Nebraska: Tern and Plover Conservation Partnership (State Wildlife Grant T-68-R)
With funding from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s State Wildlife Grant Program and many other sources, the Tern and Plover Conservation Partnership (Partnership) studies and protects endangered Least Terns, threatened Piping Plovers and other birds within the Platte River system, Nebraska, in a manner that minimizes conflicts with private industry, and educates and involves local communities in this effort.
The Partnership is a proactive, cooperative effort between the Nebraska Environmental Trust, University of Nebraska, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Western Sand and Gravel, Mallard Sand and Gravel, Arps Gravel and Concrete, Overland Sand and Gravel, Lyman-Richey Corporation, Harwest Industrial Minerals Corporation, Legacy Resources, Preferred Rocks of Genoa, Girl Scouts - Great Plains Council, Nebraska Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund, Lower Platte South Natural Resource District, and Papio-Missouri Natural Resource District. Partnership activities include protecting colonies from predation and human disturbance using electric fences, exclosure cages, and signage; creating strong working relationships between sand and gravel mining companies; homeowner’s associations, local governments, conservation organizations, and the public; preventing and mitigating conflicts between nesting birds and business’ interests; and increasing awareness and appreciation of conservation issues by participating in events that educate the public, business, and government.
Nebraska: Missouri River Studies (Sport Fish Restoration F-75-R)
Click here to read the full 2009 Nebraska Game & Parks Commission Broodstock Collection
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) organized the second intensive effort targeted towards sampling pallid sturgeon in reproductive condition in the upper channelized Missouri River. Volunteers were solicited from area universities, colleges, and state and federal agencies to assist Game and Parks personnel from Monday, April 6 through Saturday, April 18 (excluding Easter weekend). Sampling crews targeted areas around the confluence of the Platte and Missouri Rivers (River Mile [RM] 595.0) to Peru, NE (RM 542.0). With the additional help from volunteers, crews were able to span a total of 43 river miles and sample 25 different river bends. Sampling was conducted using 200-foot trotlines with 40 hooks per line baited with worms. Similar to previous efforts, trotlines were a valuable gear in the collection of pallid sturgeon broodstock. Overall, trotlines collected a total of 160 pallid sturgeon in 15 days of sampling, while traditional sampling gears (i.e., gill nets) were excluded from this year’s intensive effort due to variable catches and the large amount of effort associated with using these gears.
Colorado: Whirling Disease Resistant Wild Strain Brood Stock Development and Evaluation (Sport Fish Restoration F-394-R/Job #4)
These experiments are designed to develop and evaluate “wild” strain whirling disease resistant rainbow trout for reintroduction into areas where self-sustaining populations have been lost due to whirling disease. For the first time since whirling disease decimated most naturally reproducing rainbow trout populations throughout Colorado more than a decade ago, new strains of rainbows have reproduced naturally in the Gunnison River and in ponds located along the Frying Pan River near Basalt, Colorado. Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists are hopeful that the successful natural reproduction will lead to re-establishing wild, self-sustaining rainbow trout populations in Colorado where whirling disease has precluded wild rainbow trout recovery efforts. The fish, a cross of the Hofer rainbow trout and other rainbow strains that are used for stocking, appear to be resistant to whirling disease. Research, funded with Sport Fish Restoration dollars, to examine the resistance of the Hofer crosses to whirling disease and their ability to survive in the wild is ongoing.
Utah: Wildlife Habitat Monitoring in Utah (Wildlife Restoration W-82-R)
The purpose of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources project is to monitor, evaluate, and report range quality trends at designated key areas throughout the state, and inform UDWR biologists, public land managers, and private landowners of significant changes in plant community composition in those areas. Permanent study sites are established at key areas around the state and resurveyed every five years. Approximately one-fifth of the state's big game herd management units receive an evaluation of range condition each year. Although the majority of permanent study studies are located on deer and elk winter ranges, spring and summer ranges are evaluated if vegetation composition is the limiting factor. Project biologists mark and relocate study sites with GPS and use a state-of-the art program for data collection and analysis. A crew of 7-9 people collects vegetation and soil data along five 100 foot baseline transects and enters the data into field computers. During the 5-year period ending in 2006, crews surveyed 627 sites around the state.