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Research Projects at Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge
Southwest Region, May 5, 2006
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The Ozark Plateau NWR manager and a biologist from Tulsa Ecological Services field office helped researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and Oklahoma State University place Semi Permeable Membrane Devices and Polar Organic Chemical Integrated Samplers in several cave streams.  In Oklahoma, these sites included one on Ozark Plateau NWR, two on tracts managed jointly with The Nature Conservancy, and one on nearby private land.  In Arkansas, they included sites at Logan Cave NWR and a cave managed by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission.  The objectives of the study are to determine the presence of pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic wastewater contaminants and evaluate their sub-lethal effects in areas used by the federally listed threatened Ozark cavefish (Amblyopsis rosae).

The Ozark Plateau NWR manager assisted a botanist and two graduate students from Oklahoma State University with a plant survey of three refuge units.  Previous studies of another unit identified 219 species, with over 99.9% being native.

With the help of the Tulsa Regional Oklahoma Grotto (TROG), the local chapter of the National Speleological Society, the Ozark Plateau NWR continued the survey and exploration of the large cave on Sally Bull Hollow Unit.  With TROG's help over the past 7 years, close to 9 miles of the large cave have been mapped.  This cave is used by both federally listed endangered Ozark big-eared bats and gray bats.  During this survey, a representative of the Oklahoma Natural Heritage Survey searched for additional individuals of 3 new species of insects previously found in the cave.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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