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SNWR late Fall

Stillwater refuge is managed under several plans and acts. Any project done on the refuge has to fall within the guidelines of a Comprehensive Conservation Plan. One new research project begun in 2016 is the milkweed and monarch butterfly monitoring project.

  • Milkweed and Monarch Monitoring

    Monarch bfly on Showy Mlkwd pod

    Very little is known in Nevada about the multi-generational Western population of monarch butterflies. Beginning in 2016, a comprehensive study is underway at selected sites on and off Stillwater NWR to help fill these data gaps. Community 'Citizen Scientists' and the refuge summer Youth Conservation Corps work with refuge staff to count milkweed plants, observe and record monarch life stages, test for parasite infestation and tag adult butterflies.  

    Data collected is uploaded to the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, Journey North and the Southwest Monarch Study. So far, it looks like all four generations of monarchs may occur in our area.  The majority of this 'super generation' migrates in October-November to coastal California, but a few may make the 2000 mile journey to Mexico where the larger U.S. population of monarchs spend the winter.  After roosting several months, they will return to NV in March and begin the next 1st generation of new monarchs. 

    We are hoping to receive a report of one of our tagged Nevada adults from either wintering location!

  • Comprehensive Conservation Plan

    Brn RuReg crop

    The purpose of a CCP is to specify a management direction for the Refuge for up to 15 years. The goals, objectives, and strategies for improving Refuge conditions—including the types of habitat we will provide, partnership opportunities, and management actions needed to achieve desired conditions – are described in the CCP. The Service’s preferred alternative for managing the Refuge and its effects on the human environment, are described in the CCP as well. 

    The Stillwater NWR Complex CCP was one of the first to be written for the Pacific Region in 2002, and will be considered for revision in the next few years.  Public input will be critical to ensure a viable future for this Refuge Complex.

    Learn More
  • National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act

    Ducks in flight

    The NWRS Improvement Act defines a unifying mission for all refuges, including a process for determining compatible uses on refuges, and requiring that each refuge be managed according to a CCP. The NWRS Improvement  Act expressly states that wildlife conservation is the priority of System lands and that the Secretary shall ensure that the biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of refuge lands are maintained. Each refuge must be managed to fulfill the specific purposes for which the refuge was established and the System mission. The first priority of each refuge is to conserve, manage, and if needed, restore fish and wildlife populations and habitats according to its purpose.

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Last Updated: Aug 02, 2016
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