduce snowpack insulation, facilitate greater temperature variation in the underlying hibernacula, and potentially compromise Wood Frog winter survival.

  18. Spatial patterns of goose grubbing suggest elevated grubbing in dry habitats linked to early snowmelt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Åshild Ø. Pedersen

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The western Palaearctic tundra is a breeding habitat for large populations of European geese. After their arrival in spring, pink-footed geese (Anser brachyrhynchus forage extensively on below-ground plant parts, using a feeding technique called grubbing that has substantial impact on the tundra vegetation. Previous studies have shown a high frequency of grubbing in lowland fen vegetation. In the present study, we examined the occurrence of grubbing in other habitat types on Spitsbergen, in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. Goose grubbing was surveyed along 19 altitudinal transects, going from the valley bottom to altitudes dominated by scree. Grubbing was more frequent in the wet habitat type at low altitudes compared to the drier habitat type at higher altitudes. For the dry habitat type, a higher frequency of grubbing was found in study plots with a south-east facing exposure where snowmelt is expected to be early. This suggests that pink-footed geese primarily use dry vegetation types for grubbing when they are snow-free in early spring and the availability of snow-free patches of the preferred wet vegetation types in the lowlands is limited. Dry vegetation types have poorer recovery rates from disturbance than wet ones. Sites with early snowmelt and dry vegetation types may therefore be at greater risk of long-term habitat degradation. We conclude that the high growth rate of the Svalbard-breeding pink-footed goose population suggests that increasing impacts of grubbing can be expected and argue that a responsible monitoring of the effects on the tundra ecosystem is crucial.

  19. Characterization of Atlantic cod spawning habitat and behavior in Icelandic coastal waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy B Grabowski

    Full Text Available The physical habitat used during spawning may potentially be an important factor affecting reproductive output of broadcast spawning marine fishes, particularly for species with complex, substrate-oriented mating systems and behaviors, such as Atlantic cod Gadus morhua. We characterized the habitat use and behavior of spawning Atlantic cod at two locations off the coast of southwestern Iceland during a 2-d research cruise (15-16 April 2009. We simultaneously operated two different active hydroacoustic gear types, a split beam echosounder and a dual frequency imaging sonar (DIDSON, as well as a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV. A total of five fish species were identified through ROV surveys: including cusk Brosme brosme, Atlantic cod, haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus, lemon sole Microstomus kitt, and Atlantic redfish Sebastes spp. Of the three habitats identified in the acoustic surveys, the transitional habitat between boulder/lava field and sand habitats was characterized by greater fish density and acoustic target strength compared to that of sand or boulder/lava field habitats independently. Atlantic cod were observed behaving in a manner consistent with published descriptions of spawning. Individuals were observed ascending 1-5 m into the water column from the bottom at an average vertical swimming speed of 0.20-0.25 m s(-1 and maintained an average spacing of 1.0-1.4 m between individuals. Our results suggest that cod do not choose spawning locations indiscriminately despite the fact that it is a broadcast spawning fish with planktonic eggs that are released well above the seafloor.

  20. Characterization of Atlantic cod spawning habitat and behavior in Icelandic coastal waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabowski, Timothy B.; Boswell, Kevin M.; McAdam, Bruce J.; Wells, R. J. David; Marteinsdóttir, Gudrún

    2012-01-01

    The physical habitat used during spawning may potentially be an important factor affecting reproductive output of broadcast spawning marine fishes, particularly for species with complex, substrate-oriented mating systems and behaviors, such as Atlantic cod Gadus morhua. We characterized the habitat use and behavior of spawning Atlantic cod at two locations off the coast of southwestern Iceland during a 2-d research cruise (15–16 April 2009). We simultaneously operated two different active hydroacoustic gear types, a split beam echosounder and a dual frequency imaging sonar (DIDSON), as well as a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV). A total of five fish species were identified through ROV surveys: including cusk Brosme brosme, Atlantic cod, haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus, lemon sole Microstomus kitt, and Atlantic redfish Sebastes spp. Of the three habitats identified in the acoustic surveys, the transitional habitat between boulder/lava field and sand habitats was characterized by greater fish density and acoustic target strength compared to that of sand or boulder/lava field habitats independently. Atlantic cod were observed behaving in a manner consistent with published descriptions of spawning. Individuals were observed ascending 1–5 m into the water column from the bottom at an average vertical swimming speed of 0.20–0.25 m s−1 and maintained an average spacing of 1.0–1.4 m between individuals. Our results suggest that cod do not choose spawning locations indiscriminately despite the fact that it is a broadcast spawning fish with planktonic eggs that are released well above the seafloor.