What We Do
Each year, we implement recovery actions for a number of listed species. For example, in 2020 we:
- Completed formal consultation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for removal of the Six Mile Dam on the Walhonding River and assisted with the salvage and relocation of over 12,000 live mussels, including almost 900 federally listed mussels
- Concluded three wind power habitat conservation plans that address Indiana and northern long-eared bats
- Conducted camera trap surveys for copperbelly watersnakes on state wildlife areas in northwest Ohio
- Completed a 5-year review for the purple cat’s paw pearly mussel
- Transplanted 292 lakeside daisy plants and dispersed 2 pounds of seed on the recent addition to the Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve
- Conducted annual monitoring of eastern prairie fringed orchid and running buffalo clover
We work to conserve pollinators and to implement actions that may help to prevent the need to list species in the future. Ohio’s first Candidate Conservation Agreement for the monarch was finalized this year, between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ohio Department of Transportation. The Ohio Department of Transportation will implement conservation measures and monitoring at 50 sites totaling 20,152 acres to benefit pollinators.
We also work with partners to conserve wildlife on their lands. In 2020, we conducted moth and butterfly surveys at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and assisted in managing Huffman Prairie, Ohio’s largest remnant prairie. We also restored stream and wetland habitat at Wright-Patterson, replacing non-native invasive plants with native vegetation, benefitting pollinators and water quality.
We assist in restoration of contaminated sites. 2020 marked the five-year anniversary of completing restoration at the Ashtabula River and harbor via settlement of a Natural Resource Damage and Restoration (NADAR) case. In addition, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency provided the establishment of fish habitat in the river and native plantings of trees and shrubs. Five-year post-restoration monitoring indicates native plants have reestablished and planted trees have survived. Rehabilitation projects at two other NRDAR sites, Nease Chemical and Ottawa River, restored and preserved approximately 200 acres of, wetland and coastal Lake Erie habitat.
Management and Conservation
Management of natural areas is needed to help maintain specific habitat requirements especially the removal of invasive plant species. Non-native plants can take over a site, removing nutrients, light and even open areas for listed plants. We work with partners and volunteers to maintain high quality habitat by cutting and treating invasives, mowing sites, collecting and dispersing native seed, planting native trees and conducting prescribed fire when needed. Sometimes protected natural areas are adversely impacted by the activities that occur in the vicinity (including housing, lighting, agriculture, urban run-off, etc.). Management activities help to ensure the requisite habitat type is restored, maintained or even enhanced to benefit listed species.