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In Texas, the USFWS is currently reviewing 11 mussel species for ESA protection and several of these species (e.g., Cyclonaias petrina, Texas Pimpleback, and Lampsilis bracteata, Texas Fatmucket) have been the primary focus of controlled propagation by several federal hatcheries. To date, information on genetic diversity within and across known populations for these species is incomplete and so the justification for their controlled propagation is unclear, and a genetic management plan to guide propagation activities does not exist. These unknowns raise serious questions about whether any of the 11 proposed species are truly in need of and would benefit from controlled propagation. The overall goal of this project...
The primary objective is to provide guidance to conservation agencies and programs such as Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Louisiana Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 2 and 4 National Wildlife Refuges, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Office Region 2 to focus banding activities (i.e., where and when) and minimum sample sizes necessary to meet harvest management objectives for mottled ducks. A secondary objective is to investigate alternate marking techniques (e.g., PIT tags, NANO tags) to supplement or replace assessments derived from band recoveries. The banding needs assessment will be a two part analysis. The first part will use multi-state simulation...
Pectis imberbis A. Gray is an endemic plant species native to southern Arizona with fewer than 400 known individuals in existence. A total of 6 putative populations, each consisting of between ca. 10 and 180 individuals, occur at elevations of 1100-1700 m in a variety of habitats, including oak woodlands, desert grasslands, oak savannas, and disturbed areas in Arizona (road cuts, arroyos) (USFWS 2012). In the past, populations were also identified in Mexico (Keil 1978, USFWS 2012); however, Mexican populations have not been relocated in recent years (Keil 1982, Falk and Warren 1994, Sanchez-Escalante 2018a, 2018b). Resurveys of known P. imberbis sites suggest significant decline in abundance over the last two decades...
The mottled duck is a resident dabbling duck that is distributed throughout the western Gulf Coast, primarily in Louisiana and Texas (WGC population), and also in a second population in peninsular Florida (Florida population). Within the WGC, several indices of abundance suggest that the mottled duck has declined over the last several decades, but the ability of many of these indices to detect changes in mottled duck abundance is unknown. Additionally, the surveys often provide different and sometimes conflicting results, causing confusion in interpreting WGC population trends. Also, differences in timing and coverage of surveys further complicate our understanding of the population trend. Overall, none of the surveys...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: Project, onGoing
This project is intended to provide conservation science support across Arizona through development of conservation case studies and synthesis products and support for data entry for listed species in Arizona (the yellow-billed cuckoo). One full-time Research Specialist and one ¼-time student research assistant will synthesize best practices best practices for managing invasive aquatic species and invasive plants in grasslands. The recipient will work collaboratively with Arizona Game and Fish Department and FWS to identify shared species of concern and develop useful synthesis products (case studies and publications). One student Research Assistant will be tasked with increasing communication across FWS programs...
This project will evaluate occupancy and habitat relationships at San Bernard NWR. This project will consider several factors that may include prescribed fire, forage conditions, impacts from Hurricane Harvey. The project will build upon previous work funded through Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Comptroller’s Office.
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: Project, onGoing
The goals of this study are to: (1) generate a genetic toolset (80-90 microsatellite loci per species) for long term genetic monitoring of both wild and captive populations of each threatened gartersnake species (THEQ & THRU) that inhabit Arizona and New Mexico; (2) conduct field surveys at Saliz Creek to assess the genetic, demographic, and life history effects of a 2012 wild translocation event for THRU to better assess the strategies of genetic management and success of translocations; (3) conduct targeted surveys for both species at key sites to collect additional samples from geographic gaps and increase sample sizes at previously sampled sites to further evaluate connectivity and genetic diversity of these...
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This project builds off an ongoing effort to develop a suite of spatial products intended to assist regional stakeholders in planning and delivering conservation services (Tarbox et al. 2018c). The preceding project has been conducted in a participatory manner, with extensive stakeholder engagement and feedback. Upon completion, the spatial tools that comprise the conservation blueprint will be made accessible on ScienceBase, along with extensive documentation. The proposed project will make potential end users familiar with how these tools were developed, how they work, and how to best use them to guide their decision-making processes. Due to the complexity of some of the tools, intensive meetings and workshops...
The application of ecological modeling can demonstrate robust, objective, and transparent biological analysis. The Austin Ecological Service Field Office has a multitude of challenging Species Status Assessments (SSA) to complete to support upcoming ESA classification decisions. Previously the Service has invested in development and use of a range of quantitative analytical tools to use in population analysis for SSAs culminating in a recent training class, Species Status Assessment 200 – Strategic use of data: describing population trends for Species Status Assessments. We now seek to apply these tools for more generalized use for a variety of species situations. With this proposed research, population-modeling...
The whooping crane is one of the most iconic and endangered migratory birds in the world and the wild population’s wintering grounds and migration corridor overlaps a significant portion of the USFWS southwest region. Rapidly developing wind energy in the Gulf Coast (wintering habitat), East Texas, Oklahoma and Great Plains (migratory habitat) has the potential to impact whooping crane habitat use and shift seasonal mortality. Balancing wind energy with species conservation is also a Regional Conservation Priority. This work will provide information about the potential impacts and mitigations of risks of whooping cranes with energy exploration, development and production activities across their wintering area and...
Piñon-juniper woodlands are the most abundant woodland type across the southwestern United States, yet one of the least studied ecosystems. Obligate and semi-obligate piñon-juniper bird species are an important natural resource, and some are at-risk species of greatest conservation need in western states. Basic information gaps exist regarding habitat preferences and requirements for these species, which presents problems when habitat management is planned or undertaken. We propose a partner-driven collaborative project between the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service; this approach will build on complimentary...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: Project, onGoing
Caves in the Ozarks of eastern Oklahoma are known to be inhabited by the rare Oklahoma cave crayfish (Cambarus tartarus), the Delaware cave crayfish (C. subterraneus), and the federally listed threatened Ozark cavefish (Amblyopsis rosae). These species utilize ground/subsurface water present in the caves. Because these caves occur in fractured limestone rock landscapes (karst), there is a strong surface water connection with any ground/subsurface water present in the caves. Consequently, actions on the land surface have the potential to influence groundwater quality in these caves. Delineating the recharge areas for these caves is an important initial step in protecting water quality and minimizing surface disturbances...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: Project, accepted
In Texas, there are currently 15 species listed as state threatened, of which 5 are candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act (TPWD 2010; USFWS 2009, 2011). For many of these species it is unknown how habitat quality and quantity is influenced by changes in flow, whether it be extreme low or high flows. Thus, the emphasis of this study will be to begin summarizing the effects of disruptive flow events on mussels to help inform ongoing conservation assessments by USFWS. The anticipated outcome of this project is a review of mussel-hydrologic relationships that USFWS can use to aide in their conservation and recovery activities for Texas mussel species.
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: Project, accepted
Started as a Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative project, this effort has been identified as a continued high priority by state wildlife agencies and other land managers. The purpose of this project is to analyze landscape-scale indicators across the three warm deserts of North America with a focus on three geographies in the Southwestern US and northern Mexico: the eastern recovery unity for the Mojave Desert Tortoise (California and Nevada), the Madrean Archipelago (Arizona and Sonora, Mexico), and Big Bend region of the Rio Grande and lower Rio Conchos (Texas, Chihuahua). The deliverables of this project are landscape-scale ecosystem indicator reports for these three geographies, and data layers made available...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: Project, onGoing
The purpose of this project is to develop a spatially explicit conservation prioritization tool for use by state (Arizona Game and Fish Department), local (e.g. counties, conservation groups), Federal (US FWS Refuges and Ecological Services, National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management), and non-profit land managers in southeastern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. The “Sky Islands” of this region support exceptional biodiversity, including numerous trust species, which also rely on maintaining corridors between ranges. Specific deliverables for this project are: landscape-scale indicators that will allow partners to assess current conditions and monitor progress toward shared objectives;...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: Project, onGoing
In 2018 a US BLM funded study was initiated to assess changes in avian community structure and species density among pinyon-juniper stands that have or are undergoing prescribed thinning at the BLM Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area in New Mexico. While that study will provide information on avian community structure response to prescribed thinning, it is not addressing how such changes may manifest in reproductive effort and output. For example, some species may persist in treated areas, but reproductive output is higher or lower than untreated stands. This translates to long-term persistence, recruitment and, ultimately, potential changes in community structure.This study will address those...
The purpose of this research is to leverage recently developed genomics resources for the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus) in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado to address information gaps about genetic variation currently limiting effective conservation and management. There remain several information gaps about genetic variation within and among the remaining populations. Targeted management programs and conservation for these populations action depend on accurate characterization of population genetics. Furthermore, as actions are initiated, a genetic baseline will be needed for comparative approaches to gauge the effectiveness of management activities. New genomics technologies (next-generation...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: Project, onGoing
Recent observations by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) personnel have noted a number of changes along the Pecos River in east central New Mexico that may signal a fundamental decline in habitat quality for the federally listed Pecos bluntnose shiner (shiner). To evaluate trends in fluvial geomorphology, and thus shiner habitat conditions, an in-depth and comprehensive study, including system hydrology, is needed. The Service seeks to describe trends of geomorphic change of the Pecos River and determine plausible alternatives for river operations. Study goals include the evaluation of previously collected field data, analysis of geomorphic changes, review of effects of hydrologic and geomorphic change on...
We propose to evaluate application of ammonium chloride for the purpose of removing invasive Northern crayfish (Faxonius virilis, formerly Orconectes virilis) and Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) from aquatic systems. Adding small amounts of ammonium chloride to aquatic systems may be a cost-effective and low-impact way to eradicate invasive crayfish and support conservation of native aquatic species. We will first evaluate dosages and concentrations in the laboratory and then utilize the information derived from those laboratory studies to conduct removal of crayfish from small stock ponds in the field. A minimum of two treatment ponds will be evaluated over a season to evaluate effectiveness. This project...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: Project, accepted
The overall goal of this project is to provide guidance on genetic considerations that should be addressed prior to implementing controlled propagation through development of a conceptual framework and case study. The completion of these tasks will provide information that can be used to inform species-specific genetic management plans and help operationalize controlled propagation, if needed. The specific objectives of this study are: (1) Outline specific steps that managers should ask in making determinations regarding whether or not to initiate captive propagation; (2) Conduct a range-wide survey of genetic variation in Lampsilis bracteata, that will allow identification of distinct populations and identification...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: Project, onGoing


map background search result map search result map Outreach and end-user support to implement shared conservation priority actions from the Edwards Plateau to the Gulf of Mexico Outreach and end-user support to implement shared conservation priority actions from the Edwards Plateau to the Gulf of Mexico