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The ACF basin, from headwaters in north Georgia, to the Apalachicola Bay and estuary, is a focal geography in the Southeast and provides habitat to a diversity of species, including over 30 federally-listed T&E species, and over 30 species proposed for ESA listing, cross-taxa. Allocation of water for multiple uses in the ACF basin has been contentious for decades (e.g., FL v. GA, SCOTUS ruling issued 27 June 2018. A 4.5 day structured decision making (SDM) workshop with experienced SDM coaches is a necessary component to further ongoing adaptive management (AM) processes in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin.
In the eastern portion of its range (east of the Mobile and Tombigbee Rivers in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina), the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is a Candidate species for federal listing as a Threatened species by the USFWS. There is a gap in knowledge of tortoise population structure and habitat use in coastal areas particularly along barrier islands, which may impact the listing decision. This proposed project would help fill that gap by conducting line-transect surveys for tortoise burrows, assessing fine-scale habitat use through radio-telemetry and determining population connectivity through genetic analyses. The objectives of the study are: 1. Identifying habitats used by gopher...
With the onset and advance of whitenose syndrome (WNS) across USFWS Regions 2-6 managers realized that then current Indiana bat presence and absence survey guidelines were likely insufficient due to population declines. The objectives of this study are: 1. Continue to test automated bat identification software following USFWS and USGS jointlydeveloped protocols and standards as submitted to USFWS over the study period and report findings 2. Establish and operate zero-crossing, frequency division survey sites in representative upland, riparian and field-edge habitat in areas with recent past (since advent of WNS) or currently known Indiana bat maternity colonies in KY, TN, VA, IN and NY. 3. Establish and operate...
Native freshwater mussels of the family Unionidae are experiencing high imperilment status due to habitat alteration and destruction, pollution and poor water quality, and the introduction of aquatic invasive species. The Southeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwestern regions of the United States contain the greatest biodiversity of native freshwater mussels in the world and are now at even greater risk from the continued stresses of human-mediated changes to the landscape through urban and rural development, mining activities, climate change, nutrient influx and their associated impacts to water and sediment quality. The specific objectives of this study are to (1) Compare the relative sensitivity of early life stages...
The Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis) is the most secretive of the secretive marsh birds and one of the least understood bird species in North America. The Eastern Black Rail (L. j. jamaicensis) is listed as endangered in five states along the Atlantic Coast and is under review for federal listing. Historical population size was likely in the tens of thousands but is now believed to be in the hundreds or low thousands (Watts 2016). Within the United States, Eastern Black Rails breed within three general geographic areas within the United States - the Atlantic Coast, the Gulf Coast and the Midwest-Great Plains. The Atlantic Coast has generally been considered to support the largest breeding population throughout...
Yellowcheek Darter (Etheostoma moorei) is a fish endemic to the Little Red River watershed in Arkansas (Fig. 1). As a result of threats, geographic isolation and declining abundance, the species was listed as endangered in 2011. Populations have declined, in part, due to intense seasonal stream drying and inundation of lower stream reaches (Fig. 1). It is hypothesized that in headwater streams where periodic drying is common, habitat selection influences Yellowcheek Darter distribution and abundance. Seasonal drought is typical in this region, and as drying occurs, individuals must move from riffles into neighboring pools, move into the hyporheic zone, migrate large distances to a persistent riffle, or perish. It...
Much of the focus of Red Knot research and conservation over the past twenty years has largely focused on just a few sites along the Atlantic flyway, primarily in the mid-Atlantic region. The major cause of the Red Knot population decline in the 1990’s through 2003 was mostly attributed to declining horseshoe crab numbers in Delaware Bay due to their overharvest for the commercial bait industry. Substantial focus has been placed on improving horseshoe crab populations through better horseshoe crab management in the Delaware Bay region and on improving horseshoe crab and shorebird habitat in Delaware Bay. This work has likely halted the decline in the numbers of Red Knots passing through Delaware Bay: populations...
Categories: Project; Tags: 2019, LCC, SSP-QR FWSR4
Nile monitors (Varanus niloticus), a large carnivorous lizard, are established in the C-51 Basin in Palm Beach County in close proximity to the Artur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (Lox NWR, Figure 1). They were first sighted in 2007 and breeding was confirmed in 2011 (Ketterlin-Eckles et al. 2017). They have been confirmed as far east as I-95 along the C-51 and west to within 2 kilometers of Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) 1E. Nile Monitors are semi-aquatic habitat generalists and in their native range of sub-Saharan Africa are found in both freshwater and estuaries. In Florida, they are most often found along networks of vegetated canal banks. They are diet generalists consuming invertebrates,...
Categories: Project; Tags: 2019, LCC, SSP-QR FWSR4
This project will evaluate the resiliency of an aquatic community to a catastrophic event and the reestablishment of that community in Flat Creek above and below a potential movement barrier. Sampling methods will target life history stages of each species and the collection of habitat and geomorphic data (e.g., slope, water velocity, pool-to-pool spacing, pool depth, and channel substrate). These data will assist FWS and GDNR to evaluate (1) how quickly different aquatic guilds establish following species kills resulting from toxic pollutant spills, droughts or similar impacts; (2) which species/guilds’ re-colonization is inhibited by movement barriers; and (3) how re-colonization of this reach, where known habitat...
Categories: Project; Tags: 2019, LCC, SSP-QR FWSR4
Crayfish are considered keystone species that impact multiple aquatic trophic levels, substantially influence aquatic production through the processing of course particulate organic matter and serve as prey for more than 200 species (DiStefano 2005). Out of 571 crayfish species and subspecies worldwide, 77 percent are native to North America. Approximately 50 percent of North American crayfish are considered in need of protection, primarily due to the spread of invasive crayfish. One of these crayfish species, Faxonius marchandi (Mammoth Spring Crayfish), is a narrow-ranged endemic occurring in the Ozark Highlands of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri and is under consideration by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife...