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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Proactivity Requires Partnership

By Brynn Walling, USFWS

Most activities are more fun when done in a group, including conservation!

This is why we’ve partnered up with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and several sand and mining companies, including Western Sand & Gravel Co., Lyman-Richey Corporation, and Old Castle Materials Midwest Co.

This collaboration is helping a variety of species, including the federally endangered interior least tern and threatened piping plover.

piping_ploverThe piping plover. (Photo: Bill Byrne/USFWS)

The interior least tern is relatively small and can be identified by the white triangle on its forehead and its distinctive black crown. The piping plover has a sandy gray back and wings and a bold black band across its chest. It also has a bright, orange beak and legs of the same color.

Both of these birds travel thousands of miles each year, from their wintering grounds along the Gulf of Mexico to their breeding grounds in Nebraska and other midwestern states. When the birds arrive in Nebraska they seek out sparsely vegetated, sandy shorelines and mid-river sandbars to build their nests and nurse their young.

ternThe least tern. (Photo: USFWS)

These shorelines are the same areas that sand and mining companies mine. The sand and gravel mining industry is important to the states’ economy, so we had to figure out a way to have our cake and eat it too!

By working together, the Service, state officials, and several sand and gravel companies have minimized threats to the species from mining activities.

Get the full story here.

Each week, throughout this ruby anniversary year of the Endangered Species Act, we’re highlighting stories of conservation success in every state across the country.

Stay tuned!

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