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Plains & Prairie Potholes LCC Data Manager

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The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the north-central U.S. and south-central Canada contains millions of small prairie wetlands that provide critical habitat to many migrating and breeding waterbirds. Due to their small size and the relatively dry climate of the region, these wetlands are considered at high risk for negative climate change effects as temperatures increase. To estimate the potential impacts of climate change on breeding waterbirds, we predicted current and future distributions of species common in the PPR using species distribution models (SDMs). We created regional-scale SDMs for the U.S. PPR using Breeding Bird Survey occurrence records for 1971–2011 and wetland, upland, and climate variables....
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The Souris River watershed spans more than 23,000 square miles (61,000 square kilometers) across Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Manitoba. The funding will support a cross-jurisdictional study led by Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Province of Manitoba researchers that will combine current and historic wetland inventories and examine water quality trends across watersheds with varying levels of wetland cover. Non-point source pollution from the Souris River watershed has been known to impact water quality throughout the watershed including the adjoining Assiniboine River and Lake Winnipeg.
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The Williston Basin, located in the NorthernGreat Plains, is experiencing rapid energy developmentwith North Dakota and Montana being the epicenter ofcurrent and projected development in the USA. Theaverage single-bore well pad is 5 acres with an estimated58,485 wells in North Dakota alone. This landscapeleveldisturbance may provide a pathway for the establishmentof non-native plants. To evaluate potentialinfluences of energy development on the presence andabundance of non-native species, vegetation surveyswere conducted at 30 oil well sites (14 ten-year-oldand 16 five-year-old wells) and 14 control sites in nativeprairie environments across the Williston Basin. Nonnativespecies richness and cover were recorded...
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Native grasslands have been reduced to a fraction of their original extent, with estimated total loss prior to the 1990s of 70% for prairie grassland (Federal Provincial and Territorial Governments of Canada 2010). Conversion of native grassland to cropland and tame hayfields or pasture has been one of the leading drivers of native grassland loss in North America. Degradation of native grasslands also continues in some areas due to changes in natural disturbance regimes such as fire suppression and intensive prolonged cattle grazing, threats from invasive non-native species, fragmentation, intensification of agriculture, and economic development associated with population growth(Federal Provincial and Territorial...
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This carbon sequestration research is part of a new pilot grassland conservation program to protect at-risk grasslands from conversion to cropland in the northern Great Plains. Natural resources partners have leveraged more than $3 million in private and federal funding to support an innovative program that extends protection of privately-owned grasslands that have expired under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). In the past two years alone, the number of CRP acres nationally has dropped from 31.2 million to 27 million. Of the 4.2-million-acre-decline, lands lost in North Dakota and Montana accounted for 1.6 million acres, or 38 percent. The program aims to encourage private landowners to conserve CRP grasslands...
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