Nest searching Scherr 512X219

 Through carefully-designed methods, Arrowwood plant and animal communities are continually being studied. 

Research is conducted regularly at Arrowwood NWR to determine animal and plant baseline data, to monitor trends in populations and in changes in the natural communities, and to measure management effectiveness.  Here are the primary ongoing programs. 

Wildlife Surveys

Throughout each year, formal field surveys are conducted by Refuge staff and volunteers.  Waterfowl breeding population surveys (Four Square Mile Survey) are conducted twice annually in May and June as part of the Prairie Pothole breeding ground survey organized by the USFWS Habitat and Population Evaluation Team (HAPET) group based in Bismarck, ND.  The National Mid-Winter waterfowl survey is conducted annually in January, with additional waterfowl surveys every week in October and November. Nest surveys are conducted each summer to determine if piping plovers are utilizing the refuge for nesting.  In addition, Bald Eagle surveys are conducted each January.  Nest searching to monitor waterfowl nest success is also conducted annually, and several other national wildlife monitoring surveys are completed including; mourning dove call counts, breeding bird surveys, and Sandhill crane surveys.   

Vegetation Mapping

In order to assess current conditions and have a baseline of quality vegetation status, a vegetation map of Arrowwood was identified as a necessity.  Conducted in 2011-13, development of the vegetation map and associated report was a multi-step process, involving study of aerial photographs, several months of ground-truthing of vegetation types, and data analysis.  Data can be lumped into broader categories as seen in the first map or if more detail is needed, the mapping project was done to allow a fine scale analysis as shown in the second map.